Hacquard Eighth on Road Atlanta Debut Vancouver, Canada (October 04, 2008) -- Taylor Hacquard was left to rue what might have been in the penultimate round of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear, Round 11, held Friday at ...
Hacquard Eighth on Road Atlanta Debut
Vancouver, Canada (October 04, 2008) -- Taylor Hacquard was left to rue what might have been in the penultimate round of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear, Round 11, held Friday at Road Atlanta, as the Vancouver racer finished eighth having potentially been in contention for a maiden podium finish.
Contact from behind by a rival, combined with a clutch failure, ultimately denied the Canadian teenager a crack at a podium slot but Hacquard held his own through adversity to take eighth at the checkered after 25-laps of flat-out racing -- his eighth top-ten finish in what's been an impressive rookie season. Taylor exits Road Atlanta sitting eighth in the Driver Standings having climbed a spot courtesy of another strong finish.
Hacquard, debuting a new helmet painted by Censport, had a clear objective heading into Friday's race, to power his #15 Wolfe Auto Group/World Speed Motorsports entry into the top-ten for the third time this year. He failed to disappoint, despite going out in the slower of the two groups, equaling his second-best grid slot with ninth overall on the time-sheets, the 18-year-old charging his way around the 2.54-mile permanent road course in a time of 1m19.631s. Ireland's Peter Dempsey picked up his second pole of the season.
Set to race on another track brand new to him before his arrival, Taylor again made a strong start when the green flag dropped. Targeting a move up the order, Hacquard set to work and climbed to seventh before he was hit by both a rival and a clutch failure. Losing four spots in the process, Taylor dug deep to see out the race and finish tenth on-track but he claimed points for eighth place due to class positions.
Despite another strong score, the B.C. resident was left frustrated having shown his own potential and having seen some of the front-runners tangle -- incidents that if he hadn't had his own issues would have allowed him to go for the podium. John Edwards collected his fourth win with Joel Miller and Rick Rosin rounding out the top-three.
"I knew a top-five and potentially a podium was on the cards," stated Taylor. "I was learning all weekend long, continuing to improve so I felt a strong result was possible. Once I was hit I just put my head down to bring the car home and at least I've moved up in the Driver Standings. I dealt with adversity and my confidence is pretty high now moving on to Laguna Seca -- a track I do have some experience at which hopefully bodes well for me."