Trois-Rivieres: Rob Bunker race notes

Rob Bunker found the fast line around the challenging Trois-Rivieres race track, but his preparation was forfeited when another competitor took him out at the start of the Aug. 6 Star Mazda Championship race. The Bridgewater, N.J., driver and the...

Rob Bunker found the fast line around the challenging Trois-Rivieres race track, but his preparation was forfeited when another competitor took him out at the start of the Aug. 6 Star Mazda Championship race. The Bridgewater, N.J., driver and the AIM Autosport crew were especially disappointed by the outcome because their No. 18 Pro Formula Mazda had been quick, posting the second-fastest lap time during the race warmup.

Bunker qualified ninth on the 31-car grid with a lap of one minute 2.787 seconds on the 2.433-km (1.521-mile) Quebec street circuit. He was ready for a strong race, but didn't get past the first turn of the first lap.

"Unfortunately, before I knew it, my weekend was over. There was nothing I could have done. About midway through turn one, the guy next to me just t-boned me. He said somebody else hit him and pushed him up into me, but no matter what, I got the short end of the stick," Bunker said.

"We put a lot of effort into the weekend. We tried to qualify better than usual and it worked. I had a great car, a great setup. The team's been on the road for a long time now, and I would have loved to show how much it means to me -- that they put so much effort into it -- by trying to win the event."

Bunker credited his faster lap times to a car setup that consistently maximized the traction on his Goodyear tires.

"The way the car handled this weekend is night and day to how it handled in other events. Now it's got tons of grip going in, I go to power and it just kind of powerslides all the way to the exit. We've gained time by doing that," he noted. "Our setup was definitely softer than it was before, and we think that's probably going to help us in the long run for every track. If we can get the car freed up for every track, we should be set to go; we can probably put it back on the podium.

"We've got the car to go fast. We just need a little bit of luck and we'll be right there."

-credit: sp

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Series Pro Mazda