Tenth Place Street Score for Hacquard Trois-Rivieres, Quebec (August 17, 2008) -- Taylor Hacquard can check street course racing from his rookie 'to-do list' as the 18-year-old Vancouver resident piloted his way to a tenth place finish on the...
Tenth Place Street Score for Hacquard
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec (August 17, 2008) -- Taylor Hacquard can check street course racing from his rookie 'to-do list' as the 18-year-old Vancouver resident piloted his way to a tenth place finish on the streets of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec on Sunday in Round 7 of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear.
Hacquard's steep open-wheel learning curve continued on the 1.521-mile temporary street circuit, with Trois-Rivieres giving the young Canadian plenty to think about over the course of the weekend, but he responded well to all challenges to record his fifth top-ten finish in seven starts this season. Taylor's consistent performances have kept him locked inside the top-ten in the Driver Standings since the season began in March, Hacquard holding on to ninth exiting Trois Rivieres and heading for a third straight race weekend at Mosport International Raceway next week.
While Taylor had been knocking on the door of the top-ten in Friday's two practice sessions, Saturday's qualifying outing proved disappointing as his best time of 1m03.597s (86.098mph) was only good for 16th on the 20 car grid. Ireland's Peter Dempsey captured his first series pole courtesy of a 1m01.788s (88.619mph) hot lap.
Sunday morning's 40-lap race saw Taylor launch off the line in the #15 Wolfe Auto Group/World Speed Motorsports entry and it didn't take long for the leading Canadian to improve his position -- two spots gained in the first two corners. Eight tours in and he was already up to 12th while threading his way through the short historic street course. A combination of smart driving, while others around him were tangling, and gutsy overtaking, powered Taylor through to tenth at the checkered for 26 more championship points.
Peter Dempsey converted pole position into the race win, his second consecutive Star Mazda victory, while the American duo of John Edwards and Alex Ardoin rounded out the podium.
"We completely changed our set-up for today's race and I changed my driving style a bit and it seemed to work well," stated Hacquard. "We used the race as a bit of a test session but I was also careful to keep my nose clean. I was definitely catching the ninth place car at the end and if we'd had a couple of more laps I might have had a shot at him.
"It was a great team effort in the end of the day and there's no doubt if we'd started the weekend off with what we had today then we'd have been a lot faster but it's all part of the learning experience for me. It's been a great experience competing at Trois-Rivieres and I had a lot of fun racing today."
Round 8 of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear sees the series head south from Quebec to Ontario's Mosport International Raceway for the 'Grand Prix of Mosport', Friday 22nd -- Saturday 23rd August - www.starmazda.com / www.mosport.com
SPEED will broadcast Round 7 from Trois-Rivieres as a tape-delay on Saturday 30th August starting at Noon ET -- www.speedtv.com