Utah: AIM Autosport race notes

AIM Autosport celebrates return to Star Mazda series with a win John Edwards puts in dominant performance all weekend Woodbridge, Ontario (May 22, 2008) - After announcing just two weeks ago that the team had signed a driver to contest the next...

AIM Autosport celebrates return to Star Mazda series with a win
John Edwards puts in dominant performance all weekend

Woodbridge, Ontario (May 22, 2008) - After announcing just two weeks ago that the team had signed a driver to contest the next round of the Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear, AIM Autosport is very pleased to have come away from Miller Motorsport Park with a very strong performance including the pole and the race win. With just one practice session in advance for the race, seventeen-year-old series rookie John Edwards and the AIM Autosport crew under the guidance of team manager Keith Willis were a force to be reckoned with from opening practice.

"Considering that just a few weeks ago, our plan for 2008 was to test drivers and prepare for a full season in 2009" Willis said, "getting a deal done to have John in the car for Miller was at best a 'let's see what we can do together' effort that paid off big time. After the test, everyone in the shop felt confident that we had a good chance to run out front but John decided that we could do much better than that."

The team would use the promoter's test day to get acquainted with the track and work on car and race setup. John would steadily improve throughout the day and by official practice on Friday, was felling pretty confident with the car. They would end the day P4.

In the first of two official practice sessions, John would come out and immediately set the competition abuzz. Turning some fast and very consistent lap times, John would end the session P2 just .105 seconds off the leader. He would lead the afternoon session going P1 with an advantage of .156 seconds over P2. The times were a bit slower in the afternoon session and the team was able to make a determination on tires that would help them plan strategy for qualifying and practice on Sunday.

"The car was performing great on old tires" John commented, "so we knew that we would still be good late in the race. But we also had speed on stickers and knew we could throw down some quick laps in qualifying."

John would open qualifying with a couple of reconnaissance laps on old tires to get comfortable, then come in for fresh rubber to post a qualifying run. Running just three laps on new tires, John would go P1 and take pole by .691 seconds.

"John went out toward the end of the session and just nailed it" said a very happy Willis. "We now had a fairly fresh set of tires to run for the race and all we had to hope for was a chance to get away at the start and lots of green flag laps."

Edwards would have a great start but a first lap incident brought out a full course caution and the filed bunched for a single file restart. On the restart, the series points leader went deep to make a pass on John going into turn one. But he went a bit too deep and John kept the AIM Autosport No. 7 Formula Mazda on track and proceeded to drive away from the field.

John would take a convincing win, crossing the checkers with a 14.451 second margin of victory in the twenty-two lap race. With the win, John sits tenth overall in the championship having missed the first round at Sebring in March.

"We could not be happier" exclaimed John after the race. "AIM Autosport did a fantastic job and Keith put together a very good crew in a very short time. They really deserve this win. I am really looking forward to the next race."

Team manager Keith Willis was equally enthusiastic about the outcome. "John did a great job for us today and we are glad to see him get a jump on the championship. He is very mature behind the wheel of a race car and he provides valuable feedback for the team. We are also looking forward to the next race with John."

The Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear moves to Watkins Glen, New York for the next round on June 6 and 7. The team will have another promoter test day ahead of the event with practice and qualifying on Friday (6th) and the race at 9:00 a.m. ET on Saturday (7th)

-credit: aim

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers John Edwards