Utah: Taylor Hacquard preview

Hacquard Set for Second Round at Miller Motorsports Park Vancouver, Canada (May 15, 2008) -- Looking to build on what was an encouraging start to his rookie open-wheel racing season competing in the 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by...

Hacquard Set for Second Round at Miller Motorsports Park

Vancouver, Canada (May 15, 2008) -- Looking to build on what was an encouraging start to his rookie open-wheel racing season competing in the 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear, Vancouver's Taylor Hacquard heads east to Salt Lake City and Miller Motorsports Park for Round 2 this weekend, Friday 16th -- Saturday 17th May.

Hacquard, who just turned 18 in March, raced his way to an impressive ninth place debut that same month as the 12-round Star Mazda Championship kicked off in Florida at the Sebring International Raceway. Piloting the 240bhp #15 Wolfe Auto Group / World Speed Motorsports entry, Taylor made an accomplished start in his bid to win 'Rookie of the Year' honours -- worth $10,000 in support to the successful driver while the eventual champion of the series earns $100,000, backing to graduate up to the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda and a brand new Mazda RX-8 sports car.

Taylor, a senior at Elgin Park Secondary, hopes to capitalize on his early form with his attention now shifting to this weekend's second round at the stunning Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah -- just thirty minutes outside of Salt Lake City. Utilizing the 3.08-mile Perimeter configuration, as opposed to the full 4.5-mile, 24-turn layout available at Miller, the course has already hosted many of the Star Mazda grid courtesy of a two-day test held there earlier this month.

Hacquard maintained his encouraging pace from Sebring at the test, the young Canadian sitting comfortably inside the top-ten on both days and challenging for a top-five position before ending the second day a respectable eighth fastest from a 20-strong field of international up-and-coming open-wheel talent.

"I'm feeling pretty confident of a good weekend at Miller," stated Hacquard upon his arrival in Utah. "The series test went well last week and we were fast throughout both days without doing too much work on set-up changes. It was good for me to build up my track knowledge and the layout suits my driving style pretty well, I like a high-speed circuit like this and it's still relatively new so it's not too bumpy. Overall I'm happy with my progress to-date in Star Mazda. This is my first season racing cars and I'm up against guys with a lot more experience so I feel I'm doing well. I'd lack to crack the top-seven this weekend but another top-ten finish is certainly realistic given my speed at the test!"

This weekend's race meeting again sees the Star Mazda Championship form part of the support race package to the American Le Mans Series, the second of six races this season in conjunction with the headline sports car series including a shared stop at Ontario's Mosport International Raceway on August 23rd. Quebec's famed Trois-Rivieres street course hosts the first of the back-to-back Canadian meetings a week before on August 17th.

Round 2 of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear gets underway at Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah with qualifying starting on Saturday morning at 9:25am (MT) followed by the 45-minute race at 4:15pm (MT), 17th May -- www.starmazda.com

SPEED will broadcast Round 2 from Miller Motorsports Park as a tape-delay on Saturday 31st May at 3pm ET -- www.speedtv.com

-credit: www.taylorhacquard.com

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Taylor Hacquard