AIM Autosport capped the 2007 Star Mazda Championship season with two top finishes in the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Devin Cunningham of St-Bruno, Que., and Robert Thorne of Sherman, Conn., kept the AIM cars in the top third of the field through the caution-shortened 24-lap race.
Thorne qualified AIM's No. 38 Pro Formula Mazda 11th on the 35-car grid, with a lap time of one minute 21.199 seconds on the 2.238-mile road course. He gained one position on the first lap of the race, dropped back mid-race, then moved up two places to finish ninth.
"The race was pretty interesting. Not much went on other than just trying to hold my position," he said. "I knew I could keep whoever was behind me, behind me, so I was just working on trying to move forward. With the cautions, everything bunched back up, so we could have another run at it. The cautions were a helping hand, although they shortened up the race so much that I didn't get to do what I wanted to do."
Cunningham started the No. 33 Discovery Channel Canada Mazda from 12th on the grid, based on his qualifying lap of 1:21.248. He was tagged on the first lap, collected debris on his tires and slipped off course. He then had to charge back from 25th place, slowed by four caution periods. He finished 11th.
"We didn't get a great start -- there was a bit of a slinky action coming out of turn 11 [on the pace lap]. I made it through turn one and unfortunately, we were taken out. There's not much you can do when that happens," he said. "The AIM Autosport team did a fantastic job, as you can see in the lap times and the fact that we moved from 25th to 11th place. It was a tough race, but it was great to see how quick the car was and how well the team worked."
Cunningham finished his rookie Star Mazda season seventh in the driver championship. AIM Autosport was fifth in team standings.
-credit: -- aimautosport.com --