Andersen Racing's Goring Is Sixth, Baker 13th in Star Mazda Season Finale Saturday at Laguna Seca
MONTEREY, Calif., Oct. 20 - Andersen Racing's Jonathan Goring finished where he started, sixth, while Jonny Baker started 14th and finished 13th in the season finale for the Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear Saturday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Three caution flags that caused a third of the 24-lap race to be run under yellow played havoc with the drivers' rhythm, but the Fairfield, N.J.-based team's two drivers kept focused on the task at hand and brought their cars home unscathed in the 45-minute battle among 35 contestants.
It could have been a different story for Goring, of Norfolk, Conn. He was running in eighth place when the third-place car of Lorenzo Mandarino and the fifth-place car of Ron White tangled with 17 laps down. The right-front tire of Goring's No. 14 hit one of the cars in the melee, but he didn't even suffer a flat. He also missed the rest of the carnage and finished the race with his car, which advertises the Skip Barber Racing School, Alfas Unlimited, NPA Graphics and Performance Drink.
Goring ran in eighth place for the first four laps until he passed John Zartarian for seventh on lap five. He got sixth with six laps down by passing Nick Haye right as another yellow flew, but he had to give the spot back due to the yellow. Zartarian got him back on lap nine to push him back to eighth, where he stayed until Mandarino and White crashed to vault him back to sixth.
There was only one more green-flag lap. Alex Ardoin used it to pass Dane Cameron for the victory, while Goring stayed in sixth between Zartarian and Marco DiLeo.
Baker, of Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire, England ran in 15th position for the first seven laps. Phil Fogg Jr. passed him on lap eight, but then Max Chilton fell back to allow Baker to regain 15th. Fogg then ran into trouble to give Baker 14th by lap 10. He ran in 14th, sandwiched between Scott Rettich and Devon Cunningham, for most of the rest of the way. Cunningham got around him on lap 17 to push him to 15th, but he advanced two more spots due to the Mandarino and White accident.
The race will air on SPEED at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time Saturday, Oct. 27. The program is slated to rerun at 4 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern on Monday, Oct. 29.
Unofficially Goring finished fifth in the driver point standings, while Baker was 12th. Andersen Racing unofficially placed seventh in the team standings for the season.
The team's Web site is at andersenracingteam.com, while the series' Web site is at starmazda.com.
Driver quotes follow:
Jonathan Goring: "On the start I was on the outside, and the 77 car just about stopped in Turn 2 and I lost a lot of positions. That was a setback.
"I didn't see the crash ahead of me. He swerved and I hit the back of his gearbox with my right front.
"But it's been a really good year, and I hope we can do it again in 2008. I really think we can get the championship next year."
Jonny Baker: "I didn't get a very good start. Then, during the race I couldn't get out of Turn 11 well enough to make a move. I could catch the guys a head of me, but I couldn't pass them. When I was in clear air I was quicker than the cars ahead of me. All the local yellows didn't help either.
"I want to thank John Poulter, my engineer. He gave me a good car. I want to thank him and the entire Andersen Racing team for all their hard work this year."