AIM - Cleveland podium AIM Autosport driver Natacha Gachnang earned her second-consecutive podium finish in the Star Mazda Championship with third place in the series race in Cleveland on Sunday. Her teammate, Devin Cunningham of St-Bruno, Que.,...
AIM - Cleveland podium
AIM Autosport driver Natacha Gachnang earned her second-consecutive podium finish in the Star Mazda Championship with third place in the series race in Cleveland on Sunday. Her teammate, Devin Cunningham of St-Bruno, Que., finished eighth.
Gachnang, of St-Gingolph, Switzerland, started the No. 35 Pro Formula Mazda 10th on the 23-car grid with a qualifying lap of one minute 10.414 seconds on the 2.106-mile Burke Lakefront Airport temporary circuit. She spun on the first race lap and dropped back to 16th, but quickly regained five positions, then charged to fourth on a race restart. She earned one more position on a second restart to finish third.
Cunningham's qualifying effort was hampered by a problem with the wiring harness in his No. 33 Discovery Channel Canada Mazda. He started the race 14th (1:11.018) and blasted to seventh on the first lap, but lost two positions when he was caught behind a multi-car crash on the first restart. He was credited with eighth place when another competitor was disqualified.
"It was crazy," Gachnang said of the first restart. "I was expecting something at the first corner, so I went inside [the turn] and I was fourth. Then we had another pace car. I went inside again and I was third. You have to choose the right way to go -- I chose to go inside because I knew it was more safe. I think it was the right choice!"
Cunningham's race wasn't as smooth.
"It was up and down. I only had 10 laps before I got into the race," he noted. "It was going great 'til we came up on a restart. There was a huge accident next to me, so the only thing I could do was park the car and wait. If I'd got through, I would have been with Natacha. But due to what happened at the restart, I'm very happy to finish ninth."
A home race is next for the AIM team -- the July 7 Star Mazda Championship race during the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto.
-credit: -- aimautosport.com --