Conor Daly Fastest At Trois-Rivieres But Finishes 13th Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, August 17, 2009: Even though Mazdaspeed-driver Conor Daly was fastest during the first practice day on Friday, and again the fastest driver through the streets of...
Conor Daly Fastest At Trois-Rivieres But Finishes 13th
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, August 17, 2009: Even though Mazdaspeed-driver Conor Daly was fastest during the first practice day on Friday, and again the fastest driver through the streets of the historic Trois Rivieres circuit on race day, a thirteenth place finish was all he had to show for his efforts at the end of the weekend. After starting sixth when front row starter Peter Dempsey was late to the grid and was therefore penalized and had to start from the pit lane, Conor immediately began to move up and had just passed Adam Christodulo for fourth place when he suffered the first of two bizarre equipment issues, as he could not down-change for turn eight. By the time he got the car back into gear he was back to ninth place. After regaining his composure Conor set off after the leaders and managed to climb back up to sixth place when his engine mysteriously cut out; again dropping him from the lead pack. Fortunately, the engine malady healed itself as mysteriously as it occurred, and Conor again dug deep and quickly reeled the lead pack in. With three laps to go Conor's team mate, Joel Miller went wide at the entrance to the front straight, and Daly and Brazilian Dennis Navarro passed him on the run to turn. Conor then attempted to pass Navarro but the two touched and the resulting impact broke the steering arm on his car.
"I am just so disappointed because Mike (engineer) and Dave (mechanic) put a big effort in and I had a great car", Conor said afterward. "It was very frustrating having to sit behind slower cars when I truly felt that I could have won today. On street races where passing cars is very difficult, any single issue during the weekend can create a cascade of challenges. The qualifying incident with Dempsey that shortened my qualifying effort is why I was so far back to start with. However, it was up to me to make the best of the situation and I was a little too optimistic with three laps to go. Setting the fastest race lap does not seem to be much consolation right now."
After today's result Conor has dropped out of the top-three in the Championship with three rounds left in the 2009 season. The Star Mazda Championship will move to historical Mosport for its next round on August 29th.