GOSHEN MOTORSPORTS DRIVER TOSHIHIRO DEKI WINS EXPERT CLASS AT MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK Placentia, CA- The third race for 2009 in the Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear was held at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah on the 3.048 mile...
GOSHEN MOTORSPORTS DRIVER TOSHIHIRO DEKI WINS EXPERT CLASS AT MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK
Placentia, CA- The third race for 2009 in the Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear was held at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah on the 3.048 mile course. Two practices each were scheduled for Thursday and Friday with qualifying on Saturday morning and the final race of the day scheduled for Saturday afternoon May 16.
After missing the prior week's testing, the times in the first practice for drivers Billy Goshen and Toshihiro Deki were an indication the team had some catching up to do. By Friday's afternoon practice the drivers had improved their times considerably, but engineer, Andy Tagg, was still looking for a better setup for qualifying and the race.
Qualifying started at 8:35 A.M. Saturday morning with the field split into two groups. With a substantial change to the setup Friday night, the team was confident the cars would be fast. Toshi recorded a fast lap of 1:47.626 a full 10 seconds off his fast lap in the initial practice. In the meantime, Goshen was looking to improve on his 9th place start in the first two races of the season. As was the case at Sebring and Virginia International, bad luck would again strike the #82 car. As he started lap 4, Billy was about to record some fast times, but on Turn 9 the flap on the right front wing came loose ending any chance for a good qualifying position. His time of 1:45.655 put him 19th. on the grid, the worst qualifying position dating back to the start of the 2008 season.
Saturday afternoon's 45 minute race started at 6:05 P.M. It was quite a spectacle to see 33 cars, the largest field so far in 2009, lined up waiting for the lights to go green. Toshi Deki and Goshen both got great starts moving up several positions coming out of the first turn. Goshen continued moving through the pack capturing an 11th place finish. Toshi Deki won the Expert Class, giving Goshen Motorsports their first podium for the year.
Toshihiro Deki is the first Japanese driver to run the Star Mazda Series and has a big following in Japan, especially in his hometown of Yokohama. His 1st podium of the year in only the third race of the season should bring additional articles in the Japanese magazines RX-7 Magazine, Engine, Road & Ster and the Roadster Club Magazine, the official publication of the Roadster Club of Japan. In the interview session, Toshi said "I am very happy to receive this honorable award. I had such a hard time with many troubles after coming to the U.S. This result came from all my supporters including the team owner, my teammates, the entire crew, my sponsors, my families in Japan and all my fans. I could not receive it without them. Thank you very much to all."