AIM Autosport heads to Laguna Seca for final round in Star Mazda John Edwards on point to take series championship Woodbridge, Ontario (10.14.2008) AIM Autosport heads to Monterey, California this week with one goal in mind -- scoring ...
AIM Autosport heads to Laguna Seca for final round in Star Mazda
John Edwards on point to take series championship
Woodbridge, Ontario (10.14.2008) AIM Autosport heads to Monterey, California this week with one goal in mind -- scoring a championship in the Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear for driver John Edwards. Recording his fourth win of the season at Road Atlanta two weeks ago, Edwards moved into the points lead and is poised to take his first North American open-wheel championship.
In its fourth year in the Star Mazda Series, AIM Autosport has had tremendous success and recorded a number of podium results. This season the team missed the first race at Sebring and Edwards joined in time for race two run at Miller Motorsport Park which he promptly won. From there it has been a strong run - despite a small hiccup in the first race at Portland, and John has scored seven podiums over ten races and started from pole four times in the AIM Autosport No. 7 Formula Mazda.
"We felt good going into the first race with John," commented Keith Willis, AIM's Star Mazda team manager. "He is a proven talent in open-wheel racing and we knew we had the program to give him a championship-winning car. From there we worked together to maximize the effort at every race. Even when we suffered a bit of a setback at Portland, John bounced back the very next day to take the win." He continued, "With one race to go, even though it would be nice to take the win, the focus is on getting the championship for John."
"At the end of the day, we got the result we had hoped for," Edwards said in a recent interview. "It is great to come away from Road Atlanta with a strong shot at the championship in the last race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. We were able to take advantage of the yellows to stay at the front and we also stayed out of trouble and that got us to the front." John continued, "We were a bit off the pace in practice and once again, the AIM Autosport crew did a fantastic job to get us to the front. We just missed the front row in qualifying but knew had the pace and the consistency to challenge for the win. Now we focus on the final race at Laguna Seca and go for the championship."
AIM Autosport and Edwards were joined at Road Atlanta by young Canadian driver Kyle Marcelli who has spent the last two seasons running in the Ontario Formula Ford Championship ('07) and the Pro F2000 Championship ('08). Under the guidance of Willis, Marcelli concentrated on the Road Atlanta race to maximize efforts on behalf of his sponsor Lafarge.
"We had looked at the possibility of running the final two events" noted Kyle, " but Keith suggested we put maximum effort into the race at Road Atlanta and shoot for the best result. This turned out to be pretty good advice as we came home with a better result that we anticipated taking fourth place. Not bad considering we had a bit of an off that sent us back to sixteenth at one point." Kyle continued, "Keith and the rest of the AIM Autosport crew did a fantastic job and made this a rewarding experience for myself and my sponsor, Lafarge. This certainly gives us incentive going forward in 2009, but for now, we wish John and the team lots of success at Laguna Seca."
As with Road Atlanta, the race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is about consistency and keeping out of trouble. It is a fast track but it can also be unforgiving if you make an error, and that can spell disaster when it comes to the championship. "We have won at Laguna Seca before in the Star Mazda series," said Willis. "It would be nice to do it again to close out the season and help John.
This is the final round of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship and it is being held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. Official practice begins on Friday (October 17) with qualifying and the race on Saturday (18th). The final race will be broadcast on SPEED TV on November 8th at 1:30 p.m. ET.