Montreal: Graham Rahal race notes

Rahal Finishes Second Saturday In Star Mazda Race Before Canadian Grand Prix MONTREAL, Quebec, June 15 - Saturday at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit here Graham Rahal continued to impress anyone paying attention to the Star Mazda series presented...

Rahal Finishes Second Saturday In Star Mazda Race Before Canadian Grand Prix

MONTREAL, Quebec, June 15 - Saturday at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit here Graham Rahal continued to impress anyone paying attention to the Star Mazda series presented by Goodyear by finishing second. And, since the series was appearing as a support event to the Grand Prix of Canada Formula 1 race the following day, that was a lot of people.

Due to limited track time for practice and qualifying the 42-car starting grid was established by points, which put the 16-year-old from New Albany, Ohio fourth at the start in his yellow Andersen Walko Racing No. 12 sponsored by The Bobby Rahal Automotive Group, Bosch, Norwalk Furniture and Renier Construction.

Rahal wasted no time in getting into second and then stayed there, trailing only the points leader and polesitter, Raphael Matos, at the checkered.

One of Rahal's teammates at Andersen Walko Racing, Robbie Pecorari, tried his best to pass Rahal but couldn't do it and finished third.

"I got a good start and got up to second, and then basically just stayed the re," Rahal said afterwards. "I hung on the back of Matos as close as I could and finished second.

"I really had no problems," he added. "Everything was good. We had a slight push, but it was manageable. The Goodyear tires were consistent. They lasted the entire race and never fell off, and that's what we needed."

The race was run under very hot conditions for June.

Although he's a rookie in the Star Mazda series, Rahal has now been on the podium in half of the first four races of the year and he's never finished out of the top 10. With the second-place finish in Canada he now is second in the national point standings.

Although most of the circuits are new to him this year he did drive at Montreal last year when he was competing in the Formula BMW series. He said that really didn't help him Saturday though.

"The Star Mazda car is a totally different animal, and I had to drive the track a lot differently," he explained.

There were two practice sessions on Friday. Rahal was 11th in the first one a nd sixth in the second one.

The next race will be held at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. on July 3. It's the first of four races on the circuit in July, as there is a doubleheader at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. July 16-17 and then an event at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway on July 30.

The participants will have to set their VCRs to see SPEED's coverage of Saturday's race from Montreal because they'll be racing at PPIR when it airs at 11 a.m. ET on July 3. The PPIR race is scheduled to be broadcast on the same network at 2 p.m. ET July 24.

Rahal's Web site will debut soon at grahamrahal.com, while his sponsor's Web site is at bobbyrahal.com. His team's Web site is at andersenwalko.com. Other interesting information can be found at starmazda.com and restartcommunications.com.

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Graham Rahal , Gilles Villeneuve , Robbie Pecorari