Cosmo grinds way to victory at Mosport August 17, 2002. Bowmanville, Ontaio, Canada. The race didn't go the way he expected, but it worked out the way he had hoped as Guy Cosmo captured his fourth victory of the year for KC-Baggers.com and...
Cosmo grinds way to victory at Mosport
August 17, 2002. Bowmanville, Ontaio, Canada. The race didn't go the way he expected, but it worked out the way he had hoped as Guy Cosmo captured his fourth victory of the year for KC-Baggers.com and Racers Edge Motorsports in the Star Mazda Series North American Championship today at Mosport International Raceway.
Cosmo, who put in a commanding performance in qualifying earlier in the day with a time 1.2 seconds faster than the rest of the field, found himself locked in a race-long battle with Moses Smith, who was aiming to make it two straight for the R-Sport/HASA Pool Products Mazda after his last lap heroics in Washington DC. "Moses made me work awful hard to get to the top of the podium today," Cosmo said afterwards. "Fortunately some lap traffic coming out of the pits opened the door for me and I was able to get past him going into turn two and hold on for the last few laps, even though I had a tire going down. Once again the Racers Edge crew gave me great car straight off of the trailer."
That Smith was running at the front of the field at all is a testament to the dedication of the R-Sport team after an incident in the first official practice session left his Mazda heavily damaged. Working quickly, the crew was able to repair the car without missing a session. "The guys did a great job getting the car back together and it was just as fast as it was before the incident," Smith said. With his confidence restored Smith qualified second overall and stormed into the lead with his aggressive maneuver into turn one at the start of the race. After successfully fighting back multiple attacks from Cosmo, Smith lamented the situation that led to the pass, "Guy and I were having a pretty good fight but I was able to keep him behind me until a car that had pitted with mechanical problems came back out on track in front of me and dropped oil from their gearbox on the line. I was the first car through and when I got caught out Guy was able to slip past."
The battle at the front of the field was crowded for the majority of the race as a line of six cars snaked their way around the rolling 2.5 mile road course, chasing down Smith and Cosmo. Leading the train in third place for much of the race was Tom Nastasi in his Lightspeed Motorsports/MACTank entry, with Tim Jennings and Joe Pruskowski hot on his heels. "The car was incredible today," Nastasi said, adding, "It was a lot of fun racing out there shooting for the podium. I saw Tim try to make a move into turn ten but he couldn't pull it off and I entered turn ten thinking he was behind me when all of a sudden he was right there," Nastasi exclaimed. "We were close but Tim caught me off guard with a great move and I had to settle for fourth."
Jennings, with his move over Nastasi, has to be credited with one of the passes of the event as he brought his Jennings Motorsports/Goodyear Tires Mazda into third place with a daring mid-corner pass as he and Nastasi came onto the front straight, a move he almost repeated in an attempt for the lead before wiser heads prevailed. "I saw Moses and Guy fighting each other and was able to close up on them as we worked our way towards turn ten," Jennings said. "They opened the door a little bit as we came into ten and I looked to make the same move I had made on Tom when I saw that they were closing the gap and I had to back out of it."
Wrapping up the top five was rookie contender, as well as Masters Championship competitor, Joe Pruskowski in his Quantum Autosports machine. Pruskowski, performed admirably in his first race at Mosport, despite driving the entire race on tires that he had flat spotted at the end of qualifying. "The car was a handful with the tires vibrating the way they were but we were able to get a good result," Pruskowski commented. "This team is a really tight knit group and our mindset all year has been to learn as much as we can and keep focused."
Making a return to Star Mazda competition this weekend, and finishing sixth, was defending series champion Scott Bradley, who served as an emergency replacement in the 3-Dimensional Services Mazda for Masters Champion competitor Doug Peterson, who was forced to miss the race to attend to a family illness. "It felt nice to get back into the car after a year, and wish we could've had more time getting the car set up," Bradley explained. "I just want to thank Doug for the opportunity to drive when he realized he had to go home and I hope that his wife gets better."
Cosmo builds on his points lead this weekend, scoring maximum points with his pole position and victory, while Smith moves into second place, and Jennings up into third. Scott Speed, who entered the weekend in second place, fell to fourth place as a lack of sponsorship has sidelined his championship efforts.
Two events remain for the Star Mazda Series North American Championship, with the next round being held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, California, on September 20-21. For more information about the Star Mazda Series please visit www.starmazda.com or contact Gary Rodrigues at (818) 686-3350.