AIM - Portland win AIM Autosport scored a one-two finish in the Star Mazda Championship race at Portland International Raceway on Saturday evening, with both team cars avoiding carnage in the caution-filled race. Devin Cunningham of St-Bruno,...
AIM - Portland win
AIM Autosport scored a one-two finish in the Star Mazda Championship race at Portland International Raceway on Saturday evening, with both team cars avoiding carnage in the caution-filled race. Devin Cunningham of St-Bruno, Que., took the win in the No. 33 Discovery Channel Canada Pro Formula Mazda, followed by his teammate Natacha Gachnang of St-Gingolph, Switzerland, in the No. 35 Mazda.
Cunningham qualified 10th of 30 starters with a lap of one minute 10.550 seconds on the 1.967-mile Oregon road course. Gachnang was 15th, in 1:10.851. Both charged ahead at the green flag, Cunningham moving to fourth, Gachnang to fifth. A spin zapped Gachnang back to 12th, but she matched her teammate in blistering restarts after each of several caution periods. By lap 19 of 25, the AIM cars were first and second, and the young rookie duo held the positions to the checkered flag.
"I hadn't driven the track in the rain so I didn't know what to expect, but I just kept my head down and tried to find where the grip was. Rain's a great equalizer -- it's all about finesse and who can bring the car to the edge. I grew up racing in Singapore and there's torrential rain there, so I'm used to it," Cunningham said.
"It was amazing! I didn't think a win would come this soon in cars. AIM did an awesome job getting the car set up for the little time we had [on track]. It wasn't easy to drive, but it was a pleasure to drive."
Gachnang was thrilled with a podium finish in only her second Star Mazda race -- and her first race with rain tires.
"The start was really great! I was fifth at the first corner, but I was too much on the [painted] white line and I spun on track. But I just continued to keep going. I stayed concentrated and stayed on track -- a lot of cars were on the grass and spinning. There were a lot of safety cars [cautions], but I always passed a minimum of one car on the restarts," she said.
"The car was very good to drive: Our setup was very good and the car was stable. When I passed the finish, I saw the team on the wall and it was a great feeling. It's not possible to be more happy!"
-credit: -- aimautosport.com --