Prospect Hill, NC- The Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear returned to the 4.048 mile road course at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI, for round nine of the championship. The Velocity Motorsports Team entered the weekend after the Portland...
Prospect Hill, NC- The Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear returned to the 4.048 mile road course at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI, for round nine of the championship. The Velocity Motorsports Team entered the weekend after the Portland round where John Pew finished 13th overall in the race and continues to maintain his lead in the Masters Series. "We have an optimistic outlook on the race weekend," stated driver coach Oswaldo Negri, Jr.
The race weekend opened early with an unofficial practice day where Phil Saville showed his speed with very quick laps. "We had high expectations for Phil this weekend as he ran in the top 15 during practice," said team owner Ken Erb. Friday's first practice session would bite John Pew as he crashed heavily in the wall. The team worked all day to put the car back together. Late in the afternoon, with only five minutes remaining in the last practice session, John's lead mechanic Lucas Griffin and crew chief Keith Mellick were able to get the car down to the pits. This enabled Pew to get in a very important lap that would allow the team to trouble shoot any potential issues prior to Saturday morning qualifying.
The team would have a good overall qualifying session. "This was one of our best qualifying sessions of the year," stated Negri, Jr. Saville was able to post the 16th quickest time of the session with a 2:08.104. Mark Patterson would slot into 22nd position with Pew in 27th position. The team would work on all three cars to insure that they would perform for Saturday's race.
The start of the ninth round had a huge pile up into the first set of corners. Saville was able to get off to a great start and work his way into sixth position. Then the full course caution flags came out and the field did several laps behind the pace car. Pew was able to get off to an excellent start also and follow Patterson through the carnage as they worked their way into the top twenty before the caution. Unfortunately for Saville, his race would end before he completed a second hot lap. Coming onto the long front straight to take the green flag, Saville was driving a great racing line. As he approached turn three, a competitor who was racing off line moved over in front of Saville. The two cars touched and went off track and crashed into the wall. Both cars suffered major damage and could not continue in the race. Behind all of this Patterson and Pew were making up ground on their competitors. "I kept my nose clean and tried to stay out of trouble," stated Pew. The pair managed their race and completed the crashed filled race. Patterson would finish in 15th position with Pew in 17th position. Pew currently sits in a tie for the points lead in the Masters Series. Patterson sits in fifth position in the Masters Series points.
The team looks forward to their next event, round ten, the Grand Prix of Mosport in Bowmanville, On., Canada. The team's next race on The SPEED Channel will be August 27th with a re-cap of the second race at Infineon.