Road Atlanta: AIM Autosport race report

AIM wraps up Star Mazda season at Road Atlanta Team sees progress in Pegram and Bowlin Woodbridge, Ont. (October 4, 2010) -- AIM Autosport's Star Mazda team finished it's 2010 race season on Friday at Road Atlanta, helping drivers, Walt Bowlin...

AIM wraps up Star Mazda season at Road Atlanta
Team sees progress in Pegram and Bowlin

Woodbridge, Ont. (October 4, 2010) -- AIM Autosport's Star Mazda team finished it's 2010 race season on Friday at Road Atlanta, helping drivers, Walt Bowlin and Larry Pegram, find their feet in auto racing. Larry, an AMA Superbike competitor, is racing formula cars to round out his racing skills, while his friend Walt, a successful jaw surgeon, races purely for the thrill. Season-long driver, David Ostella, skipped this event, electing to try his hand in the Indy Lights series.

Both Walt and Larry, faced a steep learning curve as neither of them had been in their Tampa Bay Jaw Surgery-sponsored racing cars for some time. Walt's last appearance was at Trois Rivieres a over six weeks ago and Larry's last appearance was his debut in June.

Walt had only one other Masters Class competitor out for this event, one of the top racers in the class, Dom Bastion. In the first practice session, Walt's best lap around the famous track was the better part of three seconds slower than Dom's, but after taking more than 1.5 seconds off his time, Walt looked forward to a good effort in Thursday afternoon's qualifying session.

In the Expert Class, Larry also had just one competitor, Class Champion, JW Roberts. Looking rusty, Larry began practice more than two seconds off JW's pace, but made significant gains and actually went faster than JW in one session. Larry's biggest challenge is getting used to the aerodynamic downforce of a formula car which results in grip increasing with speed. That simply does not occur with a motorcycle.

Qualifying went well only for those who posted a quick lap before rain hit just a few minutes in to the session. Walt and Larry were on their out laps when the rain began and the session was soon red flagged following a collision.

Walt had excellent speed in the race and posted a best lap that was slightly quicker than Dom's best. Unfortunately, a couple of spins, including one late in the race that resulted in his car being damaged, prevented Walt from racing with Dom as he had hoped. Larry began with good pace, but slowed as the race progressed. Unnerved by a gradually-increasing oversteer condition, Larry simply backed off, staying out of the way and avoiding any damage to his car.

"We thoroughly enjoyed having Walt and Larry with us for a handful of races this season," said Chief Engineer and AIM Autosport principal, Keith Willis. "We wish David the best as he attempts the next step up the ladder and I hope that he learned some useful lessons during his time at AIM Autosport."

AIM Autosport has already begun speaking with candidates to join the team next year and will organize a series of test during the off season to evaluate and build relationships with those individuals.

-source: aim autosport

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Larry Pegram , David Ostella , Walt Bowlin