FASTEST FOOT FORWARD -- RICHARD KENT WINS FROM THE POLE IN STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP RACE 2 AT NEW JERSEY MOTORSPORTS PARK New Jersey Motorsports Park (June 14, 2009) -- Completing a return to form that has seen stops and starts to his Star ...
FASTEST FOOT FORWARD -- RICHARD KENT WINS FROM THE POLE IN STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP RACE 2 AT NEW JERSEY MOTORSPORTS PARK
New Jersey Motorsports Park (June 14, 2009) -- Completing a return to form that has seen stops and starts to his Star Mazda Championship season, Englishman Richard Kent won Race 2 of the double-header Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear Mazda Formula X weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Kent led every lap from the pole after smashing the existing Star Mazda Championship lap record at New Jersey Motorsports Park by more than 4/10ths of a second in the #33 Andersen Racing / Traka / Lafarge N.A. / Allied Interior Products Mazda .
"I won the last race of last year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and then sat on the pole at this year's season-opener at Sebring but missed the second race due to an injury and this race really marks the start of my 2009 season," says the driver from Milton Keynes, England. "We just have to keep up on these podiums and winning these races and hopefully misfortune will come a few other people's way as well, as it has for me.JMy leg still hurts a bit, but not in the car and it isn't affecting my on-track performance; I just have to be sensible with it when I'm away from the track. But right now nothing hurts at all... Remy my engineer and Alan my mechanic have done a fantastic job putting together the car.JAnd the heat out there wasn't as hot as yesterday, but when you're running out front on your own trying to maintain concentration is always a struggle, so I just kept my head down and kept focused and it all worked out."
Finishing second, after starting on the outside of the front row, was Louisiana racer Alex Ardoin, driving the #51 JDC Motorsports / Oral & Facial Surgery Center / Twister Trailer Mazda. It was a great comeback after a difficult day yesterday in which an off-course excursion jarred an ignition wire loose and left him stranded on course with no power.JRounding out the top-3 was a familiar face in a familiar place from yesterday's race -- Canadian racer Mikael Grenier, driving the #17 Andersen Racing / NAPA Auto Parts / CAA-Quebec / HS Telecom Mazda -- who also finished third yesterday.
The top-finishing Master Series (aged 45 and over) driver was Californian Mike Guasch who co-starred in the biggest accident of Saturday's race when he spun his #91 JDC Motorsports / Molecule Mazda and was hit, hard, from behind while trying to re-enter the track. His victory today brings him back to the form that has him leading the Master Series championship with three in-class wins. He finished 18th overall in the 26-car field.JBringing his #16 Kester Racing Team 3G / Texas World Speedway / Motul Oil Mazda home 15th overall and first in the Expert Series was Chris Cumming of Vancouver B.C. He is the reigning 2008 Expert Series champion and is currently leading the 2009 Expert battle with three in-class wins.
Rounding out the top-5 overall were 2008 MAZDASPEED ladder driver Joel Miller who finished 4th in the #2 JDC Motorsports / Fader Higher Productions / eSoles / Doug Mockett & Co. Mazda, and Brazilian racer Caio Lara who moved up from 8th on the grid to finish 5th in his #19 JDC Motorsports / MLD / ATW/ Molecule Mazda. And Peter 'The Irish Steamroller' Dempsey, who finished 6th on Saturday and 7th today in an altogether tough weekend in his #3 AIM Autosport / Motorsport Ireland / Queyside.ie Mazda, still managed to emerge as the points leader when former leader and 2-race winner Adam Christodoulou spent three laps in the pits to repair a suspension failure and finished 25th out of 26 cars. Dempsey, in his second season of Star Mazda Championship racing, won four races last year, and also won Round 2 at Virginia International Raceway earlier this season.
Saturday's pole-sitter and race winner, Conor Daly, the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder winner, had a loose (oversteering) car in qualifying and started from 9th on the grid. With only a single full-course yellow to bunch up the field during the entire 40-minute event, he drove every lap at 10/10ths and could do no better than 8th at the finish. Daly, the son of racing legend and noted motorsports broadcaster DerekDaly,is the 2008 Skip Barber Pro Series champion and won his ride in the 2009 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear courtesy of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder. This unique program, the only one supported by a major automaker, provides championsfrom karting throughthe top levels of the sport with sponsorship to move up to the next level.
In the 2009 Star Mazda Championship battle, Peter Dempsey leads with 173, followed by American Joel Miller with 172. Former leader Englishman Adam Christodoulou drops to third with 171. Brazilian Caio Lara is in fourth with 158 points and Saturday's winner Conor Daly has moved up to fifth with 156.