A NEW GAME'S AFOOT -- ENGLISHMAN RICHARD KENT SETS NEW LAP RECORD ON WAY TO POLE FOR STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP RACE 2 AT NEW JERSEY MOTORSPORTS PARK New Jersey Motorsports Park (June 14, 2009) -- In a return to the form that saw him shock the...
A NEW GAME'S AFOOT -- ENGLISHMAN RICHARD KENT SETS NEW LAP RECORD ON WAY TO POLE FOR STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP RACE 2 AT NEW JERSEY MOTORSPORTS PARK
New Jersey Motorsports Park (June 14, 2009) -- In a return to the form that saw him shock the field with a pole and win in the final race of the 2008 season and a pole in the 2009 season-opener at Sebring, Englishman Richard Kent smashed 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.
Despite a broken foot that sees him hobbling around the pits in a walking cast, Kent eclipsed the lap record of 1:15.167 sec. set last year by eventual series champion John Edwards; Kent turned a 1:14.744 sec. (104.517 mph) to claim the pole for this afternoon's Race 2 of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear double-header at the second-annual Mazda Formula X event at New Jersey Motorsports Park. He qualified 4th and finished 8th in Race 1 on Saturday.
"It's a nice change from yesterday," said Kent. "The weather today is cooler and a bit more misty, much like European weather, so that was a big help to us. The Andersen Racing team did a great job working on the car overnight and it looks like the weather will hold for the rest of the day, with I'm happy about. But there are several fast guys buried deep in the field and it should be an interesting race."
Lining up beside him on the front row for the standing start of this afternoon's Star Mazda Championship Race 2 will be Louisiana racer Alex Ardoin with a lap of 1:14.749 sec. (104.510 mph) in the #51 JDC Motorsports / Oral & Facial Surgery Center / Twister Trailer Mazda. He qualified 7th for yesterday's race but only completed nine laps and finished 25th. Ardoin, who won the 2007 Star Mazda season-ender at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, finished 4th in the 2008 championship and is currently 4th in the 2009 points battle.
Starting third on the grid will be current championship leader Englishman Adam Christodoulou, who qualified on the front row and finished second in Saturday's race. He turned a lap of 1L14.910 sec. (104.285 mph) in the #11 JDC Motorsports / Molecule Mazda. Filling out the second row will be American Joel Miller, the 2008 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder winner with a lap of 1:14.972 sec. (104.119 mph) in the #2 JDC Motorsports / Fader Higher Productions / eSoles / Doug Mockett & Co. Mazda. He finished 2nd and 4th in this event last year.
Saturday's pole sitter and race winner, Conor Daly, the 2009 MAZDASPEED ladder driver, found himself with a loose (oversteering) car during Sunday morning qualifying and will line up 9th on the grid with a lap of 1:15.102 sec. (104.019 mph) in the #22 Andersen Racing / College Network / Indeck / Cytomax Mazda.
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.
The top-qualifying Expert Series driver (ages 30 -- 44) is reining 2008 Expert Series champion Chris Cumming of Vancouver, B.C. and winner of the Expert Series class on Saturday. He has scored two class win and two class podiums finishes in three races so far this year and leads the Expert Series battle. His lap of 1:16.219 sec. (102.494 mph) in the #16 Kester Racing Team 3G / Texas World Speedway / Motul Oil Mazda earns him the 19th spot on the 26-car grid. Lining up just one row behind him is the current Master Series (drivers 45 and older) leader, Californian Mike Guasch, driver of the #91 JDC Motorsports / Molecule Mazda. His bid for another in-class victory in Saturday's race was thwarted when he spun and was hit from behind by another car while trying to re-enter the track.JHe has scored class wins in two of three races so far this season and leads the class. His lap of 1:16.367 sec. (102.295 mph) earned him the 21st starting spot on the grid.
The top-16 cars in the field are all within one second of each other, and the competition promises to be fierce in the second of two Star Mazda Championship races this weekend; the race is schedule to get the green light at 2:00 pm EDT.