Cumming Wins Star Mazda Championship Expert Series Race, Kester, Kester, and Hacquard Fight for Positions SEBRING, FL (March 20, 2009) -- After a tough qualifying session yesterday, the drivers of Team 3G Kester Racing proved they could run...
Cumming Wins Star Mazda Championship Expert Series Race, Kester, Kester, and Hacquard Fight for Positions
SEBRING, FL (March 20, 2009) -- After a tough qualifying session yesterday, the drivers of Team 3G Kester Racing proved they could run in the top half of the Star Mazda Championship powered by Goodyear field within the first several laps of the race. All four drivers continued to gain positions after the start, until an oil leak from another car initiated the start of several problems.
Kristy Kester had moved up to 12th position before she was one of the first drivers to hit the spilled oil on the track, causing her to spin at turn one and lose a lap. She was able to restart despite the incident and raced back up to where she had been running by the end of the race, but one lap down.
Kristy Kester, #48
Kristy on the race: "We were running really well at first. The car was hot though, so we had no power to pass, but it got better as we went on. Someone dropped oil on the track halfway through the race, and I think I was one of the first drivers to hit it. I spun at turn one, but got back out and raced back to where we were before I spun, but unfortunately I was one lap down. I really want to thank the team for working hard all week. We had been running in the top-ten, so I know we can do it again next race."
J.C. Kester gained ten positions from his starting position of 20th before he too found the oil on track, causing him to make a few mistakes and therefore lose several positions. He stayed in the battle and ended up finishing in 13th position, seven places up from his starting position.
J.C. Kester, #24
J.C. on the race: "Overall, we had a really good car. We were moving up in the field, and I was at a place where I could work to gain positions. I was running in tenth, but I didn't know there was oil on the track. I tried to make adjustments for it, but I made a few mistakes causing me to lose positions. I really want to thank my team though because I had a heck of a racecar today."
Taylor Hacquard also found trouble midway through the race at turn eight. He had been running strongly, but an incident with another competitor caused him to spin out, bending his front splitter and wing. Even with a damaged car, he continued to compete and finish the race in 16th position.
Taylor Hacquard, #15
Taylor on the race: "We were running well until my car was damaged while trying to pass another competitor. The front splitter was bent which caused me to spin out at turn eight. I managed to catch up to where I was again and gain a few positions, but I just didn't have enough laps to get where I wanted to be. I want to say thank you for the team for working hard all week. I wish we could have gotten a better finish today, but we'll do it next time."
Chris Cumming defended his 2008 title of the Star Mazda Championship Expert Series winner this week by finishing 1st in his class, claiming a win for himself and the first ever podium for Team 3G Kester Racing. Chris finished in 14th position overall, proving he can compete with the entire field as well.
Chris Cumming, #16
Chris on the race: "The car was great. I had a few good battles going on during the race. At one point, I got into a battle with another one of my competitors in the Expert Series class, but I was able to open it up and get out ahead. At the finish, I was one of four cars that were incredibly close to one another crossing the finish line which was wild. I'm very happy to win the Expert Series race today, and I want to thanks Dave, Martin, Sam, and the whole team for helping me make it happen."
Jeff Kester, Team Owner: "We had some trouble with the new car updates earlier this week. We battled with the shifters for two days, and after we got that sorted out, we started focusing on the practice sessions. Our practice times were really good, and we felt really good about them, too. In qualifying, we just weren't able to get it done. The cars and drivers were good, but we were just lacking a little. We're a young, new team this year, and we're working hard to get everything fixed to where we want it to be. We felt great going into the race, but the on-track issues with the oil caused Kristy to lose her 10th place position. J.C. worked up through it, but also lost a few positions when trying to fight back. I'm very proud of Chris. This is the first time Kester Racing has ever been to the podium, and I want to thank him for being a part of our team this season. Taylor had the worst issues with his shifter out of all of the drivers, but we worked all week to get that solved. He had a bent splitter and front wing in the race, but he battled back and kept his composure. I'm very proud of him and very thankful to have him on our team this season as well. We enjoyed having a podium with Chris today, and we're looking forward to getting our whole team up on the podium soon. I want to thank the Texas Motor Speedway, K&N Filters, Motul, and all of the sponsors and partners for their support."