World Speed Drivers Finish Strong at Miller Motorsports Park Cumming overcomes opening lap incident to finish second in class With top-ten finishes from team drivers Taylor Hacquard and Eric Freiberg, World Speed Motorsports climbed into third...
World Speed Drivers Finish Strong at Miller Motorsports Park
Cumming overcomes opening lap incident to finish second in class
With top-ten finishes from team drivers Taylor Hacquard and Eric Freiberg, World Speed Motorsports climbed into third place in the team championship standings following Round Two of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, held at Miller Motorsports Park as part of the American LeMans Series Larry H Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix.
Rookie-of-the-Year contender Hacquard, from Vancouver, British Columbia, was the first World Speed Motorsports driver to take the checkered flag in Saturday's 22-lap event, finishing sixth overall and moving into sixth place in the championship standings. "The race this weekend went really well and I have to thank my mechanics Kevin and Brandon, my engineer Mike Doyle and my Standing Start coach Scott Bradley for all their hard work this weekend," Hacquard, pilot of the #15 Wolfe Auto Group/World Speed Motorsports Pro Formula Mazda commented. "Doyle gave me a great car setup for the race and I was able to gain two positions right away on the standing start. I lost some time to the leaders when the car got loose following the restart but I made a bar change and the car was perfect from that point on and at the end of the race I was running faster laps, and closing on, the cars ahead of me."
Finishing just behind Hacquard in seventh place overall was Freiberg in the #14 CDE Collision Damage Experts/Racing for Kids/World Speed Motorsports Mazda. "The weekend started out tough when the team discovered that my engine was down on power at this altitude so they worked hard to make a swap so I wouldn't miss any track time," Freiberg revealed. "My mechanics Jan and Ming did a great job getting everything sorted."
"In the race I had made a great start but the caution flag on the opening lap slowed my run. Going to a single-file restart slowed my momentum but the car was spot on and I was putting together consistent laps towards the end of the race," Freiberg continued.
Chris Cumming, Expert Series class winner in Round One from Sebring International Raceway, would be caught up in turn one incident that brought out the only full-course caution flag for the race, and would limp around the track with a damaged car, hoping to get back into the race. "I had started farther back than I wanted to and was coming into the first corner when a couple of cars up ahead tangled. Right away I have a car sideways right in front of me and I had nowhere to go," Cumming explained. "The front wing and nose of my car were broken up but I was able to make it back to pit lane and the team did an awesome job to get a new nose on the car without me losing a lap. I was able to get around to the back of the field just as the race restarted and from there started picking off drivers to gain positions." Cumming would have an impressive run. After restarting in the 26th position the Vancouver, British Columbia native would bring his #16 Inviro Medical/World Speed Motorsports Mazda home in the fifteenth position overall and maintain his Expert Series points lead.
Joining Hacquard, Freiberg and Cumming on track this weekend were two of World Speed's West Coast Championship competitors, Stan Kohls and Dave House who were looking to score points in the West Coast Series round being held in conjunction with the North American Star Mazda Championship. Finishing 21st and 23rd overall, Kohls and House would claim the second and third sports on the West Coast Championship podium.
"That standing start was tough," Kohls said. "I think I was standing still when Dave went by but I was able to avoid the trouble in turn one and spent the race trying to work my way back. I want to thank everyone at World Speed Motorsports for all their hard work this weekend, I had a great time out there." Gaining nine positions on the opening lap, House was jumping forward while Kohls slipped back "I had a great launch and found myself gaining spots quickly," House explained. "I had made it past Michelle Bumgarner into turn one when a melee of cars were scattered across the track. I was able to hold the position on her under the yellow flag but once the green flag came out I had a target on my back from all the drivers that I had passed at the start. I fell back in the field but the race was still a blast."
The two World Speed Motorsports transporters at the event now head in opposite directions as the rig hauling the cars for Kohls and House heads towards California to prepare for Rounds Five and Six of the Star Mazda West Coast Championship at Thunderhill Raceway Park on June 6-8, while the cars for Hacquard, Freiberg and Cumming are driving across country to Road America for a testing session at the famed Wisconsin circuit. The Miller Motosports Park round of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear can be seen on Speed Channel at 3:00PM Eastern Time on Sunday, May 31.
-credit: world speed