On a day turned chaotic by errant asphalt and intransigent railroad tracks, Sage Karam's 1:28.8 in the morning Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear session at the Grand Prix of Baltimore held up as the quickest lap of the day. His time was not recorded by the scoring system due to a transponder failure, but was verified by analysis of the footage from his on-board Replay XD camera.
The afternoon session, originally scheduled as a half-hour qualifying for Saturday's Race 1, was reduced to 15 minutes by delays for track repairs, and then further truncated to a total of four 'hot laps' as a result of red flags generated rated by spinning race cars.
Under those difficult conditions, it was Connor De Phillippi who turned the session's quick time of 1:29.650 in his #2 Juncos Racing / ModSpace Racing / One24 Mazda. Karam followed with a 1:29.682 in the #88 Andretti Autosport / Comfort Revolution Mazda and rounding out the top-3 was current championship points leader Jack Hawksworth with a 1:29.789 in the #82 Team Pelfrey / TORGOEN Swiss Watches / EXA Networks Mazda.
The day's schedule was already a shambles due to a paving problem over the railroad tracks on the back straight; the bump was sufficient to send cars flying and cause damage when they came back to earth – so the decision was made to try grinding it flatter. That reduced what was supposed to be a 30-minute qualifying session to 15 minutes and series officials made the call to consider the session 'practice only' and grid the cars for tomorrow's Race1 on the basis of points. As a result, Hawksworth will start from the inside of the front row, but will not get the championship point typically awarded to the winner of the PEAK Performance Pole Award. For Race 2 on Sunday, the standard procedure will be utilized, with the starting grid determined by the quickest lap turned by each car during Race 1.
"The track situation isn't ideal, obviously, but everyone has to deal with the same thing, so it's all a level playing field," observed De Phillippi. "The grinding they did didn't really fix the problem, so we're all going to be faced tomorrow during the race with a chicane that wasn't here today, but again it's something everyone has to deal with, so we're just going to focus on our car and our race and not let that throw us off our game. And I have to say, that other than the bump, the other changes that the event organizers have made to the track are all excellent; it's faster, safer and should make for a better race for the fans now and in future years."
Star Mazda on-track action at the Indy Grand Prix of Baltimore continues with Saturday's Race 1, scheduled for 30 minutes; cars will take the green light for the series' spectacular F1-style standing start 2:35 pm. Race 2, a 40 minute, takes the green at 11:35 am on Sunday, Sept 2.
Note: Quick lap of 1:28.8 was by Sage Karam; not recorded due to transponder failure
|1||81||Petri Suvanto||1:29.045||0.000||0.000||Nurmo, Finland||Pelfrey|
|2||82||Jack Hawksworth||1:29.185||0.140||0.140||West Yorkshire, England||Pelfrey|
|3||2||Connor De Phillippi||1:29.911||0.866||0.726||San Clemente, CA||Juncos Racing|
|4||77||Zach Veach||1:29.998||0.953||0.087||Stockdale, OH||Andretti|
|5||83||Gustavo Menezes||1:30.156||1.111||0.158||Coto de Caza, CA||Pelfrey|
|6||22||Martin Scuncio||1:30.667||1.622||0.511||Concepcion, Chile||Juncos Racing|
|7||15||Bruno Palli||1:31.057||2.012||0.390||Maracay, Venezuela||Juncos Racing|
|8||93||Stefan Rzadzinski||1:31.136||2.091||0.079||Edmonton, Canada||JDC Motorsports|
|9||91||Ashley Freiberg||1:31.476||2.431||0.340||Homer Glen, IL||JDC Motorsports|
|10||57||Diego Ferreira||1:31.847||2.802||0.371||Maracay, Venezuela||Juncos Racing|
|11||20||Carlos Linares||1:31.978||2.933||0.131||Caracas, Venezuela||Linares Racing|
|12||21||Camilo Schmidt||1:32.057||3.012||0.079||Merida, Venezuela||Linares Racing|
|13||66||Zack Meyer||1:32.117||3.072||0.060||Toronto, Canada||Aim Autosport|
|14||33||Ryan Tveter||1:32.195||3.150||0.078||Oyster Bay, NY||Team GDT|
|15||19||Gabby Chaves||1:33.951||4.906||1.756||Bogota, Colombia||JDC Motorsports|
|16||53||Andres Mendez||1:33.985||4.940||0.034||Bogota, Colombia||Team GDT|
|17||23||Walt Bowlin||1:39.619||10.574||5.634||Tarpon Springs, FL||Aim Autosport|
|18||9||Juan Piedrahita||14:06.015||12:36.970||12:26.396||Bogota, Colombia||JDC Motorsports|
|19||88||Sage Karam||–||–||–||Nazareth, PA||Andretti|
|1||2||Connor De Phillippi||1:29.650||0.000||0.000||San Clemente, CA||Juncos Racing||4|
|2||88||Sage Karam||1:29.682||0.032||0.032||Nazareth, PA||Andretti||3|
|3||82||Jack Hawksworth||1:29.789||0.139||0.107||West Yorkshire, England||Pelfrey||4|
|4||81||Petri Suvanto||1:30.025||0.375||0.236||Nurmo, Finland||Pelfrey||4|
|5||22||Martin Scuncio||1:30.560||0.910||0.535||Concepcion, Chile||Juncos Racing||3|
|6||15||Bruno Palli||1:30.936||1.286||0.376||Maracay, Venezuela||Juncos Racing||3|
|7||83||Gustavo Menezes||1:31.146||1.496||0.210||Coto de Caza, CA||Pelfrey||4|
|8||77||Zach Veach||1:31.405||1.755||0.259||Stockdale, OH||Andretti||1|
|9||57||Diego Ferreira||1:31.426||1.776||0.021||Maracay, Venezuela||Juncos Racing||3|
|10||20||Carlos Linares||1:32.865||3.215||1.439||Caracas, Venezuela||Linares Racing||3|
|11||66||Zack Meyer||1:33.019||3.369||0.154||Toronto, Canada||Aim Autosport||2|
|12||9||Juan Piedrahita||1:34.318||4.668||1.299||Bogota, Colombia||JDC Motorsports||2|
|13||33||Ryan Tveter||1:34.327||4.677||0.009||Oyster Bay, NY||Team GDT||2|
|14||93||Stefan Rzadzinski||1:35.993||6.343||1.666||Edmonton, Canada||JDC Motorsports||3|
|15||19||Gabby Chaves||1:38.602||8.952||2.609||Bogota, Colombia||JDC Motorsports||1|
|16||21||Camilo Schmidt||1:50.491||20.841||11.889||Merida, Venezuela||Linares Racing||2|
|17||53||Andres Mendez||2:32.103||1:02.453||41.612||Bogota, Colombia||Team GDT||2|
|18||23||Walt Bowlin||11:22.251||9:52.601||8:50.148||Tarpon Springs, FL||Aim Autosport||1|
|19||91||Ashley Freiberg||–||–||–||Homer Glen, IL||JDC Motorsports||0|