Hawksworth Wins Star Mazda Race 1 at Toronto

Team Pelfrey driver Jack Hawksworth re-asserted his position in the 2012 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear with his third victory from the pole in Race 1 of the Star Mazda double-header at this weekend's Toronto Indy. Controlling the race from flag to flag – despite a standing start that left two cars stalled on the grid and several race incidents resulting in full-course yellows – Hawksworth brought his #82 Team Pelfrey / TORGOEN Swiss Watches / EXA Networks Mazda home 0.295 second ahead of Zach Veach, who started 3rd in the #77 Andretti Autosport / K12 / Zakosi Data Backup Mazda, and 1.156 seconds ahead of Gabby Chaves, who started 7th in the #19 JDC Motorsports / CLARO / Marca Colombia / Tecpro Mazda. Chaves now has three podium finishes this season and moves up to third in the points; Veach has two podiums, with today's result his best so far.

With former championship points leader Connor De Phillippi falling victim to an ill-timed rainstorm in qualifying that saw him start 15th and a traffic-congested race that saw him finish 7th, Hawksworth regains the lead in the championship battle with 166 points to De Phillippi's 153.

"I was able to control the race and run the pace I wanted, even with all the yellows and re-starts," says Hawksworth, who set the fast lap of the race and thus won his second PEAK Performance pole award of the weekend. "The Pelfrey team did a huge job to get my car back together after my smash on the Iowa oval and there's no doubt I had the fastest car on the track all day. The re-starts were useful in teaching me where people will try to pass when the green waves again, but I'm sure everyone else learned the same lessons and even though I have the advantage of starting from the pole again tomorrow, I'm not taking anything for granted."

Success stories in the race include Juan Piedrahita who started 6th in the #9 JDC Motorsports / Petrosur / GFK Motors Mazda, Diego Ferreria who moved up from 11th on the grid to finish 5th in the #57 Juncos Racing / Team Viso Venezuela Mazda and Gustavo Menezes who slashed his way up through the field from 17th to finish 8th in his #83 Team Pelfrey / TrueCar.com / Oakley Mazda. Note should also be taken of Ferreria's teammate, Bruno Palli, who advanced from 18th to 10th in the #15 Juncos Racing / Team Viso Venezuela Mazda.

Suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune were Sage Karam, winner on the Iowa Speedway oval two weeks ago and starting from the outside of the front row here today, who was left sitting on the grid as the field accelerated around him due to a broken differential. And Ryan Tveter, suffering exactly the same problem – though it took a little more time to fully manifest itself, stalled the #33 Team GDT / Rogers TV / Motorola Mobility Canada Mazda on the gird, got going, then pulled to the side of the track several laps when the differential finally made up its mind. He was credited with a 21st-place finish.

And Martin Scuncio, who won Race 2 at Barber Motorsports Park earlier in the season and came to Toronto third in the championship, stuck his front wing under the rear tire of a car he was attempting to pass. The resultant pit stop to change noses dropped him from 4th on the starting grid to 15th in the results, and cost him a spot in the points chase, dropping him to from 3rd to 4th.
Race 1 Results:

Pos No. Name Hometown Team Laps
1 82 Jack Hawksworth West Yorkshire, England Pelfrey 21
2 77 Zach Veach Stockdale, OH Andretti 21
3 19 Gabby Chaves Bogota, Colombia JDC Motorsports 21
4 9 Juan Piedrahita Mexico City, Mexico JDC Motorsports 21
5 57 Diego Ferreira Maracay, Venezuela Juncos Racing 21
6 81 Petri Suvanto Nurmo, Finland Pelfrey 21
7 2 Connor De Phillippi San Clemente, CA Juncos Racing 21
8 83 Gustavo Menezes Coto de Caza, CA Pelfrey 21
9 66 Zack Meyer Toronto, Canada Aim Autosport 21
10 15 Bruno Palli Maracay, Venezuela Juncos Racing 21
11 93 Stefan Rzadzinski Edmonton, Canada JDC Motorsports 21
12 39 Corey Lewis Nazareth,PA GDT 21
13 91 Ashley Freiberg Homer Glen, IL JDC Motorsports 21
14 10 Jerimy Daniel Chateauguay, Quebec TRC 21
15 20 Carlos Linares Caracas, Venezuela Linares Racing 21
16 23 Walt Bowlin Tarpon Springs, FL Aim Autosport 21
17 22 Martin Scuncio Bahia Blanca, Argentina Juncos Racing 20
18 53 Andre Mendez Bogota, Colombia Team GDT 19
19 21 Camilo Schmidt Merida, Venezuela Linares Racing 19
20 88 Sage Karam Nazareth, PA Andretti 1
21 33 Ryan Tveter Oyster Bay, NY Team GDT

Returning to the 2.84-kilometer, 11-turn street circuit for the first time since 2007, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear heads into a run of three straight Canadian street races – beginning with this weekend's Toronto Indy. This weekend's 5th event of the 2012 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear will include rounds 7 & 8 of a 10-weekend, 17-race 2012 schedule that includes a well-rounded menu of ovals, street circuits and natural-terrain road courses. Most, such as the Indy Toronto, are with IndyCar and most are double-headers with two races per weekend and the quickest lap of each car in Race 1 setting the grid for Race 2. Star Mazda uses standing starts on street circuits and road courses. This is the first of threeCanadian races in a row, followed by Indy Edmonton on July 21 – 22, and then by the legendary GP3R Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, August 3 – 4, where Star Mazda will share the stage with Indy Lights.

Star Mazda drivers from eight different countries and three continents will take the green light for the series spectacular standing start of Race 2 scheduled for 9:50 – 10:30 am, Sunday, July 8.

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