Star Mazda – New Faces on the Podium at Barber

While a little moist at times, the Barber Motorsports Park featured some great racing in the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear, and a bit of a mixup in regards to who we saw on the podium and especially on the top step. Unfortunately, Barber gets a bad wrap for a course that doesn’t permit much in the way of passing. I think every series there this weekend proved that Barber could support some great racing action.

Rain on Friday delayed Race #1 for the Star Mazda Championship, after Team Pelfrey’s James Hawksworth won pole in a very wet qualifying session. The Hawk would go on to win Race #1 (originally scheduled as the 2nd race) leading every lap on Sunday morning before the Firestone Indy Lights race.

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“The team and I are just over the moon about our results so far, but you can’t reasonably after expect this kind of thing to continue, so you just have to make the best of it and keep working as hard as you can. The minute you start taking the results for granted, they’ll stop happening. Fortunately Team Pelfrey is a very professional organization, and even though the level of competition in this series is actually quite high, I’m confident that I have a winning car every time I roll out on track.” –Jack Hawksworth, #82 Team Pelfrey

A driver that we really expected to be a championship contender this season, but who had a very tough pair of races at St. Petersburg is Andretti Autosport’s Sage Karam. Race #1 turned out much more favourable for the young driver from Nazareth, PA, finishing in P2 and scoring his first podium of the season. Unfortunately, Race #2, which was held after the IZOD IndyCar Series race, did not turn out so well as contact would keep him from moving up to a podium finish.

“The first race went really well for the team. It was nice to finish second after starting third. The second race didn’t go as we were hoping. I was running fourth, when I got punted from behind. The Andretti Autosport team worked really hard all weekend. We have some work to do, but I have a lot of confidence in the team and also want to thank Comfort Revolution for making this all possible.” — Sage Karam, #88 Andretti Autosport

While Jack Hawksworth seems to be leaping out to a strong lead in the championship, the battle just behind him is really heating up. Connor De Phillipi of Juncos Racing came away with a win from St. Petersburg, but could only manage P5 and P3 in the two races at Barber. His teammate, Martin Scuncio, however, took his first win in the series in Race #2 of the weekend to accompany his P4 finish in Race #1.

“I’m so excited to have my first win here at Barber. Juncos Racing put together a great car for both races today, and I’m happy to bring home first place to them. We had a great day overall for Juncos Racing finishing both races in the Top 5. I want to thank the entire crew at Juncos Racing and my family.” — Martin Scuncio, #22 Juncos Racing

The next round of the Star Mazda Championship will be Saturday night before the Indianapolis 500 at the 5/8-mile Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (formally Indianapolis Raceway Park). The Hawk will take a 29-point lead to LORI, with a total of 115 points, ahead of De Phillippi with 86 points. JDC MotorSport’s Gabby Chaves and Scuncio are tied for third with 78 points. If any of these drivers are going to catch Hawksworth, they’d better get busy doing it, because he’s running away quickly!

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One Thought to “Star Mazda – New Faces on the Podium at Barber

  1. Brian McKay

    I felt guilty about not photographing the second Star Mazda race on Sunday, after the IndyCar podium celebration. But I did watch some passing in Turns 1, 2, and 3 before heading to my car.

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