Sage Karam Rules Rainy Quebec
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec – Sunday’s Star Mazda Championship Series race at the 43rd annual GP3R looked for all the world like another Jack Hawksworth runaway.
Hawksworth started from the pole and built up a 10-second lead by the mid-point of the race. But then, for the second weekend in a row, rain came and changed everything.
As a result, Sage Karam drove to his second victory of the season and his first on a street circuit aboard the No. 88 Andretti Autosport/Comfort Revolution Mazda.
Hawksworth, the championship points leader and winner of yesterday’s race one from the pole, was leading after the entire field pitted under a red flag on lap 24 to change to wet tires, but, under attack by Karam after the re-start, overestimated the amount of grip available and slid under braking into the tire barriers in turn six with three minutes to go.
He limped his nose-less and suspension-bent No. 82 Team Pelfrey Mazda around for the rest of the lap to finish 12th.
“This is my first-ever Star Mazda win on anything but an oval, and I’m very excited to have it happen here on this very technical track, in the rain and in front of all the great Trois-Rivieres fans,” said Karam. “When the first couple of drops hit my visor I was hoping for it to actually rain hard enough that they would force us to come in and change tires. I knew that was my best hope of catching Jack, who had a big lead in the dry. As soon as the green came out for the final wet laps Jack and I had a great battle for a few laps and then he slid off into the tires. After that for me is was just a question of not making a mistake.”
Gabby Chaves was second, followed by Alex Ardoin, Petri Suvanto and Martin Scuncio.
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