TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec — Well, if you’re going to start from the pole, never put a wheel wrong and pull out a 24.394-second lead over your nearest competitor by the time the checkered flag waves, then you’re going to have a lonely race.
But, on a track that demands a surgeon’s precision, it was also a magnificent race as English rising star Jack Hawksworth dissected the competition to score his seventh win from his eighth pole driving the No. 82 Team Pelfrey / TORGOEN Swiss Watches / EXA Networks Mazda.
And, given that he turned the fastest lap of the race — for the 9th time this season —he will start from the pole in tomorrow’s second race of the weekend.
Finishing second, 24.394-second back, was Sage Karam, who started third on the grid after qualifying just two-tenths of a second off Hawksworth’s pole time.
Crossing the line third was Connor De Phillippi in the No. 2 Juncos Racing / ModSpace Racing / One24 Mazda.
If scarcely happy – young men with a champion’s temperament are rarely happy unless standing on the top step of the podium – he did at least seem to break the streak of bad luck that had dogged him relentlessly for the past several weekends.
And special notice must be taken of the drive put in by Alex Ardoin, the racer from Lafayette, La., who after two years out of a race car, joined his old team for this one race and, after qualifying eighth, brought the No. 51 Team GDT Mazda home fourth.
Gabby Chaves finished fifth.
“The Pelfrey team gave me a very well-balanced car for the race, which is critical here, because the roads that make up the circuit are so heavily crowned that a foot one way or another in apexing a turn can completely change the balance of the car,” said Hawksworth. “According to the weather man, there’s a 90 percent chance of rain tomorrow, and that will throw a cat in among the pigeons, since no one has raced in the rain here, but we have a good program for quickly finding grip under any conditions, and finding it ahead of everyone else will tell the tale.”