Junior Open Wheel Talent

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Vautier, De Phillippi split at GP3R

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted August 7, 2011 at 11:55 am Star Mazda

Tristan Vautier (No. 5) leads the field into Turn 1 during Round 7 of the 2011 Star Mazda Championship at Trois-Rivieres during the GP3R weekend. (Photo: Star Mazda Championship)

Tristan Vautier made the most of his pole-position start on the grid in the first Star Mazda race of the weekend at Trois-Rivieres, winning Round 7 by 0.820 seconds.

The victory marked the 21-year-old’s second win of the season after starting from pole (the first came at Barber Motorsports Park) and elevated his overall lead in the championship standings. JV Horto finished runner-up in Race 1, earning his third-consecutive podium finish.

Nick Andries rounded out the podium with a third-place result trailing by 1.254 seconds at the stripe. Sage Karam and Connor De Phillippi finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

With starting positions for Round 8 set by the fast laps from Race 1, Vautier found himself starting from the point again on Sunday. For the majority of the race it appeared Vautier would repeat as the race winner, sweeping the competition at Trois-Rivieres.

Vautier led the first 30 laps despite being trailed closely by Andries early in the race. On Lap 21, Andries’ teammate Connor De Phillippi moved into second place, bumping Andries back to third.

With his eyes set on Vautier, De Phillippi continued to close the gap on the front runner continually improving his lap times. On Lap 25, De Phillippi set the fastest lap of the race narrowing the deficit to just 1.863 seconds.

On Lap 31, De Phillippi made his move bumping Vautier to his first runner-up status of the weekend. Andries continued to improve his lap times as well, moving under the rear wing of Vautier’s JDC MotorSport’s No. 5 machine.

Just four laps after De Phillippi took the point, Andries bumped Vautier to third place forĀ  a Team Pelfrey 1-2 with eight laps remaining.

Meanwhile, farther back in the field, Americans Sage Karam and Gustavo Menezes passed fifth-place runner Joao Jardim for fifth and sixth-place, respectively. Karam would end the race in fifth after moving up from the rear of the field following a drive-through penalty, capping off an impressive drive. Horto finished fourth, narrowly missing a fourth-consecutive podium finish.

The checkered flag waved on Lap 43 with De Phillippi winning his third race of the 2011 season. Andries held the runner-up spot with Vautier earning his second podium of the weekend.

Full results at StarMazda.com.


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