Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

The Star Mazda Championship race started under sunny skies Saturday at Iowa Speedway and ended with thunder and lightning. (photo: Ryan – JuniorOpenWheelTalent.com)

The thunder and lightning came too soon.

What was supposed to a be a 100-lap Star Mazda race at Iowa Speedway ended approximately ten laps early due to thunder, lightning, and heavy rain at Iowa Speedway.

Leading the entire race from pole position, Sage Karam was just fine with the race ending a couple laps early; it guaranteed the talented up-and-comer a hat trick. Karam has won at Iowa for the last three years. He won in 2010 in USF2000 and was the defending Star Mazda winner from 2011.

It’s safe to say he likes Iowa.

The victory didn’t come easy, however, as the 17-year-old was forced to carefully carve his way through lap traffic throughout the event with second-place runner Martin Scuncio glued to his rear wing.

Just past midway, Jack Hawksworth began to reel in Karam and Scuncio. On lap 67, he made a bid for second entering turn one, but Scuncio held him off. The top-three were running close together setting the scene for a dramatic finish.

It didn’t happen.

At least not the way onlookers hoped. On Lap 79, something broke on Hawksworth’s car, sending the British driver hard into the outside of turn 4. The caution flag waved and the clouds moved in. The skies opened and the checkered waved. Race over.

Still, Karam felt pretty confident in his car and his ability to hold off the drivers behind him. As he should, having led two of three practice sessions and qualifying on pole. Not to mention setting a new track record (21.907). The previous record was set by GP3 driver Conor Daly in 2010.

“We [referring to Scuncio and Hawksworth] were driving consistently,” said Karam, when asked if he felt the race would have ended with the same result if all 100-laps were completed. “I feel pretty confident we could have produced the same result.”

Connor De Phillippi was running fourth for much of the race after producing a great start. He was sandwiched between Hawksworth and Petri Suvanto for most of the event. With Hawksworth dropping out in the closing laps, De Phillippi was promoted to third — while simultaneously overtaking Hawksworth for the championship points lead with 139 points.

Star Mazda Championship
Iowa Speedway
Complete Results 2012

  1. Sage Karam
  2. Martin Scuncio
  3. Connor De Phillippi
  4. Petri Suvanto
  5. Gabby Chaves
  6. Zach Veach
  7. Bruno Palli
  8. Diego Ferreira
  9. Zack Meyer
  10. Ashley Freiberg
  11. Andre Mendez
  12. Camilo Schmidt
  13. Gustavo Menezes
  14. Juan Piedrahita
  15. Jack Hawksworth
The Star Mazda drivers return to action July 7-8 during the Grand Prix of Toronto.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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