Trois-Rivières Street Circuit
Thursday, August 9, 2012
JDC Motorsports Battles Concrete Confines of Trois-Rivieres and Weather to Extend Star Mazda Podium Run
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- JDC MotorSports continued its fine run of form on the often treacherous streets of Trois-Rivieres, Que., over the weekend (August 4-5), adding yet another podium to its 2012 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear tally. Gabby Chaves extended his second half charge with a fourth and second in Rounds 11 & 12, but he wasn't the only driver under the Minnesota-based squad's awning who found success during the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, as both Juan Piedrahita and Ashley Freiberg scored top-10's (ninth and ninth) finishes. The squad remains firmly placed in the fight for overall, team, and Rookie of the Year top honors.
Concluding a three-event run 'North of the Border', the JDC MotorSports trio of Chaves, Freiberg, and Piedrahita were part of the talented Star Mazda field taking to the historic street circuit in Trois-Rivieres. One of the premier events on the series calendar, the doubleheader features a large and enthusiastic crowd watching the up-and-coming racers battling around the concrete-lined 1.53-mile layout.
Given none of the three JDC combatants had previously raced in the famed Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, the pressure was on to quickly get up to speed, particularly with only one practice run before the lone qualifying session of the event. Piedrahita promptly made the most of JDC's two previous winning efforts in the Quebec city, placing the No. 9 Petrosur/GFK Motors/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry fifth on the practice charts. Chaves made it two JDC cars in the top-10 in eighth, while Freiberg, unfortunately, battled a mechanical issue that hampered her getting up to speed on a track that utilizes crowned roads.
The afternoon timed-run to set the grid for Round 11 proved to be an up-and-down affair for the JDC trio. While Chaves was able to showcase good pace in the No. 19 Claro/Marca Colombia/Tecpro/OMP/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports car, going fourth fastest, both Piedrahita and Freiberg battled issues and traffic in the session, placing them further down the timecharts than deserved, ultimately ending the run in 11th and 14th respectively.
Aware that the tight circuit rewards bravery and being mistake-free, the goal for the JDC racers in race one of the Trois-Rivieres twin bill was to run a fast clean race, and capitalize on others mistakes. The 43-lap affair ultimately proved to be trouble-free, with only one full-course caution. For the JDC racers it was anything but straight-forward, with all three dueling for positions lap after lap. While the limited number of passing zones hampered much progression, the trio still showcased good racecraft. When the checkered flag waved, Chaves was fourth, Piedrahita ninth, and Freiberg 12th.
Returning to the cockpits one day later, grey threatening skies greeted the talented JDC squad and the rest of the Star Mazda field. That being said, the track was dry when the cars launched from the traditional Formula One-style standing start. As expected, battles for positions immediately ensued for all three JDC drivers, with Chaves advancing into the top-three and Freiberg's No. 91 TrueCar.com/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports car part of the top-10 fight. Piedrahita, unfortunately, began dealing with a mechanical issue that prevented him from showing his true pace.
Added drama arrived at the midway point of the race, as the expected rain began to fall. Showcasing their quick reflexes and car control skills, the JDC racers battled through the added challenge of racing in the wet. In the end, Chaves extended the squad's streak of at least one podium finish at each non-oval event in 2012 by taking the checkered flag in second. Freiberg made it back-to-back top-10 events with ninth place result, while Piedrahita secured valuable points with a 11th place finish.
"It was a tough weekend, but I am happy coming out of it with a top-10 finish," said the 20 year-old Freiberg. "Both my practice and qualifying sessions were affected by mechanical issues, and we were chasing car handling quite a bit as well. We took some big swings at the car with changes for both races, luckily heading in the right direction both times. I think we were all wishing we had another session, we would have been right there!"
"It again was a hard weekend for me," commented the Colombian-born Piedrahita. "We had issues in qualifying and in race two, but as always the JDC guys were great, continuing to work very hard. Now I'm looking forward to the next races in Baltimore."
JDC MotorSports now has a break in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear schedule until Labor Day weekend (September 1-2), when the streets of Baltimore play host to Rounds 13 & 14. Entering the Maryland doubleheader, JDC MotorSports is third in the team standings. Chaves is currently second in the Rookie of the Year points chase and third in the overall title fight, while Piedrahita is seventh, and Freiberg is 11th.
JDC MotorSports races with associate sponsorship from www.RedLineOil.com
Additional information on JDC MotorSports can be obtained from the team’s website @ www.jdcmotorsports.com For direct contact, please contact John Church @ 952-233-3075
Learn more about Gabby Chaves at www.gabbychaves.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ GabbyChaves
Learn more about Ashley Freiberg at www.ashleyfreibergracing.com keep up to date via Twitter @ AshleyFreiberg and her Facebook page @ AshleyRacing
Learn more about Juan Piedrahita at juanchopiedrahitac.com keep up to date via Twitter @ Juanpc9 and his Facebook page @ Juan-Diego-Piedrahita-Juancho