At the start, Hawksworth led away from Karam, who got a great start and overtook Petri Suvanto for second place. Suvanto would lose a further three spots before the end of the first lap, falling back to fifth. Carlos Linares spun in Turn 1 on Lap 1, but was able to restart and join the back of the field. Ryan Tveter and local driver Jerimy Daniel would make light contact trying to avoid Linares, but were able to escape any serious damage and continue on without losing ground.
Juncos Racing teammates Bruno Palli and Connor De Phillippi both encountered problems on the first lap, with De Phillippi needing to pit for a new front wing and losing a lap in the process, while Palli pitted and lost four laps while undergoing repairs.
Karam put up a valiant fight early in the race to maintain the blistering pace of Hawksworth, keeping the gap to Hawksworth at only 1.5 seconds after seven laps. By Lap 13, though, Hawksworth had begun to stretch his advantage, pulling out to a 3.5 second lead.
With the battle between Karam and Hawksworth dying down, the main on-track battle was between Alex Ardoin and Gabby Chaves in their battle for third, with Ardoin desperately trying to mount an attack on Chaves to get onto the podium after just missing out in Race #1. Suvanto was also beginning to recover from his poor first lap and join the Chaves-Ardoin contest for third.
The race began to change, though, on Lap 20 with the dark clouds rolling in and sprinkles of rain starting to fall. The red and yellow striped track conditions flags flew at many corners, warning the field of the rain that was beginning to wet the track. Hawksworth maintained his now ten second lead in the tricky conditions, before the full course yellow flew on Lap 23 followed by the red flag to allow the field to safely change onto wet tires. Unfortunately, Linares crashed heavily on the run to Turn 6 and emerged unscathed, although his car was unable to continue. In the quest to safely return to the pits, Zach Veach and Martin Scuncio also spun, but both avoided making contact and were able to continue on without issue.
The race restarted under yellow with just five minutes remaining, and the field went green one lap later. On the second green lap, Karam made a terrific move down the inside of Hawksworth into Turn 1 to take the lead, but Hawksworth stayed close. With just two laps to go, though, Hawksworth planted his car straight into the tires at Turn 6, crumpling his front nose and suspension. Hawksworth would manage to limp around and finish one lap behind in 12th, thankfully one spot ahead of Connor De Phillippi. Karam would go on to take the victory, ahead of Chaves, Ardoin, Suvanto, and Scuncio.
"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 it was just a question of not making a mistake."
In the championship battle, Hawksworth still maintains a considerable gap to Karam, holding a 286-245 advantage. Chaves has jumped to third with 238 points, overtaking De Phillippi who slips to fourth on 212 points, followed by Scuncio with 202.
The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear will return to the track Labor Day weekend for the Baltimore Grand Prix.
Written 08-05-2012, 07:53 pm
Updated 08-05-2012, 07:58 pm
Photography Sylvain Désilets / OpenWheelWorld.net
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