MINNEAPOLIS, MN. (August 9, 2011) – JDC MotorSports' march towards a third Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear title was in full force this past weekend (August 6-7), with an impressive win and third place finish at the famed Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. Tristan Vautier further extended his championship advantage by winning Round Seven from the pole position, before coming home third in Round Eight. With only three races remaining on the series calendar, Vautier has established himself as a serious Championship contender in the hopes of giving JDC MotorSports another championship crown.
The trip to Trois-Rivieres, Que., is always one of the highlights on the Star Mazda calendar, thanks in large part to the large crowds and atmosphere. This year’s edition had further significance, as it featured the lone doubleheader on the schedule, providing JDC MotorSports a great opportunity to further position itself as one of the premier squads in the highly-competitive series, and for JDC’s Vautier to cement his place at the top of the standings.
The JDC duo of Vautier and Jardim, thanks in part to a podium finish at the only previous street circuit (St. Petersburg) event this season, were confident entering Friday practice on the concrete-lined 1.53-mile track. It was not long before that confidence was converted into results, with Vautier placing the No. 5 Cecibon/Circuit du Laquais/Fontanels/Red Line Oil JDC MotorSports Mazda P1 on the scoring charts, and the Brazilian ending the run P9.
JDC’s run of form further continued in the lone qualifying session of the doubleheader. Vautier was the man to beat from start to finish, earning his second pole position of the season in the timed session. Jardim impressed as well, placing the No. 39 Shopping M/Red Line Oil JDC MotorSports Mazda eighth on the grid for race one in Quebec.
Given the nature of the often tricky street circuit, passing opportunities are at a premier. Vautier as a result was focused on driving a fast, but controlled pace come race time. The talented French racer promptly did just that when the lights went out, never putting a wheel wrong in a perfect lights-to-flag run, earning his second win of 2011.
Behind the championship leader, Jardim was engaged in the best battle for position early on in the 39-lap affair. The Brazilian rookie dueled for seventh place for several laps, repeatedly swapping places with his rival. Unfortunately, the entertaining action ended prematurely on lap 13, when Jardim and his racing counterpart impacted the tire barriers in turn one, ending his day in 14th.
Returning to the historic Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres facility one day later, the stage was set for Vautier to again challenge for the win, and Jardim to charge from deep in the field. Early on in the 43-lap race, that is exactly what occurred, as Vautier held off challenges from behind to maintain the lead, while Jardim battled for seventh place. Just as it was beginning to look like Vautier might exit the doubleheader with a pair of wins, traffic allowed not only second, but also third place, to pass for position. From that point forward, Vautier tried valiantly to regain the lost positions, before ultimately taking home his fourth podium finish of the season in third place. Not far behind, Jardim emerged from a multi-car battle for position in seventh, giving the rookie his fourth top-10 result.
"It was a very good weekend for us!" stated Vautier. "I'm glad we got our second win of the year, which was a great reward for everyone's hard work in the team! We took the right decisions to improve our speed between practice and qualifying, and it paid off. Of course I was a little bitter to cross the line in third after having led two thirds of the second race, but we have to be happy about the overall result of the weekend. We need to keep focus and work hard to be good at the next races. Thanks a lot to all the guys for their hard work this weekend!"
JDC MotorSports races with associate sponsorship from www.RedLineOil.com