M1 Racing's Horak Earns Second Expert Class Victory
 March 31, 2014| 
  • Team News

Costa Runs in sixth and Bedasse Gains Valuable Experience in Pro Mazda Race Two Sunday at St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — M1 Racing's Jay Horak of Mesa, Ariz., had a whopping 4.7258 seconds advantage over Bobby Eberle when he posted his second Expert class victory in less than 24 hours Sunday morning in Pro Mazda action at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Horak was never out of first place in the class for drivers over the age of 30 in either of the races, which were presented by Cooper Tires and sponsored by Allied Building Products. He started 18th overall in Sunday's 23-lap race and finished 14th with his black AutoEnginuity No. 37. Horak is the defending Expert class champion.

Unlike Saturday's race here, Sunday's featured a standing start. Both Horak and his teammate, Nicolas Costa of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, had fabulous starts. Horak advanced three positions on the first lap and Costa vaulted from tenth to sixth with his No. 99, which is sponsored by IMM (Impermeabilizacões), Alufama, Oakley and Inova Marketing Esportivo. 

Costa stayed in sixth, trying to find a way past Scott Hargrove and into the top five, through lap nine. Unfortunately at that point he slowed in Turn 4 when his car's throttle cable broke. He made it back to the pits for repairs and returned to the fray a couple of laps down, eventually finishing 16th. Horak moved up from 15th to 14th due to Costa's problem. 

Prior to the trouble Costa set his fastest race lap on lap eight with a time of 1:13.232 for the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street course, which was 0.493 of a second faster than his fastest race lap in Saturday's race, in which he finished eighth. Horak set his fastest race lap on lap 22 Sunday with a 1:16.624.

Rookie Jason Bedasse of Kingston, Jamaica completed five laps of Sunday's race before retiring. He started 20th and was credited with a 19th-place finish overall and third in the Expert class. His #62 is sponsored by Bedasse Racing, Panton Capital Holdings (PCH), Foxcode, Firebird Asset Management, 5i Research, World of Eyes, Zeifmans, TorontoSkins.com and DM4.

Sunday's race, which was scheduled for 40 minutes, was shortened to 23 laps or 25 minutes due to time constraints with the schedule, which featured the Verizon IndyCar Series season opener as the headliner. Pro Mazda is the second step in the Mazda Road to Indy program, which strives to produce future IndyCar drivers.

Highlights of the St. Petersburg Pro Mazda races are scheduled to air on the NBC Sports Network from 1:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. ET May 24 and on Motors TV in Europe at 6:54 p.m. GMT June 3. 

The next event is another doubleheader April 26-27 on the 2.38-mile road course at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala.

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