Jason Saini Wins Mazda MX-5 Cup at Trois-Rivières
Page: 1  2   3  Links
Start of the MX-5 Cup race at Trois-Rivieres with No 28 Jason Saini leading Photo by Juha Lievonen
TROIS-RIVIÈRES, Que. (Aug. 19, 2007) - Starting on pole and leading all 29 laps, Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, not only won Round Seven of the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivièrs, but also clinched the 2007 MX-5 Cup Championship. Todd Buras, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Andrew Caddell, of Graham, Wash., completed the podium.

The MX-5 Cup race at Trois-Rivières might have looked like a breeze for Saini, who lead the entire race unchallenged, but three full-course caution periods for disabled cars on course, made the 45-minute, 44.109-mile race seem like an eternity to the driver of the No. 28 Autobarn Mazda/SafeRacer.com MX-5.

"I went out there and was able to pull away a little bit," Saini said. "But, then the caution came out. I pulled away a little more on the restart and another caution came out. I was thinking this is the longest race I've done in my entire life.' I just wanted some green flag. Eventually we got a long green flag run and I was able to pull a gap, but when the yellow flag came out again I thought there was going to be a last lap scrap. I would have been ready for that."

In the end it wouldn't be a last lap scrap and the race would finish under yellow, for the No. 09 O Water/Alex's Lemonade MX-5 of John Kuitwaard, disabled in Turn One. Taking the checkered flag behind the pace car couldn't stop Saini from savoring the victory however, as the win earned him enough points to clinch the 2007 MX-5 Cup Championship ahead of the final round at Miller Motorsports Park in September. As the Champion, Saini has won himself a ride in the 2008 SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship courtesy of Mazda.

"This is pretty indescribable," Saini beamed. "Racing has always been a dream of mine. I've worked really hard and I've had a ton of support from so many people. I can't even put into words what it feels like to get a professional championship. What Mazda has put up for a prize is just a dream come true for me. I grew up watching World Challenge and its predecessors and always hoped that I'd have a chance to drive there and now getting the opportunity to do that, I'm just thrilled.

"I have to thank Team MER and the whole crew for putting together an awesome car. We tweaked it every session and got a little faster every session. Half the time you do changes and you go backwards, but every one of ours went forwards and it was even better for the race."

Rounds Seven was a clean sweep for Saini. In addition to qualifying on pole and leading every lap, he reset the MX-5 Cup lap record, entering a fast time of 1:16.170 (71.886 mph) around the 11-turn, 1.521-mile temporary street circuit and taking home the Hawk Hot Lap award. The three caution periods slowed the average speed of the race to 58.109 mph.

Buras collected his best finish of the season and best career-finish at Trois-Rivières with a run from sixth to finish second. Driving the No. 56 BSI/Team Garcia/MOMO/Joe Gibbs MX-5, Buras used the two restarts pick up spots in the race, but wasn't prepared to challenge Saini.
  Next Page >>