Hunter McElrea Takes Podium Finish in Chaotic Toronto Street Fight
 July 16, 2019| 
  • Team News
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On the notoriously tough Streets of Toronto, 2018 Australian Formula Ford Champion and 2018 Mazda Scholarship Winner Hunter McElrea was able to take yet another podium finish at his first visit to the venue.

After an unfortunate practice crash, which meant it was touch and go weather he would make it out for the first qualifying session, the Pabst Racing team where able to get the car ready in time for McElrea to put a the car in a very impressive third position after very little experience of the track.

Pushing the limits in Qualifying 2, McElrea brushed the wall forcing him to pit for repairs mid session. Again, the Pabst Racing team got McElrea back out in time to set one flying lap, but an untimely red flag meant he would not set a lap and would start Race 2 from the 11th position.

Race 1 proved to be a thrilling one, from start to finish. After holding P3 for the opening half of the race, McElrea was able to move into the second position and hunt down the leader, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. After a late full course yellow, and safety car restart, McElrea dropped to the third position - bringing home his seventh podium in his eight USF2000 race starts.

Race 2 again was frantic. The opening laps saw McElrea impressively carve his way through the field from 11th, finding himself in the top five by the halfway distance, and faster than any other car. However, taking avoiding action from a late dive-bomb from the car behind, McElrea made contact with the Turn 5 wall. After pitting for repairs and two laps down, he salvaged a 14th-place position.

“This weekend has been quite tough, such a roller coaster each session. I made a mistake in practice and only got two laps and went into qualifying with no real laps around here under my belt and put it P3. I was very happy with that. Considering everything that had happened, I just wanted to finish Race 1 and have a clean run. We were battling for the win for a while and it was crazy out there. Everyone was bouncing off the walls, rubbing wheels. But it’s like that on street races – everyone gets a little crazy and it’s always full on. To get another podium under my belt is a positive.

“Race 2 was very unfortunate. I was really enjoying charging through the field from 11th and it was looking like a podium or even win was possible, but it was not meant to be. I learnt many lessons this weekend which is going to make me a stronger and more refined driver, and I am very lucky that I did not lose many points to the championship lead leaving the weekend. I am very excited to get to Mid Ohio in two weeks and repay my team, Mazda Motorsports, family and all my supporters with the results we deserve."

McElrea currently sits second in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship points standings and with six races remaining, he is still firmly in contention for the USF2000 crown.

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