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Star Mazda - Tveter Records Another Top-10 Finish

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TROIS-RIVIÈRES, Aug. 8, 2012: Rookie Ryan Tveter of Oyster Bay, N.Y., started 18th and finished tenth in a race in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear Sunday at the 43rd annual Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières.

The 1.5-mile, 10-turn street circuit at the Quebec city’s fairgrounds is tight and extremely demanding, but Tveter was up to the task with his Team GDT No. 33, which carries the colors of Rogers TV and Motorola Mobility Canada.

The series features standing starts, and Tveter had a great one. He was 16th by the end of the first lap, 15th by the end of lap two and 14th by the end of lap five. The field started to get strung out at that point, but Tveter was running comfortably between Zack Meyer and Carlos Linares despite the fact that it had started to rain and the conditions were getting more treacherous every lap.

Tveter passed Linares for 13th position on Lap 12, and he set his fastest lap of the race on lap 16 with a time of 1:02.968. By that time it was raining very hard, and he was still in 13th place when the event was red-flagged on Lap 24 so the entire field could make a pit stop to change from slicks to rain tires.

After a lap under yellow the restart occurred on lap 26, with about 4 minutes remaining in the race. Tveter had a great restart and moved from 12th to tenth by passing Ashley Freiberg and Juan Piedrahita. Two laps later he lost both of those spots, however, when he locked up his brakes and those two drivers were able to repass him.

All was not lost, however. Tveter was back in tenth place one lap later when he repassed Piedrahita and the leader slid into a tire barrier off Turn 6 with less than 3 minutes remaining. Tveter brought his car home in one piece two laps later in tenth position.

Sunday’s race was the second half of a doubleheader. Unfortunately Tveter was not able to compete in Saturday’s race due to a mechanical problem.

“I want to thank Team GDT and my partners, Rogers TV and Motorola Mobility Canada,” Tveter said. “I think today [Sunday] went well. I got a great start, but an incident in Turn 1 pushed me to the outside and it was difficult to catch the rest of the field after that.

“The rain started to come down mid-race and that made it very difficult because we were all on slicks. Even under caution it was tough. I wish the red would have flown a couple laps earlier for the whole field to switch to rain tires.

“When the race restarted I got a great jump and moved up a position. The car was great in the rain, but a couple big lock-ups dropped me down a few positions.

“Overall I think it was a good race and I definitely learned a lot, which is the most important thing right now. I'm very content with another top-10 finish. It was also great to have all three Team GDT cars in the top 10 and one on the podium. Thanks to the Team GDT guys for all their efforts this weekend. I'm really looking forward to racing again at Baltimore Labor Day weekend."

Tveter’s engineer, Remi Lanteigne, was pleased with his rookie’s progress.

“Ryan showed extreme self-control during all the sessions this weekend,” Lanteigne said. “It was a solid performance. Ryan encountered many challenges during the weekend and dealt with them professionally. Saturday’s mechanical failure on the grid was a difficult moment for Ryan and the team, but Ryan overcame the disappointment by working hard with the team to produce an even faster car for Sunday’s race.

“Starting from the last row on Sunday Ryan again gave us an excellent start and worked the traffic well right through to the red flag. On the restart, in wet conditions, Ryan was very confident that he would move up even more, which he did. I’m very happy with Ryan’s progress so far.”

Tveter’s next race is a support event for the Grand Prix of Baltimore IndyCar race Sept. 1-2 at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. After that the series travels to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Sept. 8-9. The 2012 season concludes Oct. 17-20 as part of the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.