A mechanical gremlin has cost Richard Kent one of his two planned Star Mazda Series races in 2010.
Having qualified eighth the Milton Keynes racer, who is signed with Team GDT for the first two events of the season, did not even make it to the starting grid after a driveshaft on his #33 Team GDT/Traka car failed on the reconnaissance lap at Florida’s iconic Sebring racetrack on Friday.
It was particularly disappointing following a 2009 season that saw him win two races, score three pole positions and finish seventh in the championship.
In the event the race was won by Frenchman Tristan Vautier, a veteran of European open-wheel racing competing in his first US event.
Vautier, who qualified third on the grid, chased down race leader Conor Daly for the first half of the 45-minute race, finally making the pass at the half-way mark on the straight between turns 12 and 14.
The final finishing order included second-year Venezuelan racer Jorge Goncalvez and Daly.
Rounding out the top five were Quebec racer Mikael Grenier, who qualified second and finished fourth, and Anders Krohn who started from the pole, got shuffled back in traffic on the opening lap and managed a fifth-place finish.