Autobahn II: Series qualifying report

CONOR DALY SCORES 6TH POLE OF THE SEASON FOR SUNDAY'S STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY GOODYEAR RACE 2 / ROUND 9 AT HARRAH'S AUTOBAHN GRAND PRIX PRESENTED BY MAZDA Autobahn Country Club / Joliet, IL (August 1, 2010 ) -- Indianapolis native...

CONOR DALY SCORES 6TH POLE OF THE SEASON FOR SUNDAY'S STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY GOODYEAR RACE 2 / ROUND 9 AT HARRAH'S AUTOBAHN GRAND PRIX PRESENTED BY MAZDA

Autobahn Country Club / Joliet, IL (August 1, 2010 ) -- Indianapolis native Conor Daly has taken the pole for Race 2 / Round 9 of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at the HARRAH'S Autobahn Grand Prix Presented by MAZDA. It is his sixth pole of the season. Driving the #22 Juncos Racing / INDECK / The College Network / Merchant Services Ltd. Mazda, Daly turned a time of 2:10.580 (98.147 mph); the time is just 4/100ths of a second off the outright Star Mazda lap record at the Autobahn Country Club set last year by Irishman Peter Dempsey, also driving a Juncos Racing car. Daly qualified 5th on the grid for yesterday's Race 1 / Round 8 but was demoted to the back of the field for a post-qualifying technical infraction and raced his way to a podium finish.

Mikael Grenier, winner from the pole of yesterday's race, today will start from 5th with a lap of 2:11.626 (97.367 mph) in the #17 Andersen Racing / Slow Cow / April Super Flow / NAPA Auto Parts / HS Telecom / Desharnais Mazda.

Qualifying on the outside of the front row, as he did for yesterday's race was Frenchman Tristan Vautier with a lap of 2:10.793 (97.987 MPH) in the #38 Andersen Racing / Moulin TP / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais Mazda. Vautier could scarcely help but have better luck in this afternoon's race that he did yesterday; he was able to complete only two laps before a mechanical problem left his stranded by the side of the track.

Rounding out the by now familiar top-3 is Norwegian driver Anders 'The Viking' Krohn. As he did yesterday, he qualified his #47 Andersen Racing / Norse Cutting & Abandonment / Trallfa / Colosseum Mazda on the inside of the front row, this time with a lap of 2:11.400 (97.534 mph). He, too, could use some luck today. In the running for a podium finish in yesterday's race, he spun when an overly optimistic Tatiana Calederon attempted to pass in the #25 Juncos Racing / JAC Motors Mazda and finished 6th. Calderon crossed the finish line in 4th, but, per the rules, was moved back behind Krohn in the finishing order due to her role in initiating the incident.

Making the biggest jump up the order is Brazilian racer Caio Lara.JShowing vastly improved form in recent races, this third-year veteran of Star Mazda competition qualified 19th yesterday, and raced to a 2nd-place finish. Today he starts from the outside of row 2 with a lap of 2:11.515 (97.449 mph) in his #19 JDC Motorsports / MLD / ATW Mazda. Miami native Sean Burstyn, who raced in the series last year and is making a one-off appearance at Autobahn starts from 6th with a lap of 2:12.624 (96.634 mph) in the #61 Juncos Racing / The Collection Mazda. And the aforementioned Tatiana Calderon, a South American karting champion from Bogota, Colombia who is running her first season in the Star Mazda Championship, will start from 7th with a lap of 2:12.694 (96.583 mph) in the #25 Juncos Racing / JAC Motors Mazda. Showing unexpected speed this weekend, she credits her improvement to a course of physical and mental fitness she recently underwent with the Pit Fit organization in Indianapolis.

Starting 8th with a lap of 2:12.718 (96.566 mph) in the #11 JDC Motorsports / MAZDASPEED Motorsports / Skip Barber Mazda is California Connor De Phillippi. He won the 2009 Skip Barber Pro Series and is competing in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship with funding from the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder.

The top-qualifier in the Master Series (driver 45 and older) was Carlos Conde of Puerto Rico. His lap of 2:15.204 (94.790 mph) earned him the 19th spot on the 24 car starting grid. The fastest Expert Series racer (ages 30-44) was Texan J.W. Roberts with a lap of 2:16.130 (94.145 mph) in the #65 Team GDT / General Data Tech Mazda.

And, while a 15th-place qualifying would not ordinarily merit particular mention, it should be noted local racer Ashley Freiberg of Homer Glen, Illinois raced her way up through the field to a 5th-place finish in yesterday's race... and might well do so again today. Freiberg, a champion in the regional Skip Barber Series and winner of a recent Skip Barber National race, is making a one-off Star Mazda Championship appearance in her home-town event. She overcame ongoing mechanical difficulties in practice that limited her on-track time to a handful of laps, and finished in the top-5 yesterday in the #91 Team GDT / Collision Damage Experts / Azko Nobel / Charleyhorse Restaurant Mazda. Fans can watch the weekend race action live on HDnet as drivers battle for the inaugural VISITFLORIDA Cup a 7-race championship-within-a-championship sponsored by Florida's official tourism corporation. The broadcasts, airing both Saturday, July 31 and Sunday August 1 from 1-4 pm Eastern (12 -3 pm Central), begin with a half-hour "Mazda Prerace Show presented by Visit Florida.com" from 12:30 -- 1:00 pm Eastern, followed by three hours of live racing (1-4 pm Eastern), including the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda and the Playboy MX-5 Cup. The two 45-minute Star Mazda Championship races are both scheduled to start at 3:00 pm Eastern.

-source: mazda

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Skip Barber , J.W. Roberts , Mikael Grenier , Caio Lara , Tristan Vautier , Conor Daly , Sean Burstyn , Tatiana Calderon , Ashley Freiberg
Teams Juncos Racing