IRISHMAN PETER DEMPSEY ON POLE FOR RACE 1 OF THIS WEEKEND'S STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE-HEADER AT THE HARRAH'S AUTOBAHN GRAND PRIX OF MAZDA Autobahn Country Club / Joliet, IL (July 25, 2009) -- After dominating the Friday pre-race practice ...
IRISHMAN PETER DEMPSEY ON POLE FOR RACE 1 OF THIS WEEKEND'S STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE-HEADER AT THE HARRAH'S AUTOBAHN GRAND PRIX OF MAZDA
Autobahn Country Club / Joliet, IL (July 25, 2009) -- After dominating the Friday pre-race practice sessions, Irishman Peter Dempsey was quick when it counted, in Saturday morning qualifying for Race 1 of a 2-race weekend, putting his #3 Juncos Racing / HOOTERS / Motorsport Ireland / Queyside.ie Mazda on the pole with a lap of 2:12.465-sec. (96.750 mph). This is his second pole of the year so far; he won from the pole two weeks ago on the Iowa Speedway oval.
"The car was perfect from yesterday; Juncos Racing had a great car for me and my two teammates, so there wasn't much we could really change in the car," said Dempsey, who earned the nickname 'The Irish Steamroller' with four wins last season, including three in a row. "We were happy with it, you just had to try and drive around the conditions, it was very tricky with the rain overnight with big puddles out there. You just had to try and alter your track position and try different lines to get the best out of it. fortunately, I got one good lap in there toward the end that let me be on pole because before that I think I was back in about sixth or seventh. It would have been a bit of a disappointment after a strong performance in testing to qualify back there, but I was able to pull it out, thank God. It's going to be a real tough race between me and Adam (Christodoulou). The Star Mazda cars are actually performing real well under the track conditions, which made it exciting to drive and an exciting qualifying session. So hopefully the crowd here at Autobahn are going to enjoy that."
Lining up alongside Dempsey on the front row will be Englishman Adam Christodoulou. Second-fast in most of the practice sessions, he also turned the second-fastest time during qualifying in the #11 JDC Motorsports / Molecule Mazda, a lap of 2:12.771-sec. (96.527 mph).
Starting third will be 2008 Skip Barber champion and MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder scholarship winner Conor Daly. He turned a lap of 2:12.837-sec. (96.479 mph) in the #22 Andersen Racing / College Network / Indeck / Cytomax Mazda.
Dempsey and Christodoulou are the only two drivers in the series currently who have each won two races (Dempsey with two different teams and on both a road course and an oval). They are 1-2 in the championship battle with just a matter of nine points separating them. Rounding out the top-5 for the traditional Star Mazda Championship standing start -- scheduled for 1:00 pm today -- are Joel Miller with a lap of 2:13.020-sec. (96.346 mph) in the #2 Andersen Racing / Fader Higher Productions / eSoles / Doug Mockett & Co. Mazda and Anders Krohn (the Scandanavian racer who won on the Milwaukee oval) with a lap of 2:13.248-sec. (96.182 mph) in the #27 Mundill / Trallfa / Colosseum Mazda.