Daly Fastest at O'Reilly Raceway Park Official Test, Calderon Takes on First Oval Track Indianapolis, Ind., May 7, 2010 - Conor Daly once again took the fastest overall lap time at the second official series test this week at O'Reilly Raceway...
Daly Fastest at O'Reilly Raceway Park Official Test, Calderon Takes on First Oval Track
Indianapolis, Ind., May 7, 2010 - Conor Daly once again took the fastest overall lap time at the second official series test this week at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. Not only did the Noblesville, Indiana native take the fastest lap time of the two-day test, but he now also holds the record for the fastest lap time made in a Formula Mazda and one of the fastest lap times ever made on the .686-mile oval with a time of 20.187 and a speed of 122.336.
"I think this was one of the most productive tests I've ever done," said Daly. "We made a lot of progress from the first day to the second day. We worked really hard every session which paid off with more speed and a consistent car. I want to thank everyone on the team for the work they did for this test. I'm really looking forward to coming back to O'Reilly Raceway Park in a few weeks for the race."
Out of eight official test sessions, Daly had the fastest lap time in five of them, setting the tone for the race at O'Reilly Raceway Park that will take place at the end of May.
The past two days marked the first official track time on an oval this season for the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, and in turn, was the first time Tatiana Calderon of Colombia tried her hand driving at high speeds on the American-style racing track. The 17-year old rookie started the test with a lap time that was nearly three seconds off the pace as she took time to learn the style of oval-racing. By the final session, Calderon was only .5 off the fastest lap time made by her teammate-a drastic improvement from her lap time in the first session.
"It was really hard at first," said Calderon. "It was my first time driving on an oval track, and all day everything I did was new to me. I think we had a great car, though, because even though I started the test almost three seconds off the pace, I was only .5 off the pace at the end. I definitely was able to improve my driving for oval tracks, and since it was such a fast track, I think I will be able to improve on the road and street courses now, too."
"I'm extremely happy with the overall results from the official test," said Team Owner Ricardo Juncos. "We found this oval to be completely different than the ovals we competed on last year (Milwaukee Mile and Iowa Speedway), so we had to start from zero again and work extra hard to be fast. Every time we get together with Conor, we keep building a solid relationship between him and the team. Our communication level continues to improve, making it easier to work together, and he really did perfect work this week. I was so pleasantly surprised with how Tatiana did this week, too. It was especially difficult for her because not only had she never driven on an oval track before, but she has so little experience driving a Formula Mazda. In the last practice, she was only .5 off of Conor, so I was really impressed with her.
"I feel so confident for the upcoming race on this track with both of our drivers because in both situations, I think we can repeat our results from this week's test. I'd also like to say a big "thank you" to all of the team members. We worked for two weeks and slept 3-4 hours a night, pushing ourselves to be ready for this test. I want to congratulate them on the accomplishments we made this week because they deserve it. Now, we are looking forward to the next race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and we will see what we can do there."
Up next for Juncos Racing and the Star Mazda Championship is Round Three at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California May 20-23. Following that event will be the race at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis May 28-29 as part of the "Night Before the 500" event.
-source: juncos racing