THREE TOP-10s & MASTERS WIN IN STAR MAZDA OPENER FOR JDC MOTORSPORTS Defending series champions score valuable points in Round One at Sebring MINNEAPOLIS, MN (March 23, 2010) -- JDC MotorSports took its first steps towards a second consecutive...
THREE TOP-10s & MASTERS WIN IN STAR MAZDA OPENER FOR JDC MOTORSPORTS
Defending series champions score valuable points in Round One at Sebring
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (March 23, 2010) -- JDC MotorSports took its first steps towards a second consecutive and third overall Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear championship title on Friday (Match 19), with a valuable points scoring performance in Round One at Sebring International Raceway. Series rookie Connor De Phillippi led the four-car effort for the Minnesota-based team with a seventh place finish, and was joined in the top-10 by fellow rookie Chris Miller in ninth and second-year driver Caio Lara in 10th. Team co-owner Gerry Kraut finished a strong 12th, earning the Masters Series win in the Florida season-opener.
The on-track action for the JDC MotorSports foursome commenced on Tuesday, with the drivers taking part in two pre-event test sessions on the historic Sebring road course. While the focus was on finding the ideal setup for the fast and bumpy track, the talented JDC racers were able to post some fast times. Both De Phillippi and Lara were able to crack the top-five, while Kraut ended the day quickest among the Masters contingent.
Day two featured the first official sessions of the year, with two 45-minute practice runs around the 3.7-mile track. As planned, JDC MotorSports continued to focus on car setups rather than overall speed, seeking to find the right mix for the drivers and track conditions.
When the lone qualifying session of the season-opener got underway on Thursday morning, both the drivers and crew were confident that they could challenge for the overall and Masters pole positions. While Kraut was able to post the fastest time among the Masters Series racers -- 15th overall -- in his No. 55 Dougherty & Co./Dougherty Funding LLC/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry, the rest of the JDC clan struggled to get the most from the track and their cars. Lara was quickest among the group, turning the ninth best time in his No. 19 MLD/ATW/Molecule/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports, just ahead of De Phillippi, who qualified 10th for his series debut. Series rookie Miller was 14th fastest in qualifying.
Round One of the 13-race Star Mazda Championship got underway just after noon on Friday, with the 23-car field launching from the traditional standing start. Getting away cleanly, the four JDC drivers were soon making the most of any opportunity to advance up the scoring charts. Both De Phillippi in his No. 11 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Justice Brothers/Sparco/Rock View Farms/Oakley/Power Balance/Reline Athletic/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry and Miller in the No. 85 Miller Milling/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports car were drivers on the move early on, with De Phillippi just outside the top-five and Miller within the top-10. Involved in heated battles for position throughout the 21-lap race, the JDC MotorSports race pilots managed to keep noses clean, ensuring a strong start to their 2010 campaigns. When the checkered flag finally waved, De Phillippi had finished a hard-fought seventh in his series debut, crossing the stripe just ahead of Miller in ninth and Lara in 10th. Kraut earned a place on the post-race podium, scoring the Masters Series win in Round One with a 12th place result.
The JDC MotorSports drivers and crew will have little time to rest following the season-opener, with Round Two of the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear taking place this coming weekend (March 27-28) on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., in conjunction with IndyCar Series. JDC MotorSports enters the first-ever series appearance at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg sitting third in the team standings, third in the Rookie of the Year chase and leading the Masters Series.