Kenney On Pace in Star Mazda Test Debut Sterling, Virginia (December 23, 2008) -- Virginia's Liam Kenney wrapped up his 2008 on-track activities last week with a maiden two-day test outing behind the wheel of a 240bhp Star Mazda race...
Kenney On Pace in Star Mazda Test Debut
Sterling, Virginia (December 23, 2008) -- Virginia's Liam Kenney wrapped up his 2008 on-track activities last week with a maiden two-day test outing behind the wheel of a 240bhp Star Mazda race car. The 16-year-old, who finished runner-up in the VW Jetta TDI Cup Series this season, returned to American open-wheel action courtesy of a test at Texas World Speedway with Kester Racing.
Liam's Star Mazda outing followed his debut in the Formula ADAC Masters Championship in Germany at the end of October. The teenager's only competitive open-wheel event this year proved to be a positive affair, racing for Ma-Con Motorsport, as the American recorded a solid seventh place finish on his series debut at Hockenheim.
The German-based series, powered by Volkswagen, was an attractive proposition for Kenney, not least given his affiliation with the manufacturer after a successful year competing in the inaugural VW Jetta TDI Cup Series. Liam's first season racing saloons resulted in two victories from a total of four podium finishes and seven straight top-ten scores. The only driver to record multiple victories, Kenney was also the youngest driver in the 30-strong field and he took the title-fight all the way to the wire with eventual champion Josh Hurley -- a mere five points the difference between the two chargers by season's end.
Last week's Star Mazda test with Texas-based Kester Racing, who ran Kristy and J.C. Kester in the 2008 Star Mazda Championship, gave Liam the opportunity to step-up from the 2.0-litre Formula Renault racer he steered to three victories in 2007 in the Formula TR Pro Series. The Sterling-resident wasted little time in learning the car and track, both new experiences for Liam, and he was quickly pacing the times set by the series regulars present at the test.
"I was really impressed with the Star Mazda car," stated Kenney. "It pulls through the power band like nothing else I've experienced and it was a really exciting car for me to drive. It blended some of the elements of the Formula Renault race car I'm used to, and the Formula ADAC car I raced in Germany, but with way more power! It was a good test, I felt extremely comfortable in the car and it's given me a good reference point for Star Mazda.
"I had a great season in the VW Jetta TDI Cup Series, I loved driving those cars, but it definitely feels right for me when I'm strapped into a Formula car. I was happy to get back on my feet in the Star Mazda test; it was a good way to wrap 2008. Overall it's been a great season for me and I've had some amazing experiences which will only serve to make me an even more versatile driver for the future."
Liam now heads into the Christmas and New Year holiday reviewing a variety of options open to him for racing in Europe and the U.S. in 2009.