TWO TOP-10s FOR JDC MOTORSPORTS IN STAR MAZDA OVAL OUTING
Rookie standout De Phillippi and returning star Lara added to championship tallies with seventh and ninth place results at ORP
INDIANAPOLIS, IN. (May 31, 2010) - JDC MotorSports' first oval run of 2010 ultimately proved to be a success, as the Minnesota-based squad placed two drivers inside the top-10 on Saturday night (May 29) during Round Four of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at O'Reilly Raceway Park. Rookie Connor De Phillippi finished seventh in his formula car oval debut, just ahead of Caio Lara in ninth place. Chris Miller was classified 13th, after a mechanical failure ended his race prematurely.
The Minnesota-based squad, having achieved good success in the opening three rounds - one podium finish, three top-fives, one Expert Series win and two Masters Series wins - entered the first of two oval races on the Star Mazda calendar confident its drivers could challenge for top honors. That belief proved justified in the opening day, which featured three hour-long practice runs, as De Phillippi twice cracked the top-three on the speed charts.
Come the Night Before the 500 race day, De Phillippi continued to make his presence felt in the No. 11 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Justice Brothers/Sparco/Rock View Farms/Oakley/Power Balance/Reline Athletic/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry, turning the second and fifth best times in the two morning practice sessions. The MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver was not the lone JDC driver near the top of the timecharts however, as Miller placed his No. 85 Miller Milling/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports car third on the timing monitors during the first morning run.
De Phillippi continued to lead the JDC charge in two-lap single-car qualifying after the lunch break, earning a row two starting position with the fourth best combined time. Lara, having battled to find a rhythm on the banked oval, secured a row five grid spot with the ninth best time in the No. 19 MLD/ATW/Molecule/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports racer, while Miller qualified 12th.
Returning to the cockpits of their JDC steeds a few hours later under the lights, the trio enjoyed mixed results when the green flag waved for Round Four. De Phillippi got a good launch, immediately fighting for a top-three position. Lara likewise kept his nose clean, maintaining a place among the top-10. Miller was not as fortunate, as a broken alternator belt caused his engine to stop running, ending his race after just one lap.
Initially it appeared that JDC MotorSports was headed towards another potential podium finish, with De Phillippi remaining part of the multi-car fight for third place. Unfortunately as the planned 125-lap race progressed, the handling of De Phillippi's car steadily deteriorated, with the talented American fighting oversteer conditions. Brief brushes with the outside retaining wall further hampered the handling of his Star Mazda entry. De Phillippi refused to give up however, battling all the way to the checkered flag. The end result was a fourth consecutive top-10 finish via a seventh place result. Lara made it two JDC cars inside the top-10, retaining his ninth place starting position all the way to the checkered flag, his fourth consecutive top-10 as well.
The JDC MotorSports drivers and crew now have a brief break, before Round Five of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear on June 19th at Iowa Speedway.
-source: jdc motorsports