JDC TO PUT WRAP ON CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON AT LAGUNA
Team paddock stretches to five as drivers join champion Dane Cameron in Monterey
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (October 17, 2007) -- JDC MotorSports concludes its Star Mazda Championship this weekend (October 19-20) at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as the top team in the series. The Minnesota-based team enters the event as Driver and Team Champions, as well as home to the Rookie of the Year, following Round 11 at Road Atlanta two weeks ago.
Racing at the famed road course just outside of Monterey, Calif, JDC MotorSports will once again field a multi-car team in Round 12 of the Star Mazda Championship. Leading the way, for the three-time race winners at Laguna Seca will be series rookie Dane Cameron, piloting his No. 19 JDC MotorSports/Finlay Motorsports Star Mazda car. The Sonoma, Calif., native was recently crowned 2007 Series Champion and Rookie of the Year, after finishing eighth at Road Atlanta. Despite finishing out of the top-five for only the second time this season, Cameron scored enough points to capture the 2007 title, becoming the first rookie to do so in the 17-year history of the championship.
"Road Atlanta was a very up and down weekend for us," commented Cameron. "We suffered a few mechanical gremlins, as well as a mistake of my own that cost us track time and put us a little bit behind the eight ball in developing the right set up. We gambled a bit on our set-up for the race due to the drying track conditions and it worked out well and the car was great in the race. We managed to do what we needed to do to win the championship. It is a huge weight lifted to clinch the title a race early and have no pressure going into Mazda Raceway. I can't thank the JDC team enough for all of there hard work this year, giving me equipment capable to dominate the championship like we did. I have to thank Mazda for their support of the Star Mazda Series and for giving me the opportunity to move up to Champ Car Atlantics with a proper budget, I would not be able to do it without them. Now the goal is to end the season on a high note at Laguna Seca."
Nick Haye, having contested the entire season alongside Cameron at JDC, will once again be behind the wheel of his No. 37 JDC MotorSports/Quantum Sphere Star Mazda entry at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Currently sixth in the championship standings, a mere three points back of fourth, the Huntington Beach, Calif., driver will be seeking his first series win in the season-final. Entering the race in Northern California, Haye has two podium finishes in the past four races and a seventh place result in Georgia.
"Even though the race didn't go my way in Atlanta, I feel like I accomplished a lot," stated Haye. "I ran up front all weekend long, which gives me the confidence that I'm ready to take the "next step" and win a race. The team worked very hard to try and predict how the damp drying track was going to be for the race, even though our set-up wasn't ideal, I think overall we showed we had the speed to be at the front and that's where we are going to be at Laguna."
Contesting his third consecutive Star Mazda race, Gerry Kraut will pilot the No. 55 JDC MotorSports/Dougherty and Co. LLC Star Mazda in the Masters Series at Laguna Seca. Thus far in 2007, the North Oaks, Minn., native has won the class in three of the five races he has contested. At Road Atlanta, Kraut finished an impressive 11th overall en route to the Masters win.
Expanding to a five-car team in the Star Mazda season-finale, the regular JDC MotorSports pilots will be joined by Brian Thienes and Heamin Choi. Thienes will make his first Star Mazda start of the year in the No. 77 Thienes Engineering/JDC MotorSports Star Mazda entry, having previously raced with JDC in the series in 2006. This past year, the Huntington Beach, Calif., native has competed full-time in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship. Driving the No. 11 JDC MotorSports Star Mazda car, Choi will make his North America racing debut at Laguna Seca. A native of Korea, he enters the competitive championship having raced extensively in his homeland behind the wheel of a Formula Renault car and various touring cars.
JDC MotorSports will get its first chance to work on car setups on Thursday, October 18, when all five drivers will take part in a promoter's test day. Round 12 of the Star Mazda Championship official begins on Friday with two practice sessions prior to qualifying and the season-finale race on Saturday afternoon.