JDC MOTORSPORTS RETURNS TO STAR MAZDA PODIUM AT AUTOBAHN Lara added a runner-up finish to the Minnesota-based squad's resume in Illinois JOLIET, ILL. (August 4, 2010) - JDC MotorSports continued its recent run of form in the Star Mazda ...
JDC MOTORSPORTS RETURNS TO STAR MAZDA PODIUM AT AUTOBAHN
Lara added a runner-up finish to the Minnesota-based squad's resume in Illinois
JOLIET, ILL. (August 4, 2010) - JDC MotorSports continued its recent run of form in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear this past weekend (July 31-August 1) at the Autobahn Country Club circuit in Illinois. Brazilian Caio Lara led the way, scoring a runner-up result in Round Eight, before finishing ninth in Round 10. American rookie standout Connor De Phillippi added a top-five in race two of the doubleheader, while fellow rookie Chris Miller challenged for top-10 results in both races. Team co-owner Gerry Kraut and local track standout Jeff Garibotti - making his series debut with the team - narrowly missed taking home top honors in the Masters class.
Things got underway at the Autobahn Country Club for the talented JDC MotorSports contingent on Thursday, with all five racers taking part in the track test day. While the goal was to focus on car setup development rather than fast times, the squad still enjoyed good success. De Phillippi led the way in the afternoon run, posting the fastest time in his No. 11 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Justice Brothers/Sparco/Rock View Farms/Oakley/Power Balance/Reline Athletic/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry. He was joined in the top-10 in both sessions by Lara. An Autobahn member since it first opened, Garibotti - making his pro racing debut - also shined, leading the Masters racers in the two runs.
That trend continued on day two during the two practice sessions, despite the sudden arrival of rain in the afternoon. Both De Phillippi and Lara continued to show they would be part of the mix for top honors come race time, cracking the top-five during practice, while both Garibotti and Kraut were among those challenging for the fast Masters time.
Difficult wet conditions greeted the Star Mazda drivers during Saturday morning qualifying, and unfortunately things did not go according for the JDC clan. Battling not only a slick track, but also a good deal of traffic, De Phillippi and Lara in particular were not able to post the sort of times desired. As a result, De Phillippi qualified sixth, Lara ended up 13th on the grid, and Miller posted the 16th best time. That being said, Garibotti used his extensive track experience to turn the 14th best time of the session - quickest among the Masters class - in his No. 75 JDC MotorSport car. Not far behind on speedcharts, the No. 55 Dougherty and Co./Dougherty Funding LLC/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry of Kraut was 17th fastest.
After a short break, in which time the rain stopped and the track dried, it was time for Round Eight of the 2010 campaign. Right from the get go, Lara's No. 19 MLD/ATW/Molecule/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry was a car to watch. Making the most of every opportunity, the Brazilian worked his way forward on a track which is known to be difficult to complete passes. De Phillippi appeared to be following suit, however contact with another racer subsequently damaged his car and ended any chances of top result. The Minnesota-based team suffered a further setback late in the race, as Miller crashed his No. 85 Miller Milling/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports car while battling for a top-10 place. That being said, the morale of the squad remained high, as Lara charged his way into a podium position. In the end, Lara followed up his inaugural win in Round Six with a superb runner-up result in race one of the Autobahn doubleheader. De Phillippi, having being forced to battle an injured car for over half a race, was the next JDC driver to the stripe in 14th, just in front Garibotti in his series debut. Kraut was 19th after a race-long fight for position with fellow Masters drivers, while Miller was classified 22nd.
In a repeat of the previous day's action, Sunday featured a morning qualifying run, followed by the headline race in the mid-afternoon.
Initially it appeared Lara was poised to build on his race one podium run, thanks to his second-row starting position. That vanished however soon after the lights went out, as the third-year racer was judged to have jumped the start, resulting in a drive through penalty. As Lara served his penalty, attention turned to De Phillippi, with the Californian steadily moving forward from his eighth place starting position. Not to be out done, Miller, Garibotti and Kraut were also advancing up the charts as the race progressed. As the race passed the halfway mark though it was Lara who was again getting the fans attention. Turning times significantly quicker than those around him, Lara worked his way from the rear of the field back into the top-10. When the checkered flag did wave to end the 21-lap affair, De Phillippi had re-ignited his Rookie of the Year chase with a fifth place finish, while Lara, in one of the drives of the day, crossed the stripe in ninth. Miller, in a good recovery drive following his race one accident, took the flag in 13th, just ahead of Garibotti and Kraut in 17th and 18th.
JDC MotorSports' continued chase for a third Star Mazda Championship series title resumes on August 14-15, with the series annual visit to renowned Trois-Rivieres street circuit in Quebec. Entering Round 10, Lara lies third the championship chase, De Phillippi is third in the Rookie of the Year fight, Kraut is second in the Masters class and JDC MotorSports is third in the team standings.
-source: jdc motorsports