VENEZUELAN ROOKIE CARLOS LINARES OUTRUNS THE BIG GUNS AND TOPS DAY 1 OF STAR MAZDA TESTING AT O'REILLY RACEWAY PARK O'Reilly Raceway Park / Friday, May 28 -- Venezuelan rookie Carlos Linares outran the big guns of the Star Mazda Championship ...
VENEZUELAN ROOKIE CARLOS LINARES OUTRUNS THE BIG GUNS AND TOPS DAY 1 OF STAR MAZDA TESTING AT O'REILLY RACEWAY PARK
O'Reilly Raceway Park / Friday, May 28 -- Venezuelan rookie Carlos Linares outran the big guns of the Star Mazda Championship and turned the fastest time of the first day of pre-race testing. Driving the #20 Linares Racing / IND Mazda in the final session of the day, on the final lap of the session, he turned a lap of 20.2555 sec. (121.925 mph)... and then backed the car into the wall on his 'pit in' lap.J "It was my mistake, but the car is not badly damaged and we will have it ready for practice and qualifying and the race tomorrow," said Linares, 2009 Venezuelan national FF1600 champion who races with backing from IND, Venezuela's National Institute of Sport. "The good thing is that the Linares team and my engineer Rob Ridgely have given me a car that makes it very easy to go fast. I was not pushing hard to do the quick time, just driving smooth and focusing on doing a perfect lap. The team is not so happy about having to work late to repair the car, but they are very happy to be the fastest."
Second-quick, by less than a tenth of a second, is current championship points leader Conor Daly. The son of racing legend Derek Daly has won the last two races from the pole and was quickest in two days of Series-sanctioned testing at O'Reilly Raceway Park earlier this month. His quick lap then was a 20.187; the best he managed today was a 20.340 in the #22 Juncos Racing / INDECK / The College Network / Merchant Services Ltd. / Tom Lange Co. Mazda. It should be noted, however, that Daly and the Juncos team chose to sit out the last session, run from 9:50 to 10:50 in the evening as they felt any data from the session would not be relevant to the race, scheduled to take the green flag at 8:10 tomorrow evening.
Rounding out the top-5 were Anders Krohn, currently second in the championship, with a lap of 20.465 in the #47 Andersen Racing / Norse Cutting & Abandonment / Trallfa / Colosseum Mazda and Mikael Grenier with a 20.651 in the #17 Andersen Racing / Slow Cow / April Super Flow / NAPA Auto Parts / HS Telecom / Desharnais Mazda. Fifth was 2009 Skip Barber Pro Series champion and MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder scholarship winner Connor De Phillippi with a time of 20.651 in the #11 JDC Motorsports / MAZDASPEED Motorsports / Skip Barber Mazda.
Star Mazda Championship on-track action continues with two one-hour practice sessions on Saturday morning, followed by a 1-hour, single-car qualifying session at 2:30 pm. The 125-lap race, Round 4 of the 13-race 2010 Star Mazda Championship season, is scheduled to take the green flag at 8:10 pm.
Courtesy of USAC, the Star Mazda race will be streamed live on IndyCar.com, as well as www.StarMazda.com.