-- THE NEXT LEVEL OF OVAL EDUCATION -- Star Mazda drivers head for second annual 'Pizza Ranch 100' at Iowa Speedway with championship leader Conor Daly looking to make it four in a row Iowa Speedway / Newton, Iowa -- The rising open-wheel stars...
-- THE NEXT LEVEL OF OVAL EDUCATION --
Star Mazda drivers head for second annual 'Pizza Ranch 100' at Iowa Speedway with championship leader Conor Daly looking to make it four in a row
Iowa Speedway / Newton, Iowa -- The rising open-wheel stars of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear head for Round 5 of the 13-race 2010 season at the 7/8ths-mile Iowa Speedway tri-oval this weekend. This is the second of two oval races during the season, and represents a graduation to the next level of oval education for this strong field of top young racers from around the world.
Having distinguished themselves with a clean, exciting 115-lap race during the 'Night Before the 500' at the .626-mile O'Reilly Raceway Park on May 29, during the course of which they were turning laps in the 120 mph range, drivers will now be averaging 145 mph in 100-laps of wheel-to-wheel competition in the second annual Star Mazda Pizza Ranch 100 on Saturday, June 19. IndyCar drivers who graduated from the Star Mazda Championship include Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Raphael Matos.
The field is expected to take the flag at 7:15 pm for a 45-minute race that is part of the 'Road to Indy' activities (including the USF2000 and Indy Lights races) leading up to the IndyCar Iowa Corn 250 on Sunday. On-track action for all three Road to Indy series will be broadcast live via streaming video available at both www.IndyCar.com and www.StarMazda.com.
Currently leading the Star Mazda Championship having won the last three races in a row is Conor Daly, driver of the #22 Juncos Racing / INDECK / The College Network / Merchant Services Ltd. Mazda. Daly, who graduated from his Indianapolis high school on May 14, is the son of Formula One and Indy Car racing legend Derek Daly (now a noted motorsports broadcaster). This is his second year of Star Mazda Championship competition and he finished 2nd in this race last year after qualifying 8th.
Of the drivers in the field for this event, five also competed here in 2009 when the Star Mazda Championship cars shared the stage with the ARCA RE/MAX cars at the Prairie Meadows 200 on July 10. They include Canadian David Ostella (#16) who started 5th and finished 3rd; Texan Rusty Mitchell (#66) who qualified 6th and finished 4th; Norwegian racer Anders 'The Viking' Krohn (#47) who qualified 9th and finished 6th; Brazilian Caio Lara (#19) who qualified 17th and finished 9th and Venezuelan Jorge Goncalvez (#9) who started 14th and finished 21st.
Rookies who bear watching on the strength of their performance at O'Reilly Raceway Park include Canadian Mikael Grenier (#17) who qualified on the pole and finished 2nd, Brazilian Joao Victor Horto (#18) who finished 3rd, Frenchman Tristan Vautier (#38) who crossed the line in 6th place and Californian Connor De Phillippi, the current MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder scholarship winner. He was the 2009 Skip Barber Pro Series champion and is one of three open-wheel 'ladder series' champions in the field, including Chris Miller (#85) the 2009 Formula 2000 champion, and Carlos Linares (#20) the Venezuelan Formula 1600 champion.
-source: star mazda