PAIR OF STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP FINISHES FOR JDC MOTORSPORTS IN NEW JERSEY Christodoulou and Ardoin help Minnesota-based squad retain the Team Championship lead MILLVILLE, N.J. (June 13, 2009) -- In what was the first of...
PAIR OF STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP FINISHES FOR JDC MOTORSPORTS IN
Christodoulou and Ardoin help Minnesota-based squad retain the Team Championship lead
MILLVILLE, N.J. (June 13, 2009) -- In what was the first of two doubleheader events for the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear this season, JDC MotorSports scored four podium finishes and valuable points in pursuit of capturing a second championship title over the weekend (June 13-14) at New Jersey Motorsports Park. English rookie standout Adam Christodoulou finished a close second in Round Four, just ahead of his Brazilian teammate Caio Lara in fourth and American JDC counterpart Joel Miller in fifth, while team co-owner Gerry Kraut captured the Masters win. One day later, JDC's Alex Ardoin was the race runner-up in Round Five, ahead of Miller in fourth and Lara in fifth, while Michael Guasch added another Masters Series win to his JDC resume.
Given the results in the opening three events, four wins (two in the Masters series), 11 podiums and two pole positions, it came as no surprise that the JDC MotorSports drivers were immediately among those challenging for both the overall and Masters Series top honors when the action got underway at NJMP. This was evident throughout the five testing and practice sessions prior to qualifying, as JDC Motorsports routinely had cars among the top-five. Come qualifying things did not go quite according to plan however. While Christodoulou narrowly missed securing a third pole position in his No. 11 Red Line Oil/Molecule/JDC MotorSports entry, eventually earning a P2 starting position, Ardoin, Miller and Lara were unable to match the pace previously shown, qualifying seventh, 11th and 12th respectively. The two leading drivers in the Masters Series, Guasch took the class pole in his No. 91 Molecule/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports car, 20th overall, just ahead of Kraut in 22nd.
Despite New Jersey Motorsports Park being a notoriously difficult track to execute a pass, several JDC Motorsports drivers were able to work their way forward come Round Four later in the day. Christodoulou got an excellent launch from the standing start, leading the field into turn one. The championship leader entering the event however soon relinquished the lead to the polesitter, settling into second place. Not far behind, both Lara and Miller managed to avoid the off-course excursions of several cars in turn one, immediately slotting in fourth and fifth. Guasch and Kraut also enjoyed clean getaways, holding first and second in the Masters class. Over the course of the next several laps, the order remained constant. That changed on lap 18, when suddenly JDC MotorSports lost two of its drivers. Ardoin, having been forced off-course in turn one on the opening lap, suddenly slowed and retired with an electrical failure. Almost at the exact same time, Guasch spun and was subsequently involved in an incident when he pulled back on-course.
While the ensuing re-start provided the remaining JDC MotorSports drivers the opportunity to further advance up the charts, none of them were able to make a pass for position stick. When the checkered flag waved, Christodoulou had added a second place finish to championship-leading Star Mazda resume, Lara had matched his best result of the season with a fourth place finish, Miller had extended his top-five finish streak to four, and Kraut had his first win of the season in the No. 55 Dougherty & Co./Dougherty Funding LLC/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports car. Ardoin and Guasch were classified 25th and 27th.
Thanks to continued strong work from the JDC crew, all the drivers, except Kraut who traveled home for an important business meeting, were back on-track and near the front in the second qualifying session of the Mazda Formula X event on Sunday. This time it was Ardoin in the No. 51 Oral & Facial Surgery Center/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports who narrowly missed capturing the pole position, turning the second fastest time, just ahead of Christodoulou in third, Miller in fourth, Lara in eighth and Guasch in 21st, first among the Masters drivers.
Much like the start of race one, the P2 spot lent itself to a good launch, as Ardoin briefly led before relinquishing the top-spot to the polesitter. The order behind soon shuffled, as Christodoulou's right front suspension broke, forcing him to slow and make his way to pitlane, just as the yellow flags waved for an incident on-track.
As the JDC crew frantically worked at fixing Christodoulou's No. 11 Red Line Oil/Molecule/JDC Motorsports machine, the racing resumed with Ardoin seeking a way past into the lead, just ahead of Miller and Lara, who were battling for fourth place. While the leaders ran in close formation lap after lap, the order remained constant. In the end, Ardoin scored his second runner-up finish of the season, while Miller's No. 2 Fader Higher Productions/Mockett/Burns Truck & Trailer/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports and Lara's No. 19 MLD/ATW/Molecule/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports crossed the stripe virtually nose-to-tail in fourth and fifth. Guasch resumed his winning ways in the Masters Series with an 18th place result. Christodoulou was classified 25th.
Oval racing is next on tap for the JDC MotorSports Star Mazda Championship drivers, with Round Six taking place at the Milwaukee Mile on June 20th. JDC MotorSports remains the Team Championship leaders entering the event, with Miller, Christodoulou and Lara currently second, third and fourth in the championship standings. Guasch and Kraut are one-two in the Masters Series title chase.