DOUBLE PODIUM EFFORT FOR JDC MOTORSPORTS IN STAR MAZDA MILWAUKEE RUN Christodoulou regains the championship lead at the Milwaukee Mile MINNEAPOLIS, MN. (June 20, 2009) -- JDC MotorSports' first oval race in three years proved to be a success on...
DOUBLE PODIUM EFFORT FOR JDC MOTORSPORTS IN STAR MAZDA MILWAUKEE RUN
Christodoulou regains the championship lead at the Milwaukee Mile
MINNEAPOLIS, MN. (June 20, 2009) -- JDC MotorSports' first oval race in three years proved to be a success on Saturday as the Team Championship leaders in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear had two of its drivers standing on the podium after 100 laps of competition. Rookie star Adam Christodoulou regained the championship lead with a runner-up result, while Alex Ardoin finished a close third. Caio Lara was a strong eighth at the checkered flag, ahead of Joel Miller in 14th and Gustavo Linares in 20th.
A month after first testing at the fast and flat one-mile oval in Wisconsin, the JDC MotorSports drivers were back behind the wheel at the Milwaukee Mile via a Friday morning practice session. Utilizing the first session of the day to re-acclimatize themselves to the demands of oval racing and begin working on vital car setups, Lara (No. 19 MLD/ATW/Molecule/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports) led the JDC contingent with the fifth fastest time. Ardoin (No. 51 Oral & Facial Surgery Center/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports) was not far behind in seventh, while the trio of Miller (No. 2 Fader Higher Productions/eSoles/Doug Mockett & Co./Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports), Christodoulou (No. 11 Molecule/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports) and Linares (No. 20 CanTV/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports) struggled to find grip, eventually earning 12th, 17th and 21st on the timesheets.
Under increasing cloud cover and threat of rain, the second 30-minute practice session featured the JDC drivers continuing to fine-tune their Star Mazda cars in preparation for Saturday morning's qualifying session and the 100-lap afternoon race. Showing increased speed on the challenging oval, Lara was once again quickest of the group, turning the sixth fastest time. Ardoin, Miller and Christodoulou were not much further back, posting the 10th, 11th and 12th quickest times on the speed charts, while Linares in only his second event of the season was 18th fastest.
Unfortunately, this proved to be the last on-track session for the Star Mazda drivers prior to the race, as qualifying was canceled due rain forcing changes to the event schedule. As a result, the combined practice times was used to set the grid, placing Lara in sixth, Ardoin in 10th, Miller in 11th, Christodoulou in 12th and Linares in 19th.
When the green flag waved on Saturday afternoon, it immediately became apparent that the key to a strong finish at the Milwaukee Mile would be traffic management and keeping your nose clean. Both Christodoulou and Ardoin did just that, steadily working their way forward and remaining in constant contact with the leaders. When a late race caution bunched the field back together, the duo were positioned to battle for the win.
Getting a good launch when the racing action resumed, Christodoulou and Ardoin emerged from a hectic multi-car fight in turn one in second and third place. Running nose-to-tail over the course of the final few laps, the duo held their positions, giving JDC MotorSports a pair of podium finishes in the first series oval race since 2006. Lara, extending his run of top-10 finishes in every race thus far, crossed the stripe in eight, while Miller fell back to 14th at the checkered flag. Linares was classified 20th at the stripe.
The JDC MotorSports drivers and crew now have a short break, before the 2009 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear resumes on July 10th, with Round Eight at the Iowa Speedway. Christodoulou enters the event as the championship leader, thanks his second place finish at the Milwaukee Mile. Miller, Ardoin and Lara are in hot pursuit, currently lying third, fourth and fifth in the championship fight. JDC MotorSports holds a 32-point advantage in the team standings.