DE PHILLIPPI EXITS HOME RACE WITH STAR MAZDA ROOKIE LEAD MAZDASPEED Motorsports driver finished a season-best fourth at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca MONTEREY, CALIF. (May 26, 2010) - Connor De Phillippi further strengthened his position as a ...
DE PHILLIPPI EXITS HOME RACE WITH STAR MAZDA ROOKIE LEAD
MAZDASPEED Motorsports driver finished a season-best fourth at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
MONTEREY, CALIF. (May 26, 2010) - Connor De Phillippi further strengthened his position as a leading up-and-coming American open-wheel talent and Rookie of the Year contender this past weekend (May 22-23), with another impressive outing in Round Three of the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver scored a second consecutive top-five finish in the highly competitive series, taking the checkered flag in fourth in front of friends, family and supporters. De Phillippi exits his home race leading the Rookie of the Year title fight and fourth overall in the championship chase.
Racing on home soil - California - for the lone time in 2010 series competition, De Phillippi was excited about getting the opportunity to once again showcase his skills behind the wheel in front of loved ones and supporters. That being said, the highly-rated Californian focused on using the opening two test sessions on Thursday and two practice runs on Friday to fine tune his No. 11 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Justice Brothers/Sparco/Rock View Farms/Oakley/Power Balance/Redline Athletics/Red Line Oil JDC MotorSports entry for the always important qualifying session on Saturday, rather than go after a fast time.
De Phillippi, have posted times just outside of the top-five throughout the first four sessions, entered qualifying confident he could post a quick time on the undulating road course in northern California. That belief proved justified, as despite battling traffic throughout his run, De Phillippi ended qualifying fifth - quickest among the JDC MotorSports contingent - earning a row three starting position.
Returning to the cockpit of his Star Mazda steed one-day later, De Phillippi was aware that getting a good launch from the now traditional standing start and avoiding any first turn drama would be key to a good result. The 17 year-old reigning Skip Barber National champion did just that, rapidly working his way forward to fourth place. With passing opportunities at a premium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, De Phillippi focused on running mistake-free fast laps, hoping that those in front would make an error. While De Phillippi was able to repeatedly pressure the driver ahead, he was unable to find a way past. The end result was a career best fourth in his third-ever Star Mazda Championship race.
"This race weekend was a great success," stated De Phillippi. "The car in the race was spot on, and everything just seemed to click. Once again we had another top-five finish, which moves us further up in the point standings. I can not thank the team enough for all the hard work they have been putting in!"
De Phillippi now travels to the spiritual home of formula car racing in North America - Indianapolis - in order to take part in Round Four of the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear on Saturday night (May 29) at O'Reilly Raceway Park. De Phillippi enters the famed Night Before the 500 event - the first of two ovals on the series calendar - fourth in the overall championship chase and leading the Rookie of the Year fight.