Championship Leader Conor Daly Wins Round Three at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Calderon Achieves First Career Top-Ten Finish [IMAGE] Monterey, Calif., May 23, 2010 - Conor Daly drove his ...
Championship Leader Conor Daly Wins Round Three at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Calderon Achieves First Career Top-Ten Finish
[IMAGE] Monterey, Calif., May 23, 2010 - Conor Daly drove his #22 Juncos Racing/INDECK/The College Network/Merchant Services Ltd./Tom Lange Co. car to a victorious win for the second time this season at this weekend's event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Though Andersen Racing's Tristan Vautier took the lead from Daly at the beginning of the race with an excellent start, a mistake made later on by the Frenchman presented an opportunity for Daly to reclaim his position at the front of the field, despite a piece on his front wing breaking during the race. The 18-year old will emerge from this weekend with the fastest overall lap time in the official test sessions and the official practice sessions, both his second pole position and win of the season, and a 20-point lead in the driver championship standings.
"It was another really good session on track with the Juncos Racing team," said Daly. "We had an okay start, but (Tristan) Vautier had a really, really good start. I tried to be conservative at first and stay behind him, and the car was really good behind him during the first few laps. When I needed to make a move, though, I tried to pass him on the inside line and couldn't pass. After that, I felt something wrong with the car-it turned out the front wing bracket had broken. It was definitely hard to catch up to Tristan (Vautier), but then he had a bit of a car issue, and I was able to take advantage. After I passed him for the lead, I focused on pulling a gap over (Anders) Krohn and looking for the checkered flag. The car was fantastic at the end of the race, even with the wing issue, so I was very happy with how today went and ready for Round Four."
Tatiana Calderon had a bit of a rough start to her rookie season with incidents in the first two races and an engine problem in yesterday's qualifying session, but in today's race, the 17-year old was finally able to secure her first top-ten finish in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, taking ninth place at the 2.238-mile road course and proving that with patience comes reward. Calderon, who started 16th due to an unlucky qualifying session, was able to drive a consistent, incident-free race, working her way up through the field and ultimately gaining seven positions.
"My start was really good," said Calderon. "I really enjoyed the race today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and I think I learned a lot of things this weekend that will help me for the upcoming races. The Juncos Racing car was really good once again, and of course I'm really happy with the team and happy for my teammate Conor because he did a great job today. I'm happy that I finally got to race this race and finish it without any incidents. Now I have more confidence going into the next race at O'Reilly Raceway Park."
"I'm obviously extremely happy again because it was another great weekend for us," said Team Owner Ricardo Juncos. "We've been working so hard all weekend and had everything under control for the race. (Tristan) Vautier had unbelievable start and passed Conor at the beginning of the race, but Conor managed himself very well in the race and was very patient. After (Tristan) Vautier made a mistake, Conor was able to regain the lead which was great for us. The whole team worked so hard once again for this result, so I'm very happy for everyone.
"With Tatiana, we had an issue at the start of qualifying causing her to start today's race further back than she should have. She put out consistent laps today, though, and finished ninth which is really good for her and her confidence going forward. I want to give a big thanks to all the team members on Juncos Racing for another long weekend of working all day and all night to be ready. I also want to extend an extra thank you to our engineer Ernie Gonella because he showed once again that he is a great engineer. Congratulations again to the team, and we are definitely looking forward to next weekend's oval at O'Reilly Raceway Park."
After a great weekend for both of the Juncos Racing drivers, the team will go into Round Four next weekend with some well-earned confidence. The next event in the Star Mazda Championship will take place May 28-29 on the .686-mile oval at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Indiana as part of the "Night Before the 500" event.