Road America: JDC MotorSports race report

STAR MAZDA PODIUM FOR JDC MOTORSPORTS IN WISCONSIN De Phillippi scores first top-three in Round 11 at Road America ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (August 24, 2010) -- JDC MotorSports paid another visit to the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear ...

De Phillippi scores first top-three in Round 11 at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (August 24, 2010) -- JDC MotorSports paid another visit to the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear podium on Saturday (August 21), with rookie leader Connor De Phillippi finishing third in Round 11 at Road America. Initially it appeared fellow rookie racer Chris Miller and Masters Series standout Gerry Kraut would add solid results to the Minnesota team's resume, however a mechanical failure and contact ended their days prematurely in 17th and 18th respectively. Series race winner Caio Lara was unfortunately unable to take part in the Wisconsin event, due to travel restrictions as a result of his passport and visa being stolen at the previous event in Canada.

JDC MotorSports has over the years enjoyed good success at its home track of Road America, as a result, expectations were high right from the moment the cars rolled out of the trailer. While the goal during Thursday testing and Friday practice was to work on finding the right setup for the high-speed 4.0-mile road course, rather than focus on quick times, De Phillippi promptly lived up to those expectations. The MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Driver challenged for top honors in the final run before qualifying on Friday afternoon, eventually ending with the second quickest time in his No. 11 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Justice Brothers/Sparco/Rock View Farms/Oakley/Power Balance/Reline Athletic/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry. Miller and Kraut also appeared poised to enjoy strong outings in Wisconsin, with the reigning F2000 Championship Series champion finishing just outside of the highly-competitive top-10, and the team co-owner going quickest among the Masters Series contingent.

One day later, the JDC MotorSports trio kept that momentum going in the lone qualifying run for Round 11. De Phillippi -- having won twice at Road America last year during his championship-winning Skip Barber National season -- challenged for the pole position right until the checkered flag waved, eventually earning his first-ever Star Mazda front-row starting position with the second best time. Miller earned a solid row sixth starting place with the 12th quickest time, while Kraut, having been unable to get the drafting help he had hoped for in the session, turned the 18th fastest time, second in the Masters class.

When the race lights went out a short time later on Saturday to get the action underway, all three JDC racers immediately came under attack for position. While De Phillippi lost two positions within the first few laps, the Rookie of the Year front-runner remained in contention for a podium finish and a potential win thanks to the drafting nature of Road America.

Not far behind, both Miller and Kraut were likewise engaged in heated drafting battles for position. Unfortunately, both racers strong early race performances were not to last. Lap seven witnessed Kraut spinning and impacting one of the concrete walls lining the circuit. While the former Masters Series race winner was able to get back going, the damage to No. 55 Dougherty and Co./Dougherty Funding LLC/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports was enough to force him to enter the pits and retire. One lap later, Miller followed his teammate into retirement, the result of a broken upright on his No. 85 Miller Milling/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports car.

The JDC MotorSports crew however remained upbeat, as De Phillippi was enjoying his best race thus far of his rookie season. Making the most of a late race full-course caution and the subsequent one-lap dash to the checkered flag, the talented California teenager worked his way up to third at the stripe, earning his first series podium finish.

De Phillippi and the rest of the JDC MotorSports crew had little time to celebrate however, as the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear continues its three races in three weeks run this coming weekend (August 27-28), with Round 12 at Mosport International Raceway. Entering the penultimate event on the series calendar at the high-speed road course just outside of Toronto, Ont., De Phillippi leads the Rookie of the Year chase and is fifth in the overall title fight. JDC MotorSports travels 'North of the Border' fourth in the Team standings.

-source: jdc motorsports

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Skip Barber , Gerry Kraut , Caio Lara , Chris Miller
Teams HART