Road Atlanta: AWR Friday notes

Andersen Walko Racing Tests at Road Atlanta In Preparation for Saturday's Race BRASELTON, Ga., April 15 - Andersen Walko Racing (AWR)'s engineers and mechanics were busy Thursday and Friday at Road Atlanta Motorsports Park trying to find more ...

Andersen Walko Racing Tests at Road Atlanta In Preparation for Saturday's Race

BRASELTON, Ga., April 15 - Andersen Walko Racing (AWR)'s engineers and mechanics were busy Thursday and Friday at Road Atlanta Motorsports Park trying to find more speed for their four drivers entered in Saturday's Star Mazda race presented by Goodyear.

Pablo Donoso, Jonathan Klein, Robbie Pecorari and Graham Rahal all turned laps during a promoter's test day Thursday as well as two official Star Mazda practice sessions Friday in preparation for tomorrow's qualifying session and the 30-lap/45-minute race on Road Atlanta's 2.54-mile road course.

Qualifying will be held Saturday morning from 8 a.m. until 8:45 a.m., with the 43-car field split into two groups of drivers who get 22 minutes each to establish the starting line-up. The race is scheduled to get the green flag at 12:40 p.m. Saturday afternoon. It is a support event to the Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta American Le Mans Series (ALMS) headliner on Sunday.

Raphael Matos has led every session so far, but the field is very close so anything could happen in qualifying and the race.

Donoso has been the fastest of the AWR drivers, running a 1:20.148 (114.089 mph) Friday morning in the Cristal Beer entry. He was third-fastest overall Friday afternoon with a 1:20.446 (113.666 mph).

Pecorari was third-fastest in two different sessions Thursday with his SAI Hydraulics entry.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Klein will be a guest of the Speed Freaks on a TV show that was taped in the Star Mazda pits at the season opener at Sebring, Fla. It will air on SPEED tomorrow night at midnight ET, 9 p.m. Pacific. The program will be replayed on Wednesday, April 20 at 8 a.m. ET, 5 a.m. Pacific.

TV viewers can see the Star Mazda season opener at Sebring on SPEED from 11 a.m. until noon Eastern time on Sunday, April 24. Saturday's Star Mazda race at Road Atlanta is scheduled to be aired on SPEED from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, May 29. Prior to that the third of 12 races will be held, however, as the series travels to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio for a race on Saturday, May 21.

Andersen Walko Racing's office is in Fairfield, N.J. and its shop is in North Versailles, Pa. For more information please see www.andersenwalko.com, www.starmazda.com, www.americanlemans.com and www.restartcommunications.com or call (973) 244-1900.

Driver quotes:

Pablo Donoso (Santiago, Chile): "We improved the car session by session, little by little. We started ninth and now we're third, so we should have a good qualifying position tomorrow.

"Eliseo [Salazar, his driver coach] is in Chile doing a rally this weekend.

"Road Atlanta is a really nice track. It reminds me of a track in Austria that I drove at last year in World Series Lights."

Robbie Pecorari (Aston, Pa.): "Things didn't go as well for me today as they did yesterday, but we learned some things and we're improving the car. We'll change our set-up for tomorrow and hope for the best."

Graham Rahal (New Albany, Ohio): "It's been a tough day, but we're working on it."

Jonathan Klein (Long Grove, Ill.): "We've changed everything we can change and we still haven't solved the problem. Everyone is working really hard, but it's really frustrating."

-awr-

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Graham Rahal , Robbie Pecorari , Pablo Donoso , Jonathan Klein