THREE STAR MAZDA DRIVERS TO TEST INDY LIGHTS AT SEBRING -- CHAMPION CONOR DALY, TRISTAN VAUTIER AND NICK ANDRIES TO GET EXPERIENCE IN THE NEXT STEP UP THE OPEN-WHEEL LADDER Pacoima, CA (Oct. 20, 2010) -- Conor Daly, 2010 champion of the...
THREE STAR MAZDA DRIVERS TO TEST INDY LIGHTS AT SEBRING -- CHAMPION CONOR DALY, TRISTAN VAUTIER AND NICK ANDRIES TO GET EXPERIENCE IN THE NEXT STEP UP THE OPEN-WHEEL LADDER
Pacoima, CA (Oct. 20, 2010) -- Conor Daly, 2010 champion of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, will claim part of his career-enhancing prize package on the morning of Thursday, October 28th in Sebring, Florida when he climbs into the seat of an Andersen Racing Indy Lights car to begin a day of intensive testing to help prepare him for his next step up the open-wheel ladder. The Andersen team expects Daly to run 150 test miles during the day. 2010 Andersen Racing Star Mazda drivers Tristan Vautier and Nick Andries will also test the team's Indy Lights cars at Sebring.
Andersen Racing is the 2010 Star Mazda team champion and one of the leading development teams in North America; the team awards Firestone Indy Lights tests to its full-season Star Mazda drivers.
Daly's test is being made possible by Performance Friction and is part of a previously-announced expansion of the Indy Racing League's 'Road to Indy' program in which the 2009 and 2010 Star Mazda series champion is guaranteed a test with a top Firestone Indy Lights team. Andersen Racing is testing Vautier and Andries as part of its own development program.
"I'm really looking forward to the test and expect to learn a lot," says Daly, who graduated from his Indianapolis high school earlier this year. "Anytime a driver has the chance to get in a car with more horsepower, more downforce and more speed, it's both a pleasure and an opportunity. I'd like to thank Star Mazda, Performance Friction and Andersen Racing for all the effort they're making to help me take my career to the next level."
Daly, the 2008 Skip Barber Nationals presented by Mazda champion, drove his first season of Star Mazda Championship competition with backing from the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder; this unique driver development program which reaches all the way from karting to the top levels of motorsports, awards champions at each level a fully-funded ride in the next series up the ladder.
In his first season, driving for Andersen Racing, he won from the pole in Round 4 and scored six podiums to finish third in the championship. Switching to the Juncos Racing team in 2009, Daly won seven races and broke the series' all-time record with nine starts from the pole. His racing resume also includes winning the prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone, England in 2008 and the Stars of Karting Eastern TAG championship in 2007.
"Our goal has always been to provide our drivers with the most competitive, cost-effective and comprehensive opportunity to advance their careers," says Star Mazda Championship founder and CEO Gary Rodrigues. "Conor is obviously a superb open-wheel racer destined to rise to the top of the sport and we're happy to help him take the next step. This test is made possible by Performance Friction Company and Andersen Racing, and we'd like to thank them for their support."
The test is being conducted in cooperation with Performance Friction, the exclusive brake pad and disc supplier to both the Star Mazda Championship and the newly-announced Cooper Tires Presents USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda; Performance Friction is also the overwhelming brake component choice for teams competing in the Firestone Indy Lights. All three series are part of the Indy Racing League's 'Road to Indy' program. PFC also supplies a variety of open-wheel series in Europe, Japan, Australia as well as NASCAR, IZOD IndyCar Series, ALMS, FIA, ACO, JGTC, V8 Supercar and Grand-Am just to name a few.
"The Star Mazda Championship is a terrific series that produces some of the top racing talent in the sport today," says Don Burgoon, President of Performance Friction. "Open-wheel racing is in our company DNA and we're doing all we can to support these rising stars as they climb the motorsports ladder. It is our goal to support the Road to Indy program at every level and provide these drivers with the very best equipment on the way up."
Daly's Indy Lights test is one element of a comprehensive package of cash and prizes valued at more than $1.5 million for which drivers in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship were competing. Another top prize is the VISITFLORIDA Cup, a 7-race championship-within-a-championship; the grand prize for the top-finishing driver in those events is a custom-designed dream vacation in Florida courtesy of VISITFLORIDA, the state's official tourism marketing corporation and sponsor of the 2010 Star Mazda Championship television package which reached fans in more than 155 million homes worldwide.
-source: star mazda