CHRISTODOULOU THE MAN TO BEAT IN STAR MAZDA ROUND THREE AT MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK MMP (May 15, 2009) -- English racer Adam Christodoulou, fastest in three of the four practice sessions leading up to tomorrow morning's qualifying session is ...
CHRISTODOULOU THE MAN TO BEAT IN STAR MAZDA ROUND THREE AT MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK
MMP (May 15, 2009) -- English racer Adam Christodoulou, fastest in three of the four practice sessions leading up to tomorrow morning's qualifying session is looking very much like the man to beat in tomorrow afternoon's Round Three of the 2009 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at Miller Motorsports Park. And his team, JDC Motorsports, is also looking strong with all four of their cars -- Christodoulou, Joel Miller, Alex Ardoin and Caio Lara -- in the top four spots on the time sheet. Christodoulou, driving the #11 JDC Motorsports Mazda turned his lap of 1:44.710 (104.792 mph) on lap 12 of the 45-minute session.
"You've always got to find a happy medium in deciding how hard to drive on any particular track," said Christodoulou, who won the season-opener at Sebring and is currently tied with Round Two winner Peter Dempsey for the championship lead. "At the moment, we just put new tires on and it seems to be totally hooked up all the way around the track. The hairpins you drive extremely hard into and brake as late as possible; they've got some different tarmac down in the hairpins and it just seems to be that you put your foot down and the car just shoots off the corner. The track is extremely smooth and that generates more grip, which allows you to run the car lower-- the only thing you do fear is the stones that get on the track when people go off. The track is probably one of the smoothest I've been on and the facilities here are just awesome. The thing for qualifying will be to make sure I get some clear track, keep my head down and just do what I've been doing all day. If I can get three or four clear laps in and go a bit faster each lap, we'll be good. You can't help but think about the race a bit as you get this close, but qualifying is first and that's what we need to focus on."
His teammate, Joel Miller, driving the #2 JDC Motorsports / Fader Higher Productions / Mockett / Burns Truck & Trailer Mazda, has been among the fast runners since practice began Thursday morning and turned his fastest lap of 1:44.786 (104.716 mph) on lap 9 of the session.
"I definitely have something for Adam in qualifying tomorrow morning, especially after the way the car felt after this last session," said Miller, who won the 2008 season opener at Sebring and finished second in last year's championship. "He and the rest of the team came here and tested last week and I wasn't able to, so I've been just catching up through the first three sessions... we were nipping at it, nipping at it and I told my engineer Pete Mercier 'We've got to make a big change.' So we did, and boom, straight to the front. Adam, being my teammate, I kind of know what he did, and I know he went out on new tires and I still had my used tires from the previous session. So fresh tires are one of the things I still have in my tool bag for tomorrow, tires are a little bit in there... also, the lap I did that was so close to his wasn't perfect. I went back out for a two-lap run after the red flag because there was still five minutes left in the session, and I was on pace to match his time and my guys were on the radio telling me 'push, push, push' and I pushed just a little hard and went off. There was no damage, just dust and stones. So I'll just back it off just a bit tomorrow. Qualifying should be entertaining to watch and fun to drive."
Louisiana racer Alex Ardoin, also a member of the JDC juggernaut, turned a lap of 1:44.982 (104.521 mph) in his #51 JDC Motorsports / Oral & Facial Surgery Center / Twister Trailer Mazda on lap 6 of the session, while Brazilian Caio Lara did his fast time on lap 3, turning a 1:45.205 (104.299 mph) in the #19 JDC Motorsports / MLD / ATW/ Molecule Mazda. The lone member of the top-5 not driving for JDC is Irishman Peter Dempsey who set a time of 1:45.452 (104.055 mph) in the #3 AIM Autosport / Motorsport Ireland / Queyside.ie Mazda. And putting in a splendid effort to set the 6th-fast time of the session was Michael Furfari, driving for a team new to the Star Mazda Championship series, Juncos Racing. He turned a lap of 1:45.485 (104.022) in his #13 Juncos Racing / Furfari Paving Mazda.
-credit: star mazda