JDC MOTORSPORTS ADDS ANOTHER STAR MAZDA PODOUM FINISH TO RESUME IN ST. PETE Lara scores first top-three result and joined on podium by Expert Series winner O'Neill ST. PETERSBURG, FL. (March 30, 2010) - JDC MotorSports first-ever visit to the St.
JDC MOTORSPORTS ADDS ANOTHER STAR MAZDA PODOUM FINISH TO RESUME IN ST.
Lara scores first top-three result and joined on podium by Expert Series winner O'Neill
ST. PETERSBURG, FL. (March 30, 2010) - JDC MotorSports first-ever visit to the St. Petersburg street circuit in Florida proved to be highly successful, with the Minnesota-based squad placing two drivers on the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear podium in Round Two on Sunday (March 28). Caio Lara rebounded from a heavy crash in qualifying to earn his inaugural series podium result, and was joined in the post-race celebrations by Expert Series class winner Patrick O'Neill. Connor De Phillippi added another top-five finish to the JDC tally, while fellow American Chris Miller finished 15th after running in the top-10 early on.
Only a few days after starting the 2010 Star Mazda Championship down the road in Florida at Sebring International Raceway, the JDC MotorSports racers were back behind the wheel for the series first-ever visit to the St. Petersburg street circuit. Day one on-track, as planned, featured all four JDC drivers determining the grip levels around the 1.8-mile race course during two practice sessions, while also working on the ideal setup for qualifying and the race. Setting the stage for what would ultimately be impressive runs come race day, Lara led the way among the JDC contingent in both sessions, while O'Neill was quickest among the Expert Series racers - drivers aged 30 to 44.
Split group qualifying on Saturday morning proved to be a mixed affair for the JDC drivers and crew. O'Neill got things going in the right direction in the opening group - featuring those in the lower half of the current championship standings - by challenging for top honors en route to posting the fastest Expert Series time in his No. 64 O'Neill Construction/Red Line Oil JDC MotorSports entry. That trend continued in the second group, as Lara, De Phillippi and Miller immediately moved into the top-10 on the speedcharts. Unfortunately, just as Lara placed his No. 19 MLD/ATW/Molecule/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports in third place, the well-liked Brazilian crashed heavily, significantly damaging his car. Unable to clear the incident on track in the time remaining, qualifying ended with Lara in third, De Phillippi in sixth, Miller in eighth, and O'Neill in 18th, P1 in the Expert Series.
Thanks to expert work by the highly talented JDC MotorSports crew throughout the remainder of the day and night, Lara was back behind the wheel on row two of the grid for the traditional standing start on Sunday morning. Getting away cleanly when the lights went out to commence Round Two of the Star Mazda Championship, all four JDC racers were immediately involved in heated battles for position. Lara, showing no ill effects from his qualifying incident, led the way in second, only a few car lengths ahead of De Phillippi's No. 11 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Justice Brothers/Sparco/Rock View Farms/Oakley/Power Balance/Reline Athletic/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry, the teenager having advanced into the top-five. He in turn was no more than a few car lengths ahead of Miller's No. 85 Miller Milling/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports car. Overcoming two early race full-course cautions and re-starts, Lara battled all the way to the checkered flag, scoring his first series podium finish with a third place result. De Phillippi, enjoying his best series result to date as well, finished a hard fought fifth at the stripe. O'Neill was the next JDC racer to the line, earning the Expert Series win with a 14th place result in his first outing of a limited 2010 campaign with JDC MotorSports. Miller was poised to add another top-10 result to his Star Mazda resume, before a late race spin relegated him to 15th in the final order.
JDC MotorSports continues its pursuit of back-to-back Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear titles on May 22nd, with Round Three taking place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Northern California. Prior to the race, the drivers and crew will travel to O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indiana - host of Round Four - for official series oval testing on May 5-6.
-source: jdc motorsports