ANDERS KROHN QUICKEST IN STAR MAZDA FIRST PRACTICE AT ST. PETE -- FAMILIAR NAMES TOP THE TIME SHEET IN FIRST-EVER STAR MAZDA SESSION ON ST. PETE STREET CIRCUIT Grand Prix of St. Petersburg/Friday, March 26 -- Familiar names topped the time sheet...
ANDERS KROHN QUICKEST IN STAR MAZDA FIRST PRACTICE AT ST. PETE -- FAMILIAR NAMES TOP THE TIME SHEET IN FIRST-EVER STAR MAZDA SESSION ON ST. PETE STREET CIRCUIT
Grand Prix of St. Petersburg/Friday, March 26 -- Familiar names topped the time sheet the first time ever that the cars and drivers of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear took to the streets at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix. Leading the list was Anders Krohn, pole-sitter for the Sebring season-opener last weekend. His lap of 1:11.798 (90.253 mph) in the #47 Andersen Racing / Norse Cutting & Abandonment / Trallfa / Colosseum Mazda sets a bar that is likely to be raised later today during the afternoon session from 4:00 -- 4:40 pm.
Second on the sheet, just .014-sec. behind, was Sebring race winner Tristan Vautier, who turned a lap of 1:11.812 (90.236 mph) in his #38 Andersen Racing / Moulin TP / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais Mazda. And rounding out the top-3 was Venezuelan Jorge Goncalvez, who qualified 7th and finished 2nd at Sebring in the #9 Team Apex / Wabash Capital Investments Mazda. He turned a lap of 1:12.329 (89.591 mph) around the 1.8-mile, 14-turn course.
Rounding out the top-5 were Brazilian Caio Lara with a 1:12.545 (89.324 mph) lap in the #19 JDC Motorsports / MLD / ATW Mazda and Richard Kent, who had a disastrous outing at Sebring when a driveshaft on his #33 Team GDT / Traka Mazda broke on the reconnaissance lap, leaving him stranded by the side of the track while the rest of the field took the green. He led early in the session and ultimately would up with a 5th-fast lap of 1:12.662 (89.180).
MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder scholarship winner Connor De Phillippi was 6th fast in the #11 JDC Motorsports / MAZDASPEED Motorsports / Skip Barber Mazda and the quickest of the trio of local drivers was St. Petersburg College student Nick Andries, who turned the 11th-fast lap of 1:13.574 mph (88.075 mph) in the #81 Andersen Racing / Team Pelfrey / Tampa Bay Auto Museum Mazda.
With a 17th-fast lap of 1:14.596 (86.868 mph), the quickest Expert Series (drivers 30-44 years old) racer was Californian Patrick O'Neill, making his first start of the season in the #64 / JDC Motorsports / O'Neill Construction Mazda. The fastest Master Series (drivers 45 and older) driver, with a 22nd-fast lap of 1:16.611 (84.583 mph) was Puerto Rico racer Carlos Conde in the #31 Team GDT / Pronto-GMT / Olympus Securities Mazda.