THE LEGEND'S LAD TAKES A LEAP -- CONOR DALY SETS FAST TIME IN FRIDY P2 FOR THIS WEEKEND'S ROUND 10 OF THE 2009 STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP AT THE 40TH RUNNING OF THE GP3R AT TROIS RIVIERES Trois Rivieres, Quebec (August 14, 2009) -- Conor Daly, ...
THE LEGEND'S LAD TAKES A LEAP -- CONOR DALY SETS FAST TIME IN FRIDY P2 FOR THIS WEEKEND'S ROUND 10 OF THE 2009 STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP AT THE 40TH RUNNING OF THE GP3R AT TROIS RIVIERES
Trois Rivieres, Quebec (August 14, 2009) -- Conor Daly, the 2008 Skip Barber Pro Series Champion, 2009 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder scholarship winner and victor in Round 4 at New Jersey Motorsports Park, took a giant leap today between P1 and P2 practice for Round 10 of the 2009 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at the 40th running of the GP3R at Trois Rivieres. Struggling with an overheating, ill-handling car in the morning session, he put in a very few laps, winding up 13th-fast out of 20 cars with a lap of 1:04.763 in the #22 Andersen Racing / College Network / Indeck / Cytomax Mazda.JWorking with his Andersen Racing engineers, Daly, who also happens to be the son of legendary F1/Indy Car racer and noted motorsports broadcaster Derek Daly, found the 'sweet spot' and turned the fastest lap of the session, a 1.01.978 -- still a tad shy of Peter Dempsey's qualifying record from last year, a 1:01.788, but the youngster from Noblesville, Indiana feels confident heading into tomorrow's mid-morning qualifying... and he's no rookie at this; the race he won in New Jersey he won from the pole.
"If the weather is cool enough, I'd expect qualifying to get into the low 1:01s," says Daly. "This is my first time here and I was hoping to put in a lot of laps this morning, but the exactly opposite happened.JIt's a measure of how good my team, Andersen Racing, is that we were able to overcome those twin handicaps and turn the fastest time this afternoon. Qualifying is another matter, or course, but I'm feeling good about it."
Setting the second-fast time, with a lap 8/10ths better than his morning effort, was Englishman Adam Christodoulou. Currently second in the championship battle and one of only two drivers who has won more than one race so far this season, Christodoulou turned a 1:02.129 in his #11 JDC Motorsports / Molecule / Alpinestars / Miller Milling Company Mazda.J Louisiana racer Alex Ardoin, was another driver making a big jump in his #51 JDC Motorsports / Oral & Facial Surgery Center / Twister Trailer Mazda; from a 9th-fast 1:04.504, he improved to a 1:02.538 in the afternoon. Slotting into the fourth place on the sheet was this season's dominant driver so far, Irishman Peter Dempsey. Second-fast in the morning with a lap of 1:02.991 in the morning, he dropped to fourth in the afternoon when a puncture curtailed his running early. His best lap was a 1:02.629 in the #3 Juncos Racing / HOOTERS / Motorsport Ireland / Queyside.ie Mazda. The other factor in this particular equation is that he's back to racing the Juncos Racing team's spare car; Walt Bowlin, who had been lending Dempsey his brand-new car -- with which he has won the past four races in a row -- returned to competition this weekend and re-claimed his car.
Finishing fifth in the session was a most pleasant surprise; Chilean driver Kevin Toledo, piloting the #77 Eliseo THL Mazda for the team owned by F1/Indy Car/Sports Car/Rally legend Eliseo Salazar. In his best effort so far this season, he turned a 1:02.693.
The quickest driver in the Expert Series for racers 30-44 years old was J.W. Roberts. Back after taking a few races off to welcome a new member of his family into the world, Roberts turned a 17th-fast lap of 1:03.888 in the #65 Team GDT / General Data Tech Mazda. Quickest among the Master Series drivers (45 years and older) was Californian Mike Guasch, who is currently leading the class. His lap of 1:04.035 in the #91 JDC Motorsports / Molecule Mazda was 18th-fast overall.