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Conor Daly on Star Mazda Pole in New Jersey
Conor Daly
After topping both practice sessions on Friday, Conor Daly went on to complete the trifecta with his first pole of the 2009 season.  With a lap of 1:15.696 sec. (102.831 mph) in the #22 Andersen Racing / College Network / Indeck / Cytomax Mazda, the son of racing legend Derek Daly will start from the inside of the front row for tomorrow's first race of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear double-header in the second annual Mazda Formula X weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

"The beginning of the season has been just OK, but to come here and rebound and get the pole and being fast all day is really good," said Daly, who has one podium and one top-5 in the first three races of the 2009 season and currently sits seventh in the championship battle. "It feels just great and it's very reassuring for me and the team.  This weekend the track seems a bit slower; when the Andersen team and I tested here last week we were really quite a bit faster than what the pole time was.  But I'm still pleased as long as everyone else is going a bit slower than me, it's OK.  I really like the track and it's been a great weekend so far."

Staring alongside Daly will be current championship points leader with two pole and two wins so far, Englishman Adam Christodoulou.  He proved his versatility by turning the fastest lap in two days of Star Mazda series testing at Iowa Speedway, his first-ever experience on an oval.  Coming back to the wooded road courses he is most familiar and comfortable with, his lap of 1:16.037 sec. (102.739 mph) in the #11 JDC Motorsports / Molecule Mazda puts him on the outside of the front row and in position to mount a serious challenge heading into the first turn.

Making a big, and well-deserved, jump up the ladder is the lone Scandinavian driver in the Star Mazda Championship, Anders "The Viking" Krohn."  Currently 9th in the championship battle with only one result in the top-6, at VIR, the 2008 FF2000 Champion is starting to run true to form.  His lap of 1:16.082 sec. (102.697 mph) in the #27 Mundill / Trallfa / Colosseum Mazda lines him up third on the starting grid, right behind Daly. 

In fourth, on the outside of the second row with a lap of 1:16.197 sec. (102.524 mph) in the #33 Andersen Racing / Traka / Allied Interior Products Mazda, is another name everyone expects to at the sharp end of the grid, Englishman Richard Kent.  After winning the final race of the 2008 season from the pole, he returned and qualified on the pole for the 2009 season-opener at Sebring.  He finished second there, and missed Round Two at VIR due to a non-racing injury.  He returned to battle in Round Three at Miller Motorsports Park, finishing fourth and securing – for the moment – the 8th spot on the championship points list. 

Another young driver taking a big step forward this weekend is Vancouver native Taylor Hacquard, now in his second season of Star Mazda Competition.  He currently sits 13th in the championship with a best finish so far this season of 12th in Round Three at Miller Motorsports Park.  His lap of 1:16.368 sec. (102.346 mph) in the #15 Kester Racing Team 3G / Wolfe Auto Group / Texas World Speedway Mazda puts him fifth on the grid, on the inside of row three. 

Rounding out the top-6 is another pleasant surprise; Michael Furfari, the youngest driver in the series.  Just 16 years old, he is 11th in the championship with a best finish of 9th in Round 3 at Miller Motorsports Park.  He turned the fastest lap in Star Mazda series testing at the Milwaukee Mile and his lap of 1:16.368 sec. (102.294 mph) in the #13 Juncos Racing / Furfari Paving Mazda grids him on the outside of row four for the start of tomorrow's 40-minute race.

The top-qualifying Expert Series driver (ages 30 – 44) is reining 2008 Expert Series champion Chris Cumming of Vancouver, B.C.    He has scored one class win and two class podiums finishes in three races so far this year and leads the Expert Series battle.  His lap of 1:17.433 sec. (100.887 mph) in the #16 Kester Racing Team 3G / Texas World Speedway / Motul Oil Mazda earns him the 16th spot on the 27-car grid.  Lining up just one row behind him is the current Master Series (drivers 45 and older) leader, Californian Mike Guasch, driver of the #91 JDC Motorsports / Molecule Mazda.  He has scored class wins in two of three races so far this season and leads the class.  His lap of 1:17.685 sec. (100.560 mph) earned him the 20th starting spot on the grid. 

The top-14 cars in the field are all within one second of each other, and the competition promises to be fierce in the first of two Star Mazda Championship races this weekend.  The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is a main race at the multi-event Mazda Formula X returns to New Jersey Motorsports Park this weekend – including Atlantic, Skip Barber, MX-5 and IMSA Lites; also featured Time Attack and Drifting exhibitions, tuner car and audio show.  All the weekend's Mazda-powered races will be broadcast live on HDnet.  There will be a live three hour broadcast each day from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm EDT.  The broadcast team will be led by veteran commentator Rick Benjamin and legendary race-driver Elliott Forbes Robinson.  Despite the fact that it's listed on the HDnet schedule at an Atlantic Championship broadcast, with no mention of any of the other races during the weekend, all the wheel-to-wheel Star Mazda Championship action will be covered live on both days.  To receive HDNet information via email simply go to www.hd.net/listpage.

It’s a double-header weekend for the Star Mazda Championship with races on both Saturday and Sunday.  The standing start for Race 1 on Saturday, June 13 will get the green light at 2:00 pm.  Qualifying for Race 2 takes place Sunday morning 9:20 – 10:00 am, followed by the race at 2:00 pm.

Round Four Qualifying
Friday, June 12, 2009

Pos No. Name Best Tm Diff Best Spd Club Sponsor
1 22 Conor Daly 1:15.969 102.831 Andersen Racing Indeck/Cytomax/Merchant Services/College Network
2 11 Adam Christodoulou 1:16.037 0.068 102.739 JDC Motorsports Molecule
3 27 Anders Krohn 1:16.082 0.113 102.679 Team Mundill Trallfa/Colosseum
4 33 Richard Kent 1:16.197 0.228 102.524 Andersen Racing Traka/Allied Interior Products
5 15 Taylor Hacquard 1:16.329 0.360 102.346 Kester Racing with Team 3G Wolfe Automotive Group/
6 13 Michael Furfari 1:16.368 0.399 102.294 Juncos Racing Furfari Paving
7 51 Alex Ardoin 1:16.385 0.416 102.271 JDC Motorsports Oral & Facial Surgery Center/Twister Trailer
8 17 Mikael Grenier 1:16.417 0.448 102.229 Andersen Racing NAPA Auto Parts/CAA-Quebec/HS Telecomm
9 72 Jorge Goncalvez 1:16.509 0.540 102.106 Aim Autosport
10 21 Denis Navarro 1:16.738 0.769 101.801 Andersen Racing Shock Doctor/Navarro Medicines Distribution
11 2 Joel Miller 1:16.780 0.811 101.745 JDC Motorsports Fader High Productions/esoles/Doug Mockett & Co
12 19 Caio Lara 1:16.834 0.865 101.674 JDC Motorsports MLD/ATW/Molecule
13 48 Kristy Kester 1:16.917 0.948 101.564 Kester Racing with Team 3G Texas World Speedway/Motul Oil/K&N Filters +
14 30 Rick Rosin 1:16.931 0.962 101.546 Team GDT FundeSporte/Governo Do ESTADO SANTA Catarina
15 3 Peter Dempsey 1:16.979 1.010 101.482 Aim Autosport Irish Sports Council/Queyside.ie
16 82 Billy Goshen 1:17.004 1.035 101.449 Goshen Motorsports Baker Commodities/GPSTrackit/OTTO
17 71 David Ostella 1:17.164 1.195 101.239 Aim Autosport GP Global Precast
18 66 Rusty Mitchell 1:17.208 1.239 101.181 Mitchell Motorsports Motorola
19 16 Chris Cumming 1:17.433 1.464 100.887 Kester Racing with Team 3G Texas World Speedway/Motul Oil/K&N Filters +
20 91 Michael Guasch 1:17.685 1.716 100.560 JDC Motorsports Molecule
21 77 Kevin Toledo 1:17.886 1.917 100.300 Eliseo THL Motorsports
22 55 Gerry Kraut 1:18.334 2.365 99.727 JDC Motorsports Doherty and Co./Doherty Funding LLC.
23 24 J.C. Kester 1:18.727 2.758 99.229 Kester Racing with Team 3G Texas World Speedway/Motul Oil/K&N Filters +
24 31 Carlos Conde 1:19.174 3.205 98.669 American Speed Factory MIO.TV
25 80 Toshihiro Deki 1:19.453 3.484 98.322 Goshen Motorsports
26 23 Walt Bowlin 1:20.483 4.514 97.064 Juncos Racing Hooters/Tampa Bay Jaw Surgery
27 61 Sean Burstyn - Juncos Racing V Collection

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