California Home Soil Beckons for De Phillippi American up-and-comer Connor De Phillippi will get the chance to showcase his skills behind the wheel in front of friends and family this weekend (May 22-23), when the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear travels to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Round Three in Northern California. The MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver enters the lone race in his home state, having impressed in his inaugural two series outings with defending champions JDC MotorSports.
When De Phillippi secured a funded ride in the Star Mazda Championship – by virtue of winning the Skip barber National series last season – one of the first things the talented racer was looking forward too was racing on home soil at the famed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course. While the multiple karting champion and junior formula car standout has been fortunate to achieve success numerous times in California in his young career, including winning the Skip Barber Regional Western Series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, De Phillippi never tires of challenging for top honors in front of family, friends and supporters.
The goal right from the get go for De Phillippi upon entering the 2010 Star Mazda Championship with JDC MotorSports has been to continually get better each time he gets behind the wheel, and be in position to fight for podium positions and wins. Piloting the No. 11 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Justice Brothers/Sparco/Rock View Farms/Oakley/Power Balance/Redline Athletics/Red Line Oil JDC MotorSports entry, the highly-rated Californian has done just that thus far in the opening two races of the 2010 campaign.
As part of the historic 12 Hours of Sebring event in March, De Phillippi finished a strong seventh in his Star Mazda Championship debut at Sebring International Raceway. The 17 year-old promptly followed that up with his first top-five run in Round Two, finishing fifth on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. De Phillippi as a result exited the season-opening rounds in Florida third in the Rookie of the Year chase and seventh in the overall championship fight. The MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver further strengthened his position as one of the top newcomers in the highly competitive junior formula car series recently by finishing with the fifth best time in official series oval testing at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indiana.
Given his strong start to the season, added with the fact he has a history of improving as he gains experience and confidence, onlookers would be well advised to keep an eye on De Phillippi when Round Three gets underway at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
“I can't wait to get on track!” stated De Phillippi. “Since I ran the Skip Barber Western Series several years ago, I have a lot of track time here. This weekend will be a huge weekend for both myself and the team. We have improved each time, and that is what we will try to continue this weekend. With my family here to back me, I am looking forward to a great result!”
De Phillippi and the rest of the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear field will get their first chance to sample the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course in California on Thursday (May 20), care of two 40-minute test sessions. Official action commences one day later, with a pair of 30-minute practice sessions. Qualifying for Round Three will take place on Saturday morning (May 22), with the cars slated to launch from the traditional standing start on Sunday morning (May 23) at 9:15 a.m. local time.
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