Star Mazda Championship points leader American Conor Daly again demonstrated the upward trajectory of his season as he topped the combined time sheets in the final practice sessions heading into Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's Round 3 of the 2010 season.
His lap of 1:21.271 in the #22 Juncos Racing / INDECK / The College Network / Merchant Services Ltd. / Tom Lange Co. Mazda served to position him as one of only three members of the '21' club…. All of whom set their quick time in the morning session. Also members in good standing are Scandinavian driver Anders 'The Viking' Krohn with a 1:21.365 in the #47 Andersen Racing / Norse Cutting & Abandonment / Trallfa / Colosseum Mazda and Frenchman Tristan Vautier with a lap of 1:21.627 in his #38 Andersen Racing / Moulin TP / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais Mazda.
"Even though the air temperature was quite cool in the afternoon, the track temperature was up from the sunshine and everyone went just a bit slower" said Daly, who won Round 2 at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and is the current points leader. "The Juncos Racing team has been fine-tuning the car and I think we have a very competitive setup for qualifying tomorrow morning and the race on Sunday morning. It does give both driver and team a bit of confidence to be quickest over two days of testing, but you have to stay focused when it counts."
Rounding out the top-5 were a newcomer to the sharp end, Canadian David Ostella in the #16 AIM Autosport / GP Global Precast Mazda. His lap of 1:22.205, set in the afternoon session, was the 4th-fast of the day. Quebec racer Mikael Grenier making a 5th-fast showing in his #17 Andersen Racing / Slow Cow / April Super Flow / NAPA Auto Parts / HS Telecom / Desharnais Mazda. The debut of his new sponsor has been the cause of some bemusement in the paddock. Slow Cow is a 'relaxation drink' and, in a sport largely fueled by energy drinks, if the conventional wisdom of swimming against the tide being the way to success holds any truth, this company should be rich and famous by early next week.
The top-11 cars were all within a second-and-a-half of each other and both qualifying and the race promise to be very competitive affairs. Qualifying takes place from 9:20 am to 10:05 am Saturday, May 22. The 45-minute Round 3 of the 2010 Star Mazda Championship scheduled to take the green light for the Series' traditional standing start at 9:15 am Sunday, May 23.
INDECK, The College Network, Merchant Services Ltd.,
Norse Cutting and Abandonment, Trallfa Industries,
Moulin TP, Cecibon, Circuit du Laquais, Fontanel
GP Global Precast
Slow Cow, April Super Flow, NAPA Auto Parts, HS Telecom, Desharnais
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