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DATE News (chronologically)
03/14/11
starmazda
Vautier Quickest on Day 1 of Star Mazda Spring Training  French racer Tristan Vautier, who scored two wins and finished 5th in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, set the pace in the first day of pre-season testing for the 2011 Star Mazda Championship at the IndyCar 'Spring Training' event at Barber Motorsports Park today.

Driving the #5 JDC Motorsports / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais Mazda, Vautier turned a lap of 1:20.831 (102.436 mph) on Lap 29 of the 45 minute morning session.  This is the first time the Star Mazda Championship cars have run on the 17-turn, 2.38-mile Barber Motorsports Park track, so his time stands – until tomorrow morning – as the unofficial lap record (official lap records in Star Mazda are recorded only in qualifying or the race).

Hot on his heels in the morning session when cooler temperatures and a thicker cloud cover kept track temperatures, and lap times, down was Chilean racer Martin Scuncio, who ran only the Star Mazda season finale in 2010 but very nearly stole the pole at Road Atlanta and figured heavily in the outcome of the race.  He turned a 1:21.557 (101.524 mph) in his #60 Juncos Racing / Fuerza Chile Mazda.  Third quick in the morning was Irish rookie Patrick McKenna making his Star Mazda debut after a runner-up finish in the 2010 USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda.  Driving the #48 Team GDT / Motorsport Ireland / Irish Sports Council / General Data Tech Mazda, he turned a lap of 1:21.626 (101.438 mph).

"What a great track this is!  There are so many great corners that you don't ever want to come into the pits," enthused Vautier.  "The track got very slippery in the afternoon with more sun, so the times were slower, but it was still so much fun to drive.  It's too early to tell anything about the drivers in the field or what the race will be like, but we're happy to be fastest on the first day, and we'll be working to keep it that way throughout the test."

In the afternoon, on a slipperier track, it was Scuncio who set the quick time of the session with a 1:21.361 (101.769 mph), with Vautier second at 1:22.483 (100.384 mph).  Sage Karam, the 2010 USF2000 national champion racing in the Star Mazda Championship with a scholarship from the Mazda Road to Indy, was third-quick in the afternoon with a lap of 1:22.502 (100.361) in his #88 Andretti Autosport / Comfort Revolution Mazda.  And turning the 4th-quick lap of 1:22.754 (100.056 mph) in the #10 Juncos Racing / JAC Motors Mazda was the lone female racer in the field, Colombian Tatiana Calderon.  A South American karting champion who made the jump directly to Star Mazda with Juncos Racing in 2010, she scored six top-10 finishes and was 10th in the championship.

Star Mazda Championship practice continues Tuesday, March 15, with sessions scheduled from 8-9 am and 1:00-1:45 pm; the final session of the test takes place 9-8 am, Wednesday, March 16th.  The first race of the 2010 season is scheduled to get the green light for the traditional Star Mazda standing start at 4:10 pm Saturday, March 26 at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.   

Monday Morning Session

Pos No. Name Best Tm Best Speed In Lap Diff Gap
1 5 Tristan Vautier 1:20.831 102.436 29 0.000 0.000
2 60 Martin Scuncio 1:21.557 101.524 45 0.726 0.726
3 48 Patrick McKenna 1:21.626 101.438 23 0.795 0.069
4 7 Joao Horto 1:21.912 101.084 39 1.081 0.286
5 10 Tatiana Calderon 1:22.047 100.918 40 1.216 0.135
6 11 Connor De Phillippi 1:22.425 100.455 35 1.594 0.378
7 81 Nick Andries 1:22.746 100.065 33 1.915 0.321
8 85 Chris Miller 1:22.827 99.967 38 1.996 0.081
9 27 Nick Mancuso 1:22.851 99.938 50 2.020 0.024
10 39 Richard Heistand 1:23.007 99.751 34 2.176 0.156
11 88 Sage Karam 1:23.046 99.704 14 2.215 0.039
12 66 Zach Meyer 1:24.047 98.516 45 3.216 1.001
13 20 Carlos Linares 1:24.952 97.467 22 4.121 0.905
14 72 Larry Pegram 1:25.058 97.345 24 4.227 0.106
15 26 Jeremey Daniel 1:26.402 95.831 37 5.571 1.344
16 23 Walt Bowlin 1:27.700 94.413 28 6.869 1.298

Monday Afternoon Session

Pos No. Name Best Tm Best Speed In Lap Diff Gap
1 60 Martin Scuncio 1:21.361 101.769 20 0.000 0.000
2 5 Tristan Vautier 1:22.483 100.384 10 1.122 1.122
3 88 Sage Karam 1:22.502 100.361 7 1.141 0.019
4 10 Tatiana Calderon 1:22.754 100.056 15 1.393 0.252
5 7 Joao Horto 1:22.935 99.837 18 1.574 0.181
6 48 Pactrick McKenna 1:23.180 99.543 11 1.819 0.245
7 11 Connor De Phillippi 1:23.250 99.459 5 1.889 0.070
8 66 Zach Meyer 1:23.429 99.246 18 2.068 0.179
9 85 Chris Miller 1:23.601 99.042 10 2.240 0.172
10 81 Nick Andries 1:23.690 98.937 16 2.329 0.089
11 39 Richard Heistand 1:23.776 98.835 17 2.415 0.086
12 20 Carlos Linares 1:24.487 98.003 13 3.126 0.711
13 27 Nick Mancuso 1:24.587 97.887 15 3.226 0.100
14 72 Larry Pegram 1:24.618 97.852 18 3.257 0.031
15 23 Walt Bowlin 1:26.893 95.290 12 5.532 2.275
16 26 Jeremey Daniel 1:27.840 94.262 20 6.479 0.947

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