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DATE News (chronologically)
03/15/11
starmazda
Tristan Vautier Fastest Again in Star Mazda Day 2 at Barber  
Tristan Vautier
After an all-night rainstorm that thoroughly scoured the 17-turn, 2.38-mile Barber Motorsports Park track, it was again French racer Tristan Vautier who set the pace in Day 2 of Star Mazda Championship testing at IndyCar 'spring training,' - first on the wet track of the morning session and later on the dry and fast track that saw lap times dropping like a stone throughout the rest of the day. 

His 120.397 (102.989 mph) lap in the #5 JDC Motorsports / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais Mazda came on the 10th of 13 laps turned in the 30-minute final session.  This is the first time the Star Mazda Championship cars have visited Barber Motorsports Park and his time represents an unofficial lap record – unofficial since in Star Mazda lap records can only be set in qualifying or the race.  It is, however, a useful indicator, and a target for other drivers to shoot at in Wednesday's final 1-hour session… and during the race on the April 10.

In the wet morning session, Vautier turned a 1:27.969 (94.124 mph) in his #5 JDC Motorsports / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais Mazda vs. a quick time of 1:20.831 (102.436 mph) in the yesterday's morning session.  In the wet, Sage Karam was second-quick with a lap of 1:29.093 (92.937 mph) in the #88 Andretti Autosport / Comfort Revolution Mazda, followed by Nick Mancuso at 1:29.527 992.476 mph) in the #27 JDC Motorsports / Indeck / Lake Forest Sportscars / F.A.S.T. Race Products.  Mancuso provided something of a surprise since, although he has substantial experience in sports cars and sedans, this is his first go at open-wheel racing.

The original schedule for Day 2 called for two sessions, one morning and one afternoon.  However a sudden, unexplained schedule change split the single afternoon session into two and drivers and teams were only alerted 15 minutes before the start of the second session, newly scheduled to run from 10:30 to 11:15 am.  Several teams were already deep into dismantling their cars and were unable to make the session, while others quickly buttoned their cars up, pried their drivers away from their cell phones and sent them out for truncated, impromptu session.

Once again Vautier (right) was quickest with a lap of 1:21.000 (102.222 mph), followed by Sage Karam at 1:21.406 (101.712 mph) and Martin Scuncio – who was actually quickest in the second, slower afternoon session on Day 1.  The young Chilean racer turned a 1:21.745 (101.291 mph) in the #60 Juncos Racing / Fuerza Chile Mazda.  Holding his place near the sharp end of the field as he had done in every previous session was Brazilian second-year Star Mazda racer Joao Victor Horto with a 1:21.851 (101.159 mph) in the #18 Juncos Racing / Program Leilões Mazda.

And in the final session of the day, the quickest so far of the test, it was Vautier setting the pace, followed by Martin Scuncio at 1:21.364 (101.765) on lap 12, his last of the session.  In third was Horto with a 1:21.555 (101.527 mph) on lap 8 and showing some strength after languishing in the bottom-half of the top-10 on Monday was St. Petersburg, FL college student Nick Andries with a 1:21.974 (101.008 mph) in his #81 Team Pelfrey Mazda.  Team Pelfrey, based in Clearwater, FL, was a competitive IndyCar team during 1998-2001 and noted for giving their 'big break' to many young drivers; team owner Dale Pelfrey has revived the team as a 2-car Star Mazda effort for the 2011 season.

Also flexing his muscles in the final session was second-year Star Mazda racer Chris Miller, who rounded out the top-5 with a 1:22.128 (100.818 mph) in his #85 JDC Motorsports / Miller Milling / Red Line Oil Mazda.  Less than two second separated the top-8 runners during the final session, with positions 5-8 separated by less than half a second.

Results of Star Mazda Championship - Tuesday Morning Practice

Pos No. Name Best Tm Best Speed In Lap Diff Gap
1 5 Tristan Vautier 1:27.969 94.124 11 0.000 0.000
2 88 Sage Karam 1:29.093 92.937 12 1.124 1.124
3 27 Nick Mancuso 1:29.537 92.476 13 1.568 0.444
4 66 Zach Meyer 1:29.786 92.219 14 1.817 0.249
5 48 Patrick McKenna 1:30.170 91.827 12 2.201 0.384
6 7 J.V. Horto 1:30.320 91.674 13 2.351 0.150
7 60 Martin Scuncio 1:30.557 91.434 6 2.588 0.237
8 11 Connor De Phillippi 1:30.600 91.391 13 2.631 0.043
9 20 Carlos Linares 1:30.646 91.344 14 2.677 0.046
10 10 Tatiana Calderon 1:30.788 91.201 13 2.819 0.142
11 81 Nick Andries 1:30.990 90.999 7 3.021 0.202
12 26 Jérimy Daniel 1:37.166 85.215 12 9.197 6.176
13 72 Larry Pegram 1:41.295 81.741 4 13.326 4.129
14 23 Walt Bowlin - - 0 - -
15 39 Richard Heistand - - 0 - -
16 85 Chris Miller - - 0 - -

Results of Star Mazda Championship - Tuesday Second Practice

Pos

No. Name Best Tm Best Speed In Lap Diff Gap
1 5 Tristan Vautier 1:21.000 102.222 8
2 88 Sage Karam 1:21.406 101.712 14 0.406 0.406
3 60 Martin Scuncio 1:21.745 101.291 13 0.745 0.339
4 7 J.V. Horto 1:21.851 101.159 7 0.851 0.106
5 81 Nick Andries 1:22.002 100.973 14 1.002 0.151
6 11 Connor De Phillippi 1:22.013 100.960 4 1.013 0.011
7 85 Chris Miller 1:22.246 100.674 15 1.246 0.233
8 10 Tatiana Calderon 1:22.871 99.914 10 1.871 0.625
9 27 Nick Mancuso 1:23.225 99.489 24 2.225 0.354
10 20 Carlos Linares 1:23.660 98.972 8 2.660 0.435
11 66 Zach Meyer 1:23.699 98.926 10 2.699 0.039
12 39 Richard Heistand 1:24.054 98.508 14 3.054 0.355
13 72 Larry Pegram 1:24.542 97.939 12 3.542 0.488
14 23 Walt Bowlin 1:26.940 95.238 8 5.940 2.398
15 26 Jérimy Daniel 1:28.597 93.457 2 7.597 1.657
16 48 Patrick McKenna - - 0 - -

Final Practice
Pos No. Name Best Tm Best Speed In Lap Diff Gap
1 5 Tristan Vautier 1:20.397 102.989 10 0.000 0.000
2 60 Martin Scuncio 1:21.364 101.765 12 0.967 0.967
3 7 J.V. Horto 1:21.555 101.527 8 1.158 0.191
4 81 Nick Andries 1:21.974 101.008 10 1.577 0.419
5 85 Chris Miller 1:22.128 100.818 8 1.731 0.154
6 11 Connor De Phillippi 1:22.166 100.772 10 1.769 0.038
7 88 Sage Karam 1:22.170 100.767 4 1.773 0.004
8 10 Tatiana Calderon 1:22.254 100.664 13 1.857 0.084
9 39 Richard Heistand 1:22.876 99.908 7 2.479 0.622
10 66 Zach Meyer 1:23.560 99.090 8 3.163 0.684
11 27 Nick Mancuso 1:23.775 98.836 6 3.378 0.215
12 72 Larry Pegram 1:23.846 98.752 14 3.449 0.071
13 20 Carlos Linares 1:24.482 98.009 7 4.085 0.636
14 23 Walt Bowlin 1:26.385 95.850 5 5.988 1.903
15 26 Jérimy Daniel 1:26.482 95.742 7 6.085 0.097
16 48 Patrick McKenna - - 0 - -

The final session of the Star Mazda Championship test at IndyCar spring training 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.

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