Sage Karam Quickest in Thursday Star Mazda test Sage Karam, the 2010 USF2000 champion and Mazda Road to Indy scholarship driver now competing in the 2011 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, made his first foray to the top of the time sheet this season, setting the fastest time in Thursday testing at the Milwaukee Mile.
His lap – in clear and dry conditions - of 27.250 (132.110 mph) in the #88 Andretti Autosport / MAZDASPEED / Comfort Revolution Mazda was just 1/1,000th of a second shy of the official Star Mazda lap record at the Milwaukee Mile, a 27.249 set by Adrian Carrio in 2006. However, Star Mazda recognizes lap records only when set during qualifying or the race, not practice.
"Today was great! We ended up P1 for the first time this year, so we're definitely showing improvement. The Andretti boys put together a great car today so I hope we can keep this momentum going for the rest of the weekend!"
Karam's effort left him 4/10ths of a second clear of the second-quick driver, Brazilian J.V. Horto with a lap of 27.722 (129.861 mph) in the #18 Juncos Racing / Programa Leilões Mazda. Rounding out the top-5 were Chilean driver Martin Scuncio in 3rd with a 27.742 (129.767 mph) in the #60 Juncos Racing / Bia Comunicaciones / Cable Del Pacifico Mazda; Californian Gustavo Menezes in 4th with a 27.755 (129.706 mph) in the #28 Juncos Racing / Truecar / Safety Park Mazda; and Florida driver Nick Andries with a 27.767 (129.650 mph) in the #81 Team Pelfrey / Lithionics Battery / GS610 Brake Fluid / Trademark Garage Floors Mazda.
Connor De Phillippi, who has won two races so far this year, including Round 1 at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and three weeks ago in Round 3 at the Night Before the 500 on the Lucas Oil Raceway oval, wound up 6th-quick with a 27.845 (128.374 mph) lap in his Team Pelfrey / Justice Brothers Products / Trademark Garage Floors Mazda. French racer Tristan Vautier, the current points leader, brushed the wall on lap 20 of the session and had to be satisfied with a 7th-fast lap of 28.043 (128.374 mph) in his #5 JDC Motorsports / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais Mazda. The top-8 cars were all within one second of each other.
Connor De Phillippi
On-track action for the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at the IndyCar225 at the Milwaukee Mile continues with two practice sessions on Friday, June 17. Single-car qualifying will take place from 3:00 – 3:40 pm Saturday, June 18. The one-hour Round 4 of the 2011 Star Mazda Championship will take the green flag at 11am, Sunday, June 19
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