Globetrotting Daly back on home soil
MAZDASPEED driver Conor Daly, an American teenager on a mission, plans to continue his march at the front of the Firestone Indy Lights field this weekend in Baltimore, MD. Just five days ago he enjoyed his best European results of his rookie season at the ultra fast Spa Francorchamps Circuit in Belgium. For the globe-trotting teenager the Grand Prix of Baltimore is part of a nine country swing over an eight week period. By far the most travelled young American driver, Daly is running a five race limited Indy Lights schedule in support of his European racing effort. This season Daly has chosen what is perhaps the most difficult path possible, combining a full European schedule with a limited Firestone Indy Lights program of five races. Incredibly, after the first three Indy Lights races of the season, Daly left the series as the championship leader after winning on the streets of Long Beach in April.
“The travel has been crazy, but I don’t mind it at all. It has become part of how I live and race,” comments Daly. “I am very happy to be back home and heading back to Indy Lights with Sam Schmidt Motorsports. I am especially excited to be coming back to Baltimore and a street course. Street racing is very difficult and the streets of Baltimore will be no different, especially when it’s the first ever event. I let one slip away at Trois Rivieres and I owe the team one for sure.”
The past weekend at Spa was near magical for the 19-year-old who has become known in the GP3 paddock as a prolific passer. Daly qualified his best ever by setting the sixth fastest time. In race one held on Saturday afternoon, Daly took fifth, his best finish so far this season in GP3 action. That slotted Daly into the fourth spot on the grid for the start of race two held on Sunday morning. A spin on lap one cost him some spots, but Daly recovered to finish seventh.
“Spa was amazing and now my focus is back to Indy Lights. No one has ever done what I am trying to do so there is no manual to follow,” smiles Daly. “I was able to jump back in the Indy Lights car in Three Rivers and run at the front. I really like the idea hitting another street circuit between two really fast tracks like Spa and Monza.”
Immediately following this weekend’s action in Baltimore, Daly will return to Europe, heading to Monza, Italy, for the final two rounds of the GP3 Series.
Conor Daly, son of former Formula One driver, Derek Daly, is the 2010 Star Mazda Champion and is part of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports development program and the Mazda Road to Indy. Daly is sponsored by: Doug Mockett Companies, SAS International, ModSpace, Callcap, The College Network and Merchant Services Ltd., with additional support from, Alpinestars, Tom Lange Co., Arai Helmets and Aspin Group.
The GP3 Championship is a Formula One support series being contested by 30 drivers from more than 18 nations. It is contested at eight European Formula One venues from Istanbul, Turkey to Monza, Italy.
The Firestone Indy Lights series is part of the Road to Indy development program designed to provide financial assistance to young drivers as they pursue their goals of racing in the Izod Indycar series.