The 2010 Star Mazda Season
The 2010 season for the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear started alongside the American Le Mans series at the Sebring International Raceway. Anders ‘The Viking’ Krohn, a 2nd-year competitor in Star Mazda driving the #47 Andersen Racing car, set the pole, but was caught up in traffic early allowing Conor Daly to claim the lead. This is Conor’s sophomore year as well, races the #22 car for Juncos Racing. Many will find his name familiar as he’s the son of famous Formula 1 and IndyCar racer Derek Daly. Daly would be hounded during the first half of the race by the newest Andersen Racing driver, rookie driver Tristan Vautier. Vautier would make a bold, but clean, move to take the lead from Daly where he then ran in the lead spot for the remainder of the race. Daly would eventually lose another spot to Jorge Goncalvez of Team Apex and finish third.
In Round 2 of the season on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Conor Daly would have his revenge. He would win from pole position by an easy margin of 5.429 sec. Team Apex finished on the podium for the second race in a row, albeit with their other driver, Joao Horto. Jorge Goncalvez would finish back in 17th place one lap down. Anders Krohn who set the pole at Sebring, qualified in fourth, finished in fourth, and sits fourth in the championship. Its certainly not where he wants to be, and he’ll be quite eager to improve his position at the two events this month. As strong as Tristan Vautier was at Sebring, he was a non-player this round finishing back in 9th place. Tristan’s mediocre result at St. Petersburg allowed Conor to claim the lead in the championship as the series looks to its next round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear Schedule
- March 19 – Sebring International Raceway
- March 28 – Streets of St. Petersburg
- May 23 – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
- May 29 – O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis
- June 19 – Iowa Speedway
- June 26-27 – New Jersey Motorsports Park
- July 31-August 1 – Autobahn Country Club
- August 15 – Circuit Trois-Rivières
- August 21 – Road America
- August 28 – Mosport international Raceway
- October 1 – Road Atlanta
Drivers You Should Be Watching
The Star Mazda series has always been deep in driver talent, so there’s a lot of good drivers that we should be watching. However, I’m going to limit my recommendations to just three. My apologies to those I leave off, but these are the three I think we will see compete all season long, and especially at the Night Before the 500, and that I think have a better than even chance of moving up to Firestone Indy Lights in the coming seasons: Conor Daly, Anders Krohn, and Tristan Vautier. First and foremost is Conor Daly. In the first two rounds, he has shown that he’s very quick on the street circuits, but in testing at O’Reilly Raceway Park last week, he also showed that he’s blazingly fast on the ovals as well! Conor set the track record at ORP for the Star Mazda cars with a time of 20.187 sec for an average speed of 122.336 mph. That’s faster than the USAC Midget’s track record and the midgets have 100hp more power than the Star Mazda cars. Tristan Vautier, although he faltered a bit at St. Petersburg, showed in Sebring that he’s quick and very capable of racing from behind to claim a lead. In the ORP testing, Tristan put in the 3rd fastest time and had several other decent times. It will be interesting to see how the race at Laguna plays out between these two. Anders Krohn was the fourth-fastest driver at the ORP test. …hmm. Fourth again? This #4 thing for Anders has to be getting old, especially when he knows he can set fast times as he showed at Sebring. These next two events at Laguna and at ORP will likely be the turning point in his season, if there is to be a turning point. Ok, I can’t really limit this to three as much as I’d like to keep things brief. Joao Horta of Team Apex has run solid races down in Florida finishing 6th and 2nd in the first two races. I don’t think he’ll be able to match the pace of Conor or Tristan, but he will certainly be there in the fight for the podium, looking to keep Anders back in fourth.