Connor De Phillipi who contested the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear with JDC MotorSports will be joining Nick Andries at the fledgling squad Team Pelfrey. Perhaps “fledgling” isn’t as appropriate as “repatriated” since Pelfrey has certainly been a competitor in Indy Car racing in years past at various levels. Connor won Rookie of the Year honors in 2010 finishing the season third in championship points, scoring eleven top-ten finishes, three podiums, and winning the season finale at Road Atlanta from pole.
“I’m so glad to be a part of Team Pelfrey! This off-season has been a lot of hard work, and we really had to make sure every piece of the puzzle was perfectly in place. I feel that here at Team Pelfrey they have the best of the best, and will give me the greatest opportunity to win this year’s Star Mazda Championship title. We as a team are going into this season with the same goal, and that is to win the championship. The resources are there for both myself and the team, and now it is time for us to work hard and do our best to accomplish our goals. I’d like to thank everyone at Team Pelfrey for this opportunity, and I cannot wait to begin pre-season testing!” — Connor De Phillipi
Team Pelfrey is really taking serious steps toward making a strong showing in their inaugural season in the Star Mazda Championship. Below, is the entire press release from Team Pelfrey.
Reigning Rookie of the Year will be part of a talented multi-car driver line-up
CLEARWATER, FLA. (February 9, 2011) – Series newcomers Team Pelfrey are excited to announce the signing of rising junior formula car racer Connor De Phillippi for the 2011 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear season. The highly-rated Californian joins the Florida-based team, having captured the Rookie of the Year award last year via a race-winning campaign. Seeking to make an immediate impression in its first season of Star Mazda Championship competition, Team Pelfrey is rapidly putting together one of the premier driver line-ups for 2011.
The latest piece of the puzzle is the addition of the highly-regarded De Phillippi. The talented upand-comer enters his second season of series competition seeking to not only build on his Rookie of the Year run of one year ago, but also to continue his streak of winning championship titles in every series he has contested, with four karting titles, a Legend Silver State Championship crown, Skip Barber National title and Walter Hayes Trophy win already on his resume. As part of a multi-car effort by Team Pelfrey, De Phillippi will pilot the No. 11 Oakley/Justice Brothers/Hernan Capdevila/Team Pelfrey Mazda entry, partnering the previously signed Nick Andries, who will contest his first full-season of Star Mazda action, after running selected races last year in addition to a race-winning run in the Skip Barber National Series.
“Our team keeps getting strong every day,” stated Team Pelfrey Team Manager Geoff Fickling. “What we’ve been able to put together in the last couple of months has been quite remarkable and to have a driver of Connor’s caliber put his trust in our hands speaks volumes for what we’ve built. I knew from the first time I saw Connor race many years ago that he was a special talent, which is why it’s so special for us to have him join our driver lineup for this season. Our team is shaping up quite nicely and honestly, I couldn’t be happier.”
“I’m so glad to be a part of Team Pelfrey!” said De Phillippi. “This off-season has been a lot of hard work, and we really had to make sure every piece of the puzzle was perfectly in place. I feel that here at Team Pelfrey they have the best of the best, and will give me the greatest opportunity to win this year’s Star Mazda Championship title. We as a team are going into this season with the same goal, and that is to win the championship. The resources are there for both myself and the team, and now it is time for us to work hard and do our best to accomplish our goals. I’d like to thank everyone at Team Pelfrey for this opportunity, and I cannot wait to begin pre-season testing!”
“Geoff and I had many conversations about Connor being a strong candidate to fit into the program,” commented Andries. “It’s great that he is on board. I’m looking forward to us working together as a team, and pushing each other as teammates to reach our full potential.”
Thanks to the dedication and support of Team Owner Dale Pelfrey, a former IndyCar Series team owner, Team Pelfrey enters the 2011 season with a state-of-the-art facility, top-notch equipment and a highly-talented and experienced staff. With the goal of challenging for both race wins and the series title in its inaugural season of Star Mazda Championship competition, the Team Pelfrey crew has been working long hours since moving into their new 6,300 square foot facility in Clearwater, Fla., in December.
“The boys have been flat-out over the past two months not only re-building the cars, but outfitting our new shop as well,” added Fickling. “Our facility is state-of-the-art, and Dale’s provided us with top-notch equipment in order to contend right out of the box. Its great that we’ve been able to assemble such a talented driver line-up, so we can properly showcase what we’ve assembled.”
Team Pelfrey will make its Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear debut on March 16, when it takes part in official series testing at Barber Motorsports Park as part of the INDYCAR Spring Training program. Prior to the series test, the Florida-based squad will conduct private testing, working with not only Andries and De Phillippi, but evaluating potential driver additions, with interested racers urged to contact Team Manager Geoff Fickling. The 2011 Star Mazda Championship commences on March 27th, with Round One on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., the team’s home race.