The Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear started off the competitive laps at the Iowa Speedway this afternoon with a four-hour open test/practice session. The two Juncos racing drivers Martin Scuncio in the #60 and Gustavo Menezes in the #28 topped the charts this afternoon, but not by much, after putting up times of 22.028s and 22.044s, respectively. The Team Pelfrey duo of Connor De Phillippi (#11) and Nick Andries (#81) weren’t too far back falling short of Scuncio’s time by 0.016s and 0.050s, respectively. Good enough for P3 and P5 on the day. In between the two Team Pelfrey racers was Star Mazda’s newest and now also youngest race winner, Andretti Autosport’s Sage Karam (#88) who was only 0.043s off of the top time.
“The car was very good. It was a great day, and even though the weather wasn’t that great, the car was perfect. I think we all did a great job, and I have to say a huge thank you to Juncos Racing for giving me such a great car. I hope we can continue to come in first place and be at the top again tomorrow and Saturday.” — Martin Scuncio, #10 Juncos Racing
Martin’s and Gustavo’s teammates J.V. Horto (#7) and Tatiana Calderon (#10) struggled in comparison. Horto would lag by nearly three tenths, what equates to a 1.9 mph difference in average lap speed. Calderon would find the wall on her 27th lap. She came away unscathed, but damaged the car enough that her day was done. The crew should be able to have the car put back together before tomorrow’s Free Practice #1. While she was turning personal-best times, ovals seem to have it out for her as this is incident is very similar to her incident at Milwaukee.
no images were found“I was feeling better today and gaining back the confidence I had lost after crashing in Milwaukee, and I was also doing better lap times than I did here last year right at the beginning of the day. Then, I don’t know what happened, but the car just snapped, and I lost it and hit the wall. What can I say, that’s racing; sometimes things like this happen, and you just have to keep going. The team is working hard to fix the car for tomorrow, so I want to thank them for that. Hopefully everything will be ready to go again for tomorrow.” — Tatiana Calderon, #60 Juncos Racing
|3||11||C. De Phillippi||22.065||0.037||174||22.313||149||0.021||Active||144.239||145.860||3:29:47.759|
|13||26||Jérimy Daniel||No Time||—||—||–.—||—||—||IN PIT||0.000||—||–.—|
|14||48||Patrick McKenna||No Time||—||—||–.—||—||—||IN PIT||0.000||—||–.—|
Tomorrow’s practice session is early in the day from 1000-1045 CDT. Unfortunately, the gates at the Iowa Speedway don’t open until 1100, so even if you’re in Newton, you’ll have to follow on Star Mazda’s live timing and scoring.
I’ll be in Iowa this weekend doing more photography for OpenPaddock and covering the Star Mazda, Firestone Indy Lights, and IZOD IndyCar Series action. Gonna leave the USAC stuff to Tyler at IndyCar Garage and our own Mike Whitesell. I’ll also try to get more perspective and insight into the whole scrutineering debacle that exploded onto the public scene last weekend, especially on how the league moves forward from where we are now.
If you’ll be at the track, too, there are two tweet-ups scheduled for the weekend. PressDog(tm) is having an informal tweet-up behind the Turn 1 grandstands at 3pm on Friday. There will be a more formal tweet-up on Saturday at 3:15pm at the Fan Village. Don’t miss them!