The three most recent winners of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear are all behind the wheel of competitive cars for this afternoon’s start of the three-hour Grand Prix of Miami, Round 2 of the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.
Englishman Adam Christodoulou (2009 champion) and American John Edwards (2008) will start third on the GT grid co-driving the #68 SpeedSource/Newman Wachs Racing/ Nuclear Clean Air Energy / Entergy Mazda RX-8. And 2007 champion, American Dane Cameron, co-driving with his uncle, Steve Cameron and Grand-Am veteran Rob Finlay, will start 5th on the Continental Tire GS-class grid in the #57 Rehagen Racing / Uncle Joe’s entry.
“I drove the car in qualifying, but Adam and I have a similar pace and driving styles so it’s easy to mix and match and we’ll alternate who qualifies during the season,” says Edwards who won the Star Mazda Championship with AIM Autosport and moved up to win the 2009 Atlantic Championship. “We’re very happy with our pace in qualifying, and on old tires, and Adam and the team and I are all working well together, so we’re optimistic of a good finish. The challenge for us will be to drive endurance-style rather than the flat-out open-wheel sprint races we’re used to, but I was pleasantly surprised how well-balanced and quick this Mazda RX-8 is. The racing is different from what I’m used to, but it’s very competitive we I’m earning my living driving a factory-sponsored race car that’s capable of winning.”
MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development is backing the Christodoulou / Edwards effort in a car prepared by SpeedSource and fielded by Newman Wachs Racing. This will be the first time either driver has raced a Grand-Am GT car, and is the start of a full-season program where the two will hone their skills in an unfamiliar form of racing, with the intention of helping Mazda win the 2010 Grand-Am GT class manufacturers’ championship.
“Both John and I won back-to-back titles in open-wheel racing, him in Star Mazda and Atlantic and me in European Formula Renault and Star Mazda. This is a big change for both of us, but John and I are getting along very well and I’m coming to grips with the car, the traffic with the DP cars, the driver changes and all the other things that are part of winning endurance races. The RX-8 is quicker than any other GT car I’ve ever driven, and it feels both light and very well planted so it’s quite fun to drive on the track. The team engineering is quite good, and their race strategy is sound, so we just have to follow instruction, go as fast as we can without bending anything and we should be in the running.”
About the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear
For 2010, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear will feature an 11-weekend, 13-race schedule, most on major race weekends with American Le Mans and the Indy Racing League. Rising stars from around the world will compete for prizes valued at $1.5 million and benefit from two driver development programs, including the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder and the Indy Racing League’s ‘Road to Indy’ program. The Star Mazda Championship features standing starts, wheel-to-wheel racing at 150 mph and budgets a fraction of other top open-wheel ladder series. For more information, please visit www.starmazda.com or contact Peter Frey / Communications Director / 818-398-5733 / StarMazdaPR@aol.com.