Series rookie Christodoulou provides Minnesota team with second win of the season

Posted By Adam Christodoulou / Race Update / No Comments

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. (May 18, 2009) – JDC MotorSports took another step towards a second team and drivers title in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear on Saturday (May 16), with a dominating performance at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. British rookie Adam Christodoulou led the way, converting the pole position into his second win of the season. Behind the championship leader, Joel Miller finished third for a second consecutive race, just ahead of Caio Lara in fifth and Alex Ardoin in sixth, who led a good portion of the race. Michael Guasch, retaining the class lead, and Gerry Kraut finished second and third among the Masters Series contingent, while Gustavo Linares in his first start of the season failed to finish with a 33rd place result.

The JDC MotorSports drivers and crew entered the third event of the 2009 Star Mazda campaign on high, following a successful private test at Miller Motorsports Park and wins (overall and Masters) in the opening two rounds. Building on this momentum, the Minnesota-based squad promptly became the team to beat when the cars rolled on-course in Utah. During the promoter’s test day Ardoin (No. 51 Oral & Facial Surgery Center/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports), turning the fastest lap of the day, led a JDC sweep of the top-four spots in the first session, before Christodoulou (No. 11 No. 11 Red Line Oil/Molecule/JDC Motorsports) moved to the top of the charts in the second session, with Ardoin and Miller second and fourth respectively. Not to be out done, Guasch (No. 91 Molecule/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports) was the quickest Masters Series driver in both sessions.

The JDC charge continued one day later in the two practice sessions at the high-speed road course. Christodoulou, Ardoin, Lara and Miller were first through fourth in the morning session, followed by a Christodoulou, Miller, Ardoin, Lara foursome at the top of the speed charts in the afternoon session. Guasch was again the quickest Masters driver in the two sessions, with Kraut (No. 55 Dougherty & Co./Dougherty Funding LLC/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports) not far behind.

Given the results leading up to the split group qualifying session, it came as no surprise that JDC drivers were the one’s to watch in the fight for the pole position. When the checkered flag waved, Christodoulou had secured his second consecutive pole position, with Miller (No. 2 Fader Higher Productions/Mockett/Burns Truck & Trailer/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports) lining up alongside on the front-row for the standing start. Ardoin secured a row two spot with the fourth fastest time, ahead of Lara in sixth and Linares in 28th. Guasch, 23rd overall, was the leading Masters Series pilot, three spots ahead of Kraut.

Come race time a few hours later, Christodoulou got a good launch, retaining the top-spot through the first few corners. Just as the JDC rookie was building a gap on his teammate Miller and the rest of his pursuers, the yellow flags waved for an incident on-course. On the ensuing restart, it was Ardoin who became the man everyone was chasing, emerging from a four-car challenge into the first turn. The Louisiana driver appeared headed towards his first win of the season from that point forward, until inadvertently hitting the ignition switch while adjusting his sway bars, result in an instant loss of power and a brief off-course excursion. As a result of the error, Christodoulou regained the lead, holding the position until the checkered flag waved, earning the British driver his second win of the season. Miller, encountering a minor mechanical problem early in the race, managed to overcome the set back for a third place result. Lara (No. 19 MLD/ATW/Molecule/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports) and Ardoin, having recovered from his late race problem, made it four JDC drivers in the top-six, finishing fifth and sixth. Guasch, in what was an entertaining battle for top honors in the Masters Series, eventually came home in second place, 21st overall, while Kraut with his 25th place finish earned third place in the class. Linares (No. 20 Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports), was classified 33rd, following a first lap incident.

The JDC MotorSports Star Mazda Championship race pilots and crew will now take a quick breather before returning to action on May 20-21 and May 27-28 for series tests at the Milwaukee Mile and Iowa Speedway, prior to the June 13-14 races at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Christodoulou and Guasch enter the event leading the overall and Masters series title chases, while JDC MotorSports is out front in the Team Championship standings.