Tuesday, February 1, 2011


January 30, 2011 / Daytona, FL – With two dozen alumni of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear among the competitors in the 49th annual Rolex 24 at Daytona, it's little wonder that when the smoke of battle cleared, the victors added another layer of luster to the gleaming reputation of Star Mazda as one of the premier driver training series in the world today – and a 'gateway' series to many forms of motorsports.

1999 Star Mazda champion Joey Hand and Graham Rahal, a graduate of the Star Mazda class of 2005, co-drove (along with Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas) the race winning the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. In winning the 1999 championship Hand got a test with Team PTG in their ALMS sports car, which turned into a full-time ride with the factory team and sent him down the path of building a career at the top levels of endurance racing.
Star Mazda veteran Terry Borcheller, who co-drove the #9 Action Express Racing Riley DP to victory in 2010 finished 3rd this year. Ricky Taylor (Star Mazda class of '06) co-drove the #10 SunTrust Racing Dallara to a 5th-place finish.

Bryan Sellers, also an alumni of the 2005 Star Mazda series, co-drove the #48 Paul Miller Racing entry to a 2nd-place finish in the GT class. The #70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 co-driven by a trio of Star Mazda graduates - including Jonathan Bomarito, 2009 series champion Adam Christodoulou and 2008 series champion John Edwards -- finished 6th in class. Bomarito, a veteran of the 2005 Star Mazda Championship season, co-drove this same car to the GT class victory in 2010.

The #41 Dempsey Racing / Seattle Children's Hospital Mazda RX-8 GT, co-driven by 2007 Star Mazda champion Dane Cameron (who will run the full 2011 Grand-Am season in the car) and 2002 series alumni James Gue, finished 10th in the GT class. The #40 Dempsey Racing team RX-8 was the highest-placing Mazda in the race, scoring a 3rd-place podium finish.
About Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.

For 2011, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear will feature a 10-weekend, 11-race schedule, all on major race weekends and most with IndyCar. Two weekends are with the American Le Mans series, and one is a double-header with Indy Lights. Rising stars from around the world will be watched by more than a million fans as they compete for prizes valued at $1.5 million. Drivers 16 and older are welcome to compete and the Star Mazda Championship also features the Expert Series for drivers 30 and older. The Star Mazda Championship features standing starts, wheel-to-wheel racing at 160 mph and budgets a fraction of other top open-wheel ladder series.

The 2011 Star Mazda Championship season begins with sharing the track with IZOD IndyCars and Firestone Indy Lights during INDYCAR 'Spring Training,' March 14-16 at Barber Motorsports Park. The 2011 Star Mazda season-opener takes places at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg IndyCar weekend, March 25-27. As a part of the 2011 Mazda Road to Indy, drivers in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear are competing for a prize fund valued in excess of $1.5 million – including a scholarship to help the series champion move up to the 2012 Firestone Indy Lights series.

For more information on the Star Mazda Championship and its drivers, as well as the Mazda Motorsports ladder system, please visit www.starmazda.com and www.mazdausa.com.