Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Adam Christodoulou Victorious at Laguna Seca

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted October 11, 2009 at 12:37 pm Star Mazda

The Star Mazda Championship battle came down to the final race of the season.  Irishman Peter Dempsey was the heavy favorite heading into the final event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  Adam Christodoulou was the top rookie and the only other driver left with a mathematical shot at the 2009 title.  Dempsey had the pole position for the race, earning him 1 additional point in the overall championship—- meaning, if Christodoulou wins the race, Dempsey had to finish 7th or better to win the overall title.

Adam Christodoulou

Adam Christodoulou

Right from the start, Dempsey’s dream began to slip away from him.  Contact with another driver at the top of the corkscrew left him at the back of the field.  Determined to make-up for the lost positions, Dempsey began to charge through the pack.  He moved up to 11th by the midway point of the race.  Meanwhile, JDC teammates Alex Ardoin and Adam Christodoulou were battling for the top spot.  Dempsey was running the fastest laps of the race when contact with Rusty Mitchell took him out of contention for good.  On Lap-22, Adam Christodoulou made an overtaking move on Ardoin and claimed the top spot.  With Dempsey out of the race, the championship was Christodoulou’s to win.

Adam, who did everything right in the final two events, won the race by 0.569 seconds over Alex Ardoin.  The victory, which was his 3rd of the season, solidified his championship hopes.  Adam Christodoulou is your 2009 Star Mazda Champion.  The 20-year-old driver from Litchfield, England will receive a fully-funded Atlantic Championship ride in 2010 (courtesy of the MazdaSPEED Developement Program) along with a $100,000 check for winning the 2009 Star Mazda Championship.

Christodoulou was also, just recently, nominated for the 2009 McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award.  The 2008 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Champion finished his Star Mazda rookie campaign with 3 wins and 9 podiums.

Joy and jubilation for one driver usually means heartbreak for another and yesterday was no exception.  Dempsey, who seemingly had the championship all but wrapped up ended up falling just short for the second year in a row.  Despite yesterday’s end result, Peter impressed a lot of people this year and drove incredibly.  He ended the year with 5 wins, 5 poles, and 6 podiums.  Regardless of the overall outcome, I’m confident that the future is bright for this young man.

Conor Daly earned the hard charger title for yesterday’s race by putting in an impressive drive coming from 15th to finish 4th in the series’ finale.  He also finished 3rd in the overall championship, ending the year with 1 win, 4 podiums, and 1 pole position.

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Star Mazda Round 13- Complete Results (Laguna Seca)

  1. Adam Christodoulou
  2. Alex Ardoin
  3. Anders Krohn
  4. Conor Daly
  5. Jorge Goncalvez

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2009 Star Mazda Championship Final StandingsComplete List

  1. Adam Christodoulou (473)
  2. Peter Dempsey (461)
  3. Conor Daly (416)
  4. Alex Ardoin (401)
  5. Joel Miller (390)
  6. Anders Krohn (380)
  7. Richard Kent (377)
  8. Caio Lara (360)
  9. Jorge Goncalvez (329)
  10. Michael Furfari (329)
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4 Comments

  1. carl on October 11, 2009 11:04 pm

    What an amazing year for JDC. It would be cool to see a special piece on this team

  2. Ryan on October 11, 2009 11:16 pm

    Hi Carl. Thank you for the comment.

    I agree, John Church and the JDC crew have had a tremendous year— winning both the F2000 and the Star Mazda Championships.

    Not only do they do an excellent job with engineering and car management, they also excel in finding talent.

    I hope to have quite a few testing updates from various teams this off season, so make sure to stay tuned to see what they have in the works for 2010.

    -Ryan (JOWT)

  3. AZZO45 on October 13, 2009 11:54 pm

    The SM finale had a triple AAA top 3… Adam, Alex, & Anders!!! How I wish I could have been camped out @ the Cork Screw for the race live. Oh well there is 2010?

  4. Ryan on October 14, 2009 9:48 am

    AZZ045,

    You bring up a good point… Triple AAA Finish. I like that.

    And looking back, I didn’t give Anders Krohn enough credit in the story. He has done an excellent job this season. His average finish in the first six races was 9th (which includes his Milwaukee win), his average finish in his last seven events has been 7.29.

    His podium finish at Laguna Seca was his second-best result of 2009. Take away a little of his “bad-luck” and those numbers (from his last seven races) would show even greater improvement.

    It will be interesting to see if he returns for another year of Star Mazda competition.

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