Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Autobahn Recap – USF2000 & Star Mazda

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted August 1, 2010 at 4:30 pm Star Mazda, U.S. F2000 National Championship

This type of post is fun because I can hit on a “few” items that stood out over the weekend.  Plus it’s not overly banal – like most of the race reports you can find spread across the Interwebs.  The bad thing about this type of post is that a lot of good things get left out.  It’s tough to limit, especially when so many drivers had a really good weekend.

Without further ado, here is my USF2000 and Star Mazda recap from the Autobahn County Club in Joliet, Illinois.

What Was Good…

  • USF2000 Race Winners: Tonis Kasemets (no, that’s not a typo) and Sage Karam.
  • Matthew Powers really impressed me in his return to the championship – perhaps my favorite part was the car control he displayed on cold tires Saturday while going over “the Autobahn jump,” I lost count on how many times the car wiggled, but it was fun to watch.
  • Martin Scuncio is really beginning to develop as a driver.  I had him pegged as a driver to watch earlier this year and he was exactly that this weekend.  He had some bad luck on Saturday, but I’ll hit on that incident later.
  • As always, it was great to see VisitFlorida.com and HDNet supporting the feeder series and providing TV coverage – even if they cut away from the action a few times (again, I promise, I’m not complaining – just offering constructive criticism).  It was great to have both doubleheaders on TV.
  • Star Mazda race winners: Mikael Grenier and Conor Daly.
  • Daly put in an astonishing drive Saturday going from 23rd on the grid to finish 3rd.  He won Sunday’s race.  His Juncos Racing teammate Tatiana Calderon continues to impress.  She’s getting better every weekend.
  • Mikael Grenier drove a very solid race Saturday, hitting all his marks en route to a 3.667-second victory.  It was his first career win in Star Mazda and, if I’m not mistaken, his first major open-wheel victory outside of karting.
  • Caio Lara has really done a nice job developing his racecraft over the last few years.  He finished second on Saturday and put together a nice drive on Sunday to finish ninth after being given a drive-thru penalty for jumping the start.
  • Ashley Freiberg made an impressive return to Star Mazda competition on Saturday finishing fifth.

What Wasn’t So Good…

  • J.R. Smart’s crash on Saturday.  He lost consciousness during the race, but all reports indicate he is doing well now.  Get well soon J.R.
  • The USF2000 start on Saturday.  Personally, I had no problem with Tonis’ move at the start, but a few people did, and several drivers failed to make it through Turn One.  Here is an onboard shot, courtesy of Zach Veach.
  • Conor Daly’s wing infraction.  Not sure who is to blame on this one but it’s unfortunate to see a guy with so much talent receiving so many penalties.  Fortunately, for the rest of us, the race was incredible thanks to his epic drive through the field.
  • Saturday’s contact between Tatiana Calderon and Anders Krohn.  Krohn was running inside the top-four throughout the race and Tatiana had made a strong drive from 12th-to-5th before contact put Krohn back to seventh.  After the race Calderon was penalized for avoidable contact and demoted to 7th.  The contact ruined an impressive outing by both drivers.
  • Martin Scuncio’s engine failure in Saturday’s USF2000 race.  WOW! Hopefully someone will post the footage shortly.  “The engine just stopped,” said Scuncio, who was understandably disheartened after the race. “I don’t know what happened, I’m just so disappointed.”  At the time of the failure, Scuncio was having a superb battle inside the top-five.

Full Results – Autobahn Country Club

USF2000- Round 7
USF2000- Round 8

Star Mazda- Round 8
Star Mazda- Round 9



  1. Indy Fan on August 2, 2010 10:45 am

    From what I saw, the USF2000’s #10 JDC Goikhberg needs to be spoken to. He’s dangerous. He took out his teammate.

  2. Doug on August 3, 2010 8:15 pm

    I was really bummed for Zach Veach in Race 1. He had a fantastic start, but ended up pointing the wrong direction by no fault of his.

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