- Chris Miller prepares for qualifying at Iowa Speedway aboard his JDC Motorsports’ Star Mazda
(Photo: Ryan – JuniorOpenWheelTalent.com)
Chris Miller tested an ALMS Le Mans Prototype Challenge car with Genoa Racing at Sebring International Raceway on Nov. 18.
“It looks like this is what I’ll be doing next year, but obviously nothing is final yet,” said Miller, following his LMPC test.
The 21-year-old Minnesota native won the 2009 F2000 Championship with four wins and 10 podiums, while driving for JDC Motorsports. Last season, he competed in Star Mazda where he recorded five top-10 finishes in 13 starts.
While it would be a shame to see Miller leave the open-wheel ranks, this looks to be a good opportunity. Stay tuned for future updates.
SportsCarInsider.com put together a nice interview with Irishman Peter Dempsey. You can read it here.
For those who don’t know, Dempsey finished runner-up in the 2009 Star Mazda Championship. He was leading the overall championship heading into the final round at Laguna Seca but was hit from behind during the race; ending his championship hopes. Without appropriate funding, he was forced to sit-out the majority of the 2010 season. In late-September he was signed by Libra Racing to make his LMP2 sports car debut at Road Atlanta. His racing plans for 2011 are still unclear.
This past weekend he was back in an open-wheel car competing in the Formula Ford Festival “Duratec Class” at Brands Hatch.
Peter Dempsey Testing the Libra Racing LMP2 Car
Peter Dempsey is set to make his debut in sports car racing with Libra Racing, driving their LMP2 car at Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans. He will drive with teammates Andrew Prendeville an Harri Toivonen.
Dempsey had the opportunity to test the car earlier this week in North Carolina.
“We had a very, very good test this week,” said Libra Racing Team Principal Ian Dawson in a release. “Peter has already adapted to the car extremely well. Now it’s just a matter of him adjusting to driving the car with two other people. We are very confident in his abilities, and we know he’s going to be a huge asset to the team at the Petit Le Mans event next week.”
I think most of us would have liked to see Peter graduate to Indy Lights or some form of open-wheel racing this season, but the bottom line is: It’s great to see him back in a race car.
Junior Strous, who was currently fourth in the Indy Lights championship, has decided to race at Zandvoort this weekend in the Dutch GT4 championship rather than in his Indy Lights car at the Milwaukee Mile. There are a couple different rumors circulating in regards to his decision. The most probable, per a comment on planetlemans.com, is that his Dutch sponsors wanted him to run at home. I’m sure Strous and everyone involved in his racing this season are disappointed in his recent Indy Lights results, after such a promising start to the year—where he swept the opening rounds at St. Petersburg. That said, it would be odd to see them drop Indy Lights so early in the season. Hopefully, his GT4 stop is a one-off and we will see him back in the #18 Lights car soon.
At Zandvoort, he took the pole positions in Q1 and claimed Q3 for Race 2. You can follow his results this weekend: here.
Anyone who followed the Indy Lights series this year was surprised when Andrew Prendeville announced a premature end to his open wheel efforts for 2008. In a statement to the press, Prendeville announced that his reason for departure revolved around “other opportunities”. Many (including myself) thought the announcement was just another unfortunate example of an ill-funded driver being sent home, regardless of his or her talent…. Which it very well could have been, however Prendeville was back in an Indy Lights car just over a week ago; working with HVM Racing to develop their Indy Lights program.
Earlier today, ECO Racing made an announcement defining Andrew’s previous statement about “other opportunities”. The 27 year old driver will be traveling to Laguna Seca in October to drive a environmentally sound LMP1 race car for ECO Racing. Prendeville will be driving in the American LeMans Series with Japanese driver Hideki Noda, who has experience in both single seater and sports cars.
ECO Racing is developing a car for the duo that has a production based-turbocharged V10 engine which is run on bio-diesel (created from a Jatropha curcas tree). According to a release from the team, Jatropha has many advantages over other bio-fuel crops, as it requires less water than most plants, is hardy, and does not need to be grown on good-quality agricultural land. ECO’s efforts align perfectly with the ALMS efforts to “go green”.
This seems to be a great opportunity for Andrew, hopefully we will seem back in a car for 2009, even if it’s a sports car.
Charlie Kimball will be driving the A1 car for Team USA at Zandvoort in The Netherlands. There were several internet claims that Danica Patrick would fill the seat over the weekend, thank goodness they were incorrect. It’s nice to see Kimball back in a car after prematurely ending his F3 Euro Series season, due to funding issues. For those that missed the announcement, Team USA’s A1GP program will be headed by Andretti-Green Racing for 2008-2009.
For an American driver, Kimball has quite an extensive amount of experience racing in Europe. The 23 year old has been racing overseas for the last five years and since that time he has claimed 12 victories in the various junior formula series of which he competed.
Daniel Morad, 2007’s Formula BMW-USA Champion, is a self professed Canadian,….who was born in Markham, Ontario. In fact, he promotes his nationality on his website bio and proudly represented Canada earlier this year in A1GP tests. Despite his Canadian Patriotism…the 18 year old signed with Team Lebanon earlier today as their lead driver for the 2008-2009 A1GP season. Apparently Daniel’s grandfather, Shaol Morad, was born in Beirut in 1926…giving him the necessary blood relation for a A1GP Team Lebanon license. Watch for the 18 year old Canadian-Lebanese driver to be flying a different flag than what we are used to.
Gary Carlton swept both East and West season finales in the Stars of Karting ICC category driving for PCH Motorsports/SSC East, but it was another pilot who stole the show; 17 year old Michael Vincec managed to win both divisions this season driving for Cameron Motorsports. Vincec most recently won the Stars of Karting Western Division title in Seattle through a tie breaker with Jordy Vorrath(Champion Racing). The duo managed to sit tied in the Western Division points battle after Final #2 on Sunday, but the tie breaker went to Vincec as he had won previously in the Race of Americas Final #1.
The Stars of Karting drivers will now head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 10-12 for the National Finals.
Firestone Indy Lights championship leader Richard Antinucci, will try his hand at prototype racing this weekend at Watkins Glen. Antinucci will join series veteran Burt Frisselle in the Doran Racing car. Based on Richard’s comments in the interview, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see him pursue this side of racing. Which is becoming a fairly common occurance for open wheel drivers.
He is a proven winner in the formula car ranks so it will be quite interesting to see him get behind the wheel in the Rolex series. Make sure to catch the event on SPEED.
The biggest North American karting event thus far in 2008 will take place over the weekend at New Castle Motorsports Park in New Castle, Indiana. Drivers from the East and West will converge in Indiana for this Stars of Karting event. Ekartingnews will be providing live trackside coverage over the weekend and has done a great job with the Preview for the weekend.
According to early reports from ekartingnews, the paddock was highly damaged due to storms passing over night. The New Castle area was hit very hard with high winds and rain, tornado warnings were frequent throughout the night. I’ve heard mixed reports that several team’s tents and equipment were complete losses. The schedule is running about two to three hours behind as Stars of Karting officials gave everyone time to regroup this morning. Stay tuned for updates.
For anyone interested in watching the event unfold, NorcalKarters.com has added a video crew to the event an will be providing a feed with commentary from Rob Howden.