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Oct 15, 2012 - 06:35 AM
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Two Young Colombians To Represent Team GDT At Road Atlanta
Posted by: newsla on Oct 15, 2012 - 06:32 AM
Sports Cars
Two Young Colombians To Represent Team GDT At Road Atlanta


Two young drivers from Colombia — Andres Méndez and Juan Camilo Acosta — will represent Team GDT in the season finale for the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear this coming Friday, Oct. 19, at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga.

 

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Mendez, 18, of Bogotá, Colombia, will be concluding his rookie season in Star Mazda with his Team GDT No. 53, which is sponsored by DataFile Internacional S.A. and Grupo Kriterion. He will try to surpass his best finish in the series to date, which is currently a sixth at Trois-Riviéres, Quebec in August.

Acosta, 22, of Cali, Columbia, will be making his first Star Mazda start ever after testing with the team on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oct. 10-11. He set the team’s fastest lap of that test and he was fourth and fifth overall in the two practice sessions held during his first day ever driving a Star Mazda car.

Acosta is sponsored by two young women’s clothing lines: Studio F and Ela. He has only competed in one event in the Panam GP Series so far this year, but he won the second half of that doubleheader Sept. 23 at Autódromo Tocancipá, Colombia. He qualified fourth and finished fourth in the first half of that doubleheader.

Although Méndez and Acosta are both from Colombia, Méndez said he doesn’t think they have raced against each other in the past. “Maybe once, but I don’t think so,” Méndez said. “He is a little older than I am, and we weren’t in the same classes in karting. When he was in seniors, I was in juniors.”

Now Méndez and Acosta face the same task: finding the fastest way around Road Atlanta, a track they’ll both see for the first time this week. The Star Mazda season finale is part of the card at one of the biggest American Le Mans Series races of the year, the Petit Le Mans.

Méndez and Acosta’s first opportunity to turn a lap on the 2.54-mile (4.088 km), 12-turn road course will come during Tuesday’s test day, with sessions at 10 a.m. and 2:50 p.m.

There are two 30-minute official practice sessions on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.

Thursday is devoted to qualifying for the Star Mazda set, with the action getting underway at 12:15 p.m. They’ll all be aiming to break Peter Dempsey’s track record of 1:18.328.

The 50-minute season finale will begin with a standing start at 3:45 p.m. Friday afternoon.

Team GDT’s lead engineer, Eric Purcell, won this race — and the series championship — with John Edwards in 2008.

For more information on Team GDT, see its Facebook page and the series’ website at StarMazda.com. Live timing and scoring is slated for the series’ website and the Race Monitor app.

The Road Atlanta Star Mazda race will be broadcast in the United States on the Discovery network’s Velocity channel on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 24, at noon Eastern.


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