Lichfield driver takes title race down to the wire

Adam Christodoulou

Adam Christodoulou

Lichfield racing driver Adam Christodoulou scored his eighth podium of the season with a third place finish in Round Twelve of the Star Mazda Championship.

His strong position at Road Atlanta means the championship battle between himself and Peter Dempsey will go down to the wire at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

But Christodoulou’s race weekend was far from plain sailing. He explained:

“Arriving at Road Atlanta for the Petit Le Mans weekend I knew that it was going to be a big event and the storms that had caused record flooding in the area promised to make it a tough one as well with some crew members being delayed as flights were cancelled leading up to the event.

“I came into the weekend full of confidence following a successful test two weeks prior to the event but the weekend proved to be a battle.”

After suffering some damage in practice, Christodoulou’s JDC Motorsports team worked hard to get the car back in shape but their plans for qualifying went out of the window when a competitor in the early session spread oil across the track.

But the Lichield racer once again battled to overcome the odds – even though he believes he could have qualified even higher up the field. He said:

“The car felt good and I was one of the quickest for the first few laps. It was the best it had been but I couldn’t improve my time so I finished qualifying in sixth. Looking back perhaps I was a bit too cautious knowing there was oil on the track.”

Jumping off the starting grid Christodoulou was able to jump up into fourth on the opening lap before a caution flag came out for two cars that had stalled on the grid. On the restart he dove to the inside to try to gain the third position but would be held up and was forced to watch Richard Kent slip past on the outsidee.

Team-mate Alex Ardoin was able to slipstream past as they headed down the backstraight before the Lichfield man re-grouped and began attempting to regain the lost positions.

Christodoulou explained:

“I realised how vital it was if you were going to pass into turn one you had to be fully committed. I was close to Alex worked the timing and managed to get past and started to hunt down fourth place.

“We were halfway through the race and I was getting closer as we started catching up lapped cars and I was doing all I could to use them to my advantage. Richard went for a move on Walt Bowlin into turn five, there was dust and stones kicking up off the edge of the track, they touched into turn five and both of them went across the gravel on the exit making it a bit easier for me to cruise past.”

Lapped cars made tracking down third spot a challenge for Christodoulou, but he eventually overcame the odds and took advantage of a mistake to overtake on the start-finish straight.

As others saw their lap times fall off, the Lichfield driver continued to put in consistent laps and was reeling in second place runner Conor Daly when the chequered flag fell on the 45-minute timed race.

Christodoulou said:

“It’s a shame the race wasn’t longer as I could see myself catching up everyone in front. The chequered flag flew and I brought the car home in third and on the podium.

“I’m happy with the end result considering we struggled earlier in the week. I’ve got to thank the team for the massive amount of effort they put in this week, we proved that even during difficult times, when were a little bit off the pace that we can work even harder at it and pull out a good result.”

As the series enters the final round at Mazda Raceway Lagune Seca Christodoulou sits 15 points behind Peter Dempsey in what has become a two-man race for the title.

Advertisements
Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.