I love watching junior formula races, whether that's in open wheel such as with the Mazda Road to Indy program, or with the up-and-coming drivers in the 2WD class in the Rally America Series. Perhaps its part of why I enjoy teaching as a profession so much. I love watching these various young drivers evolve, learn, grown, and develop as they move up through the ranks and classes. One of the great things I've enjoyed about this year's Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona has been the participation of drivers from Firestone Indy Lights, Star Mazda Series.
Three of last year's Firestone Indy Lights drivers are competing in this year's race. Jorge Goncalves and Gustavo Yacaman, who raced for Belardi Auto Racing and Team Moore Racing, respectively, are joining forces and racing for Michael Shank Racing in the #6 Daytona Prototype car. As of right now, 2006h EST, they're running 10th overall. Not too shabby for their first go in a DP car. Anders Krohn, who raced for Belardi along side Goncalves last year, is in the #36 Yellow Dragon Racing Mazda RX-8 GT car. Unfortunately for Anders, that car is way back in 49th place. The Mazdas are completely outclassed with the inclusion of the GT3 cars such as the Ferrari 458.
There are many more drivers with backgrounds in open-wheel junior formula of various flavours competing this weekend. Joey Hand, Dane Cameron, and John Edwards all have competed in the Star Mazda Series, for example. I'll be keeping my eye on these young drivers throughout the night and toward the checkered flag tomorrow afternoon. I'm hoping that Jorge and Gustavo can maintain their top-10 position. Best of luck, boys!