VEACH RECORDS PAIR OF TOP-10 FINISHES AT TROIS-RIVIERES

By on August 6, 2012

courtesy of BRANDed Management

TROIS-RIVIERES, QUEBEC, CANADA (Aug. 5, 2012) – Andretti Autosport Star Mazda Championship driver Zach Veach soldiered through a faulty clutch throughout the weekend in Canada to muster up pair of eighth-place finishes in his first start on the Canadian circuit of Trois-Rivieres over the weekend. The results gave the drive of the K12 Mazda sixth top-10 finishes on the season.

“Even though we still finished in eighth like yesterday, I think today was a lot better day,” said Veach. “We got the clutch problem resolved, but actually had a bit of a scare with it this morning. The guys worked so hard at getting the car put back together within thirty minutes of having to roll it out to the grid. I really want to thank them for all of the effort they have put in this weekend. Our race was really tough. I was running in eighth and trying to get around a car, but there was a lot of blocking going on. Once I did get by, the rain started to fall and then the red flag came out for us to pit. Once we went back to green in the rain, I moved up to seventh, but made a bit of a mistake trying to pass for sixth, so I fell back to eighth. Overall, it was a good day and we learned a lot. We’ll take what we learned here to Baltimore. Thank you to K12, Zakoski Data Backup, Young Marines, Replay XD, ADS, OMP, Oakley, and Arai Helmets for making all of this possible this weekend.”

Opening the race weekend for this third consecutive trip to Canada this season, Veach was one of the few Star Mazda drivers who had not previously competed on the 10-turn circuit at Trois-Rivieres, which has held racing events since 1967. Veach had just one session to get himself acclimated with the foreign racetrack, where he turned just 31 laps putting and put him seventh quick on the speed charts. He then qualified later in the day on Friday, where he turned the sixth fastest lap.

“This weekend has been really fast paced,” said Veach. “We had one practice session and then went straight into qualifying. I am trying to learn the track and gain experience on it without having raced here last year. The whole field is just so close. We ended up seventh in qualifying, but I think we have a lot better car than that. .001 of a second would have put me in sixth and .01 would have put me fifth. It is going to be a really close race and with it being a 45 minute race tomorrow, it is going to be about endurance and who can keep their tires the longest. I am really looking forward to it. I want to thank K12 and all of my Andretti Autosport guys for all of their hard work. We’ll get after it tomorrow and I think we’ll have a good finish.”

During Race #1, Veach discovered that he had been battling a faulty clutch, which had hampered his results on the weekend. The 17-year-old muscled through and managed an eighth-pace finish and the 10th quickest lap during the race, which would give him the 10th-place starting spot in Race #2 on Sunday.

“Starting sixth in the race (1), we knew we had a good chance of running towards the front and had the goal of finishing in the top five,” said Veach. “From the start of the race, we knew that something was wrong with the car. That was really hurting me and I couldn’t get off of the corners very easily. The only place that I really could go during the race was backwards. We finished eighth and I qualified tenth for tomorrow. It will definitely be a tough and long day, but I think once we get the car back together, we will have a really good car and work our way towards the front. I would like to thank K12, Zakoski Data Backup, Young Marines, Replay XD, ADS, OMP, Arai Helmets, Oakley, and all of my guys for working so hard to figure things out.”

During Race #2, Veach rolled from the tenth position for the 45-minute race. He quickly fell to eleventh and then back to tenth and held steady to that position for the majority of the race. He then jumped to eighth as rain began to fall on the circuit. The race went red for about 10 minutes as the teams went to pit lane to put on rain tires before the track went back to yellow and then green for the final four minutes of green-flag racing. Veach’s Andretti Autosport teammate made a late-race pass to take the lead and the eventual race win. Veach would remain with eighth place as the checkered flag flew on the final race of the weekend.

If you missed the action in person on the 10-turn circuit at Trois-Rivieres, Veach’s Star Mazda races will be prepared for network distribution via tape delay on Discovery’s Velocity Network, Canada’s Rogers SportsNet, and globally on ESPN International. In the U.S., the race will air at 12 Noon, EDT on Sat., Sept. 1. For international dates and times, check local listings.

Returning to the racetrack for rounds 13 and 14 of the Star Mazda Championship season, Veach will return to the states for racing action in conjunction with the IZOD IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series on the 12-turn course that snakes through the heart of downtown Baltimore and along the inner Harbor. More than 100,000 spectators enjoyed the 2011 event, with practice for Veach and Star Mazda opening on Fri., Aug 31 at 8:40 a.m. EDT followed by qualifications, which are set for 1:15 p.m. EDT later that day. Race #1 is set for Sat., Sept. 1 at 2:35 p.m. EDT followed by Race #2 on Sun., Sept. 2 at 11:35 a.m. EDT.

Veach’s 2012 effort in the Star Mazda Championship is primarily supported by K12 with additional backing provided by: the Young Marines youth organization, Zakosi Data Backup, ADS IT Solutions, Replay XD, OMP, Oakley, and Arai Helmets.

Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the Star Mazda Championship is one of two series part of both the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system and the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver program. Andretti Autosport is currently the only INDYCAR team to compete in each level of the Mazda Road to Indy.

For more information, please visit www.ZachVeach.com or www.AndrettiAutosport.com.

About Zach Veach:
Zach “Ziggy” Veach is a 17-year-old autoracing driver who competes in INDYCAR’s ‘Mazda Road to Indy’ Star Mazda Championship Series, an important open-wheel stepping-stone to a career in the IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500. In 2012, Veach captured the Formula Car Challenge Winter Series Championship and in 2011, he secured the USF2000 Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship and was voted the “Most Popular Driver in USF2000”. Named by ESPN The Magazine as a NEXT athlete in motorsports, Veach keeps an active pace both on and off the race track. In 2010, Michael Andretti signed Veach to his team, Andretti Autosport, while also being named one of CNN’s “Intriguing People” and being nominated for the Sports Illustrated “Sports Kid of the Year” award. In addition to his racing, Veach is an advocate for safer driving as the national spokesperson for FocusDriven, an advocacy group for victims of motor vehicle crashes involving drivers using their cell phones and has campaigned for Oprah Winfrey’s “No Phone Zone.” Veach designed a phone application through his phone-app building company, ZaAPP, releasing urTXT, in the Marketplace for Android to help consumers avoid dangerous text messaging while driving. Like most of his peers, Veach was bullied as a kid and works to combat the growing epidemic as part of the Cyber Safety Academy’s “No BULL Challenge” as a key ambassador. Veach has been a guest or profiled on a variety of national platforms including NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s Headline News, ABCNews.com, Oprah Radio’s The Gayle King Show, The Los Angeles Times, AOL.com and is a blogger for RACER magazine and The Huffington Post. The son of a national truck and tractor-pulling champion, Veach is sponsored by K12, Zakosi Data Backup, the Young Marines youth organization, Replay XD, Arai Helmets, OMP, ADS IT Solutions, and artrotondo.com. He enters his senior year of high school this fall and released his first book, 99 THINGS TEENS WISH THEY KNEW BEFORE TURNING 16, in 2011. For more information, please visit www.ZachVeach.com.

About Andretti Autosport:
Based in Indianapolis and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Andretti Autosport competes in Firestone Indy Lights, the Star Mazda Championship and in the USF2000 National Championship. The company boasts three IZOD IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005 and 2007), two Firestone Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009), one USF2000 championship (2010) and has won the Indianapolis 500 twice (2005 and 2007). For more information, please visit www.AndrettiAutosport.com.

About the Star Mazda Championship Series:
For 2012, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear will again be a major part of the “Mazda Road to Indy”. The 2012 schedule consists of 17 races on 10 weekends, most with IndyCar. Rising stars from around the world will compete on road courses, street circuits and ovals in front of more than a million fans as they battle for prizes valued at $1.5 million, including a scholarship to move up and race in the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights series. Drivers 16 and older are welcome to compete and the Star Mazda Championship also features the Expert Series for drivers 30 and older. The Star Mazda Championship features standing starts, wheel-to-wheel racing at 160 mph and budgets a fraction of other top open-wheel ladder series. For more information on the Star Mazda Championship and its drivers, as well as the Mazda Motorsports ladder system, please visit www.StarMazda.com.

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