Driving for his new team World Speed Motorsports, Eric Freiberg of Homer Glen, Illinois, topped the time sheets in pre-season testing at Sebring International Raceway as several top Star Mazda Championship teams took to the famed circuit that will host the opening round of the 2008 championship.
“Today was an absolute blast,” the 21-year old driver exclaimed. “The car was phenomenal and I have to give a nod to everyone at World Speed Motorsports for their work. We were fast right from the very beginning and the car setup was flawless. The team won the championship with Adrian Carrio in 2006 and they obviously are still on top of their game,” Freiberg said. “I’m really excited to be a part of their team.”
Taylor Hacquard adapted quickly to the fast and technical course and is looking forward to the season opener there. “I have to thank Eric for giving me some tips on Sebring, between his input and my Standing Start coach Scott Bradley’s, coaching I was able to trade the top spot back and forth with Eric over the past two days,” said Hacquard.
Formula Mazda Challenge competitor Claudio Cornali also attended the test, and was very impressed with the radial tire. “We should have gone to this type of tire a long time ago,” he stated. “I have a lot more confidence in the car with this kind of tire.” Cornali is planning to race a portion of the Star Mazda events in 2008, and wanted to test at Sebring as he has never been there.
World Speed Motorsports team owner Telo Stewart was also enthusiastic about the test. “The WSM drivers did a great job today. They were fast right away and had no problem adjusting to a radial tire from the bias ply tires the series has used in the past,” Stewart explained. The entire championship level team worked very well together and the results are a reflection of that.”
The team used a non-Goodyear radial for the test so that they could begin to collect information on how a radial will affect the Star Mazda platform. The team’s Technical Director Michael Doyle who has years of knowledge with racing radials from his years in the Champ Car Atlantic Series was happy with how the test went. “All our drivers did a good job getting us the feedback we need to continue developing the set-up for radials,” stated the championship winning engineer.
The team is getting ready to announce official schedules soon, and is expected to have 37 unique races available at 16 different tracks, and more than 40 non-event test days on the calendar for 2008. The next event is the final double race weekend of the Star Mazda Winter Series at Phoenix International Raceway on January 18th-21st.