Veach Records Career-Best Star Mazda Result On Streets of TorontoPress Release
Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach Places Second During Open Race At Toronto
TORONTO, ON (July 8, 2012) – Andretti Autosport Star Mazda driver Zach Veach needed a return to his first love—oval racing—to finally find his groove in the Star Mazda Championship Series. After a difficult start to the season during the opening road course races, Veach used momentum from his first podium of the 2012 season on the oval in Indy to record his career-best finish in Star Mazda with a second-place result on the Streets of Toronto.
“First of all, I want to give a big thanks to my whole K12 Andretti Autosport crew for working so hard this weekend,” said Veach. “I am very disappointed that today’s race went the way it did. We were running second and had a large gab over third, so I think we could have had another podium finish following yesterday. I got aggressive trying to catch the leader and made a mistake, but that is a part of learning. We’ve learned a lot and I feel I’ve improved from St. Petersburg to today. We will keep looking forward and onto Edmonton. I think we have a good chance of doing well there. I just want to thank everybody again for working so hard and to K12, Zakoski Data Backup, Young Marines, Replay XD, ADS, OMP, and Arai Helmets for their continued support.”
Making his first start outside his native of America, Veach opened the weekend in grand style topping the speed charts just ahead of his Andretti Autosport teammate Sage Karam during the opening round of practice on the Streets of Toronto. Karam then showed his hand and sat pole on the charts in practice two while Veach fell back to third, just behind former USF2000 competitor Petri Suvanto.
“Toronto has been really good to us so far,” said Veach. “We were first in the opening practice session this morning. That was great because it’s the first road course practice session we’ve led all year. We ended up third in the second practice. I think that we will only continue to move forward from here. All of the K12 Andretti Autosport guys are working their tails off. If we stay down this path, we will be really quick for qualifying tomorrow and we should be able to get on the podium for the race. However, nothing is guaranteed here and Toronto is definitely a tough track. We will keep working at it and see what we come up with for tomorrow.”
The K12 pilot Veach would then keep his third place spot following the final practice session when qualifications ended as mother nature let loose with heavy rain with Veach in the third position on the charts. During the race, Veach remained within the top-three before finishing in the second position and posting his best result in Star Maszda. His podium result gave Veach his second podium of the 2012 racing season and third overall in Star Mazda.
“We led the first practice session yesterday and had a good second session,” continued Veach. “Qualifying ended up going really well because we finished third. I think all of that just carried us into the weekend and our podium finish. We haven’t changed a single thing about the car since we rolled it off the truck at the start of the weekend. The team has done a really great job and I am happy to be a part of Andretti Autosport. They deserve this because it was been a tough year so far. I’m glad I was able to get the K12 car on the podium here in Toronto and I’m looking forward to trying to do it again tomorrow.”
The second race of the weekend had Veach starting second behind Race #1 winner Jack Hawksworth, with the grid being set by best lap times from Race #1 on the weekend. Veach held tight to his second position for much of the race, but on Lap 11, clipped the tire barrier in Turn 6, damaging his right-rear suspension and ending his day. The crash beset him for the balance of the race, giving him a finish of 17th to round out the weekend on the 2.84-kilometer, 11-turn street circuit in Toronto.
If you missed the action in person on the streets of Toronto, this weekend’s Star Mazda race will air nationally on Discovery’s Velocity Network and globally on ESPN International. In the U.S., the race will air at 12 Noon, EDT on Sat., Aug. 4. For international dates and times, check local listings.
Veach returns to the racetrack for rounds nine and 10 of the Star Mazda Championship season with a second trip to Canada for the Grand Prix of Edmonton. Practice is scheduled to begin on July 20 at 9:00 a.m. EDT with qualifications set for July 21 at 11:00 a.m. EDT followed by Race #1 at 2:30 p.m. EDT later that day. Race #2 is set for July 22 at 9:30 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, 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.
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 visitwww.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
Source: BRANDed Management for Zach Veach Racing, Press Release
Article Tags: 2012 Honda Indy Toronto, 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series, 2012 Toronto 100, Andretti Autosport, Exhibition Place, Firestone, Firestone Indy Lights, Grand Prix of Toronto, Honda Indy Toronto, IICS, IndyCar, IZOD, IZOD IndyCar Series, Mazda, Mazda Road to Indy, Streets of Toronto, The Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda, Toronto 100, USF2000, Zach Veach