Karam Secures Seven Top-Ten Finishes and Two Poles During Rookie Season
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 19, 2011) – Andretti Autosport driver Sage Karam finished the 2011 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear with two race wins and the prestigious Rookie of the Year award.
In his first season in the competitive Star Mazda series, Karam had a total of seven top-five finishes, including three podiums, and secured two pole positions throughout the year. The up-and-coming young driver finished fifth in championship points standings. In June, Karam led 93 of 98 laps around the Milwaukee Mile to record his first victory of the season. He won his second race with a 7.8-second lead at Iowa Speedway.
Karam, a 16-year old native of Nazareth, Pa., won the 2010 Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda driver championship with Andretti Autosport, scoring nine victories in 12 starts during the season. He also helped Andretti Autosport clinch the USF2000 team title, its first championship since re-branding in 2009.
Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport driver in the 2011 USF2000 series, joined Karam for the final two rounds of the Star Mazda Championship. Veach, a 16-year-old from Stockdale, Ohio, secured a third place podium finish at the final race of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
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. As the 2010 USF2000 championship winner, Karam received a sponsorship package from Mazda valued at $350,000 to help him advance to the Star Mazda series in 2011 as part of the Mazda Road to Indy program.
For more information, visit www.AndrettiAutosport.com and www.StarMazda.com .
J-F THORMANN, CHAIRMAN, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER,
“We are extremely proud of everything Sage [Karam] has accomplished this year in the Star Mazda Championship. Moving up from USF2000 was a big step for both him and the team, and he handled the learning experiences of the good and bad very well. He worked hard and deserved the Rookie of the Year award. With his talent and with a year’s experience, we are certain he will be successful next year as well and has an even better shot at the championship title. We were also pleased with Zach’s [Veach] quick adjustment to the Star Mazda car in these last two races and his podium finish this past weekend. We are looking forward to next year in the Mazda Road to Indy.”
SAGE KARAM, DRIVER, #88 TEAM MAZDASPEED/COMFORT REVOLUTION:
“This season had a lot of ups and downs. There were a lot of great moments, though, and definitely a lot of learning experiences. No one expected a win or podiums, so I think we have to be happy with our results. The MAZDASPEED/Comfort Revolution team at Andretti Autosport did an awesome job throughout the year. Even for the races that we didn’t finish in the top-five, I know we were all working our hardest. But that’s just part of learning. I’m honored to be named Rookie of the Year. It’s been a lot of fun this season, and hopefully we can come back stronger for the championship next year.”
ZACH VEACH, DRIVER, #77 TEAM ZAKOSI DATA BACKUP:
“Coming from USF2000 with Sage [Karam] as my teammate last year, I jumped at the chance to become teammates again. We work really well together, so he was a big help when I started to run the Star Mazda car. I have to thank Andretti Autosport for allowing me to have this experience and move up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder one rung at a time. It was great to get some seat time before next season, when we can make another run for a Star Mazda win.”
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 also campaigns multiple cars 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.