Newly-crowned Star Mazda champion Adam Christodoulou got his first taste of the Atlantic Championship as preparations for the 2010 season began to get underway in earnest.
The Briton, who claimed the Star Mazda title at the first attempt in 2009, enjoyed a two-day test with Team Stargate Worlds at Buttonwillow Raceway, logging nearly 400 miles in cool weather conditions aboard the #78 machine that Simona de Silvestro took to four victories and third in points this year. The team, which is based at Buttonwillow, reported that 20-year old Christodoulou managed to work up to speed quickly and rarely put a wheel wrong over the two days.
“I was pleased,” engineer Burke Harrison reported, “He was very consistent and obviously has a lot of raw talent. The conditions here weren't great, but there was very little off-track drama at all and the feedback was good. We made progress on the balance of the car, especially the second day.
"I thought it was a very good test. That's the way I judge someone. We were trying stuff, we weren't just driving around, putting new tyres on and looking for a lap. We worked the day like you would a good test. He never got tired, the times were consistent, his feedback was good, he went out and got after it. All in all, it was a positive test.”
Christodoulou receives a free ride in the 2010 Atlantic Championship, the top rung of the Mazdaspeed Motorsports Driver Development Ladder, as part of his prize for winning the Star Mazda title, and the Briton was satisfied after his maiden run in one the series' cars.
“It's been really good,” Christodoulou said, “We never ran into and trouble and ended up just a fraction off Simona's time around here, so I think, for my second day in the car, it's gone extremely well.
"The team did an awesome job. We didn't have any problems on their part. I had one minor detour off the track but, apart from that, everything else ran smoothly. We've had two days of flat-out testing, and it's been quite cold, but it's been some good testing and it's been an enjoyable first experience in the Atlantic car. I've really enjoyed it.”
After a break for the holidays, both Team Stargate Worlds and Christodoulou expect to hit the Atlantic testing trail hard early in the New Year, with both expecting to participate in recently-confirmed series-sanctioned test at Sebring International Raceway on the weekend of 22-24 January.
While there are still a few more days left in 2009, all involved with the championship are already focused on the 2010 season, which is set to kick off at Sebring International Raceway on Friday 19 March as part of the festivities for the 58th Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.