The newly established Team Pelfrey squad announced Wednesday that Connor De Phillippi has joined its team to contest this year's Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. The Californian joins the Florida-based team having captured the Star Mazda Rookie of the Year award last year, following his title-winning Skip Barber National campaign and Team USA Scholarship run that included a victory in the prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy Formula Ford race in England.
De Phillippi will drive the No. 11 Oakley/Justice Brothers/Hernan Capdevila entry, partnering the previously signed Nick Andries, who will contest his first full season of Star Mazda action with the team after running selected races last year in addition to a race-winning run in Skip Barber National.
“I'm so glad to be a part of Team Pelfrey,” said De Phillippi. “This off-season has been a lot of hard work, and we really had to make sure every piece of the puzzle was perfectly in place. I feel that here at Team Pelfrey they have the best of the best, and will give me the greatest opportunity to win this year's Star Mazda Championship title."
“Geoff [Fickling, Pelfrey team manager] and I had many conversations about Connor being a strong candidate to fit into the program,” said Andries. “It's great that he is on board. I'm looking forward to us working together as a team, and pushing each other as teammates to reach our full potential.”
Dale Pelfrey, a former IndyCar Series team owner, set up Team Pelfrey at a shop in Clearwater, Fla., in December, hiring Fickling and Andries, and adding De Phillippi is another coup for the squad.
“Our team keeps getting strong every day,” enthused Fickling. “What we've been able to put together in the last couple of months has been quite remarkable and to have a driver of Connor's caliber put his trust in our hands speaks volumes for what we've built. I knew from the first time I saw Connor race many years ago that he was a special talent, which is why it's so special for us to have him join our driver lineup for this season. Our team is shaping up quite nicely and honestly, I couldn't be happier.”