Reigning Star Mazda champion Conor Daly has confirmed dual-series plans for 2011. Daly, the son of former F1 and IndyCar driver Derek Daly, will run the full season in the Europe-based GP3 series for Carlin Motorsport, while also running non-conflicting road course races in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship with Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
"I'm extremely pleased to have all the plans worked out for 2011," said Daly. "It's taken a lot of work and I'm extremely thankful to everyone at Mazda, who spent a great deal of time making sure my program was in order. It really shows how dedicated Mazda is to their ladder drivers. With the significant changes to the ladder system in 2010, Mazda still stayed devoted to supporting their champions. I'm honored to have the support of Mazda for the 2011 season and beyond."
Daly will run the first three Indy Lights races at St. Petersburg, Barber and Long Beach, and will return for two more events at Trois-Rivieres in August and Baltimore in September. The GP3 season, which supports Formula 1 during the European portion of the calendar, starts May 8 in Istanbul.
"GP3 will be a big challenge; almost all the circuits will be a new experience for me," Daly admitted. "But I think that with the advice and help of the team I will have all the ingredients I need to challenge for good results from the outset."
Team boss Trevor Carlin added: "He has displayed great talent in America and we were extremely impressed with him during GP3 testing last year. This season will be a tough learning curve for him, but he has the ability and attitude to be able to turn whatever challenges he faces this season into success."