Team Pelfrey announced it has signed Gustavo Menezes for the upcoming season of Star Mazda presented by Goodyear competition. The Californian, who is returning for a second Star Mazda season, will join British rookie Jack Hawksworth on the Florida-based squad, which is expected to add more drivers shortly. The 17-year-old Menezes finished in the top-five twice, and earned nine top-10 finishes en route to eighth in Star Mazda points this year.
"I am very happy to say that next year I will be a part of Team Pelfrey," said Menezes. "They are a great team to be a part of and are awesome to work with. This past season they did a great job, especially for a rookie team, winning the team championship and more. I think I will learn a lot with such an experienced crew and with my new great teammates. I am so stoked to work with one of the most familiar faces in my racing career, Rocky Moran. Geoff [Fickling] has got a solid team for next year, and I cannot wait for the first race of the 2012 season to see what happens.
"We are thrilled to welcome such a talented young driver to our team," added Fickling, Team Pelfrey team manager. "Gustavo is a great kid with a ton of talent, and we're very excited to begin working with him. I couldn't be happier with how our team is shaping up heading into the new year."
Menezes, despite his young age, enters his second full season of Star Mazda competition with a good deal of motorsports success on his resume. The Santa Monica, Calif., resident began racing karts at the age of six, winning at both the regional and national level. Prior to making the transition to junior formula car action, Menezes contested an international karting schedule in 2009 and 2010, racing in the WSK International Series and contesting various major events in Europe and the U.S.A. In addition to running the entire 11-race Star Mazda Championship last season, Menezes competed in Europe in his first season of car competition, running selected events in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and Formula Renault 2.0 Alps Championship.
Menezes recently commenced his new partnership with Team Pelfrey via private testing, and will continue preparations for the upcoming season over the coming weeks with more off-season testing.