By winning the 2006 Star Mazda Championship, Ace Carrio was awarded a free test in a Sam Schmidt Motorsports-prepared Indy Pro Series car. Last week he flew to Homestead-Miami Speedway and was strapped into a 450-horsepower Indy Pro Series machine for the first time.
“It was really good,” said Carrio, who just started his senior year of high school. “I actually just drove (the final Star Mazda race) a couple of days ago, so I was pretty fresh in the car. I got acclimated pretty quickly. It was just a couple of changes, the car, the horsepower mainly. I just concentrated on keeping it on the track and getting a good, general overview of how the car felt. It’s really well-balanced. I had a great time running with such a professional team in a car with this much power.”
Roger Bailey, executive director of the Indy Pro Series, was on hand to witness the test. “Ace displayed quite a lot of talent, speed and consistency. He has the makings of a future race winner in the Indy Pro Series.”
Ace’s coach John Olsen of Standing Start was also on hand for support during the test. “Ace did a great job driving, and also representing himself as the champion that he is,” stated Olsen.
Ace is planning on keeping sharp in his Star Mazda during the winter with World Speed Motorsports, and he is also looking forward to his Atlantic test with Forsythe in November at Thunderhill. “I am really excited to be able to drive the Atlantic with one of the best teams in the series. I believe that the Star Mazda Series and all of the competition that is there has made me ready for the next step.” As part of the 2006 Star Mazda prize package Ace also won a Daytona Prototype test with Crawford that has yet to be scheduled.