Andretti Autosport Signs Sage Karam as Driver for 2011 Star Mazda Championship
INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 16, 2010: Andretti Autosport announced today it has signed Sage Karam to drive in the 2011 Star Mazda Championship series. Comfort Revolution, a mattress manufacturer, has signed on as the primary sponsor for the entry.
The announcement marks Andretti Autosport's debut in the Star Mazda series and gives the team entries in each level of IndyCar's 'Road to Indy' development program, which includes the USF2000 National Championship, Star Mazda, Firestone Indy Lights and the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Karam, a 15-year old native of Nazareth, Pa., won the 2010 USF2000 driver championship with Andretti Autosport, scoring nine victories in 12 starts during the season. He also helped Andretti Autosport clinch the USF2000 team title, its first championship since re-branding in 2009.
As the championship winner, Karam received a sponsorship package from Mazda valued at $350,000 to help him advance to the Star Mazda series in 2011 as part of the 'Road to Indy' program.
The 2011 Star Mazda season will begin on March 26 in conjunction with the IZOD IndyCar Series' Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The schedule continues with 10 more races held with IndyCar, American Le Mans and USAC events. For a complete schedule, please visit www.StarMazda.com.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT: "Sage did a great job in 2010 and really showed us what he is capable of. I'm glad we can continue to bring him through the ranks of the 'Road to Indy' program. This takes us one step closer to developing a driver all the way through to the IZOD IndyCar Series. I'm looking forward to seeing what Sage can accomplish next season."
J-F THORMANN, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT: "I'm pleased we were able to put this program together with Sage and Michael Fux. It's always satisfying to be able to not only bring talented drivers to the paddock but to also be able to give them the building blocks for a solid career. I have fond memories working with Marco [Andretti] in Star Mazda to bring him through the ranks of open wheel racing, and I know Sage will have similar success with Andretti Autosport."
MICHAEL FUX, COMFORT REVOLUTION: "We were very proud of Sage's accomplishments last season, and I know he will do just as well in Star Mazda. Moving up the ladder will give him the tools he needs to become the best driver he can be. On behalf of Comfort Revolution, I look forward to working with him again as a sponsor in 2011."
SAGE KARAM, DRIVER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT: "Andretti Autosport did such a fantastic job of preparing me for the USF2000 series that choosing a Star Mazda team was an easy choice. "I developed a lot of close relationships with the Andretti Autosport team members last year; it's like a family. I've always sensed the team's dedication and desire to win. Performing for them and never letting them down were always priorities of mine. "Driving for Andretti Autosport is special for me. Growing up in Nazareth, Mario, Michael and Marco have always been heroes to me. So every time I strap in the Andretti car, it's very special to me. "I believe in the 'Road to Indy' program and I know that the team does too. It's an exciting time to be a part of IndyCar and the Andretti Autosport family. "I'd like to thank Michael Fux for believing in me and for supporting me through each step of my career."