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PDM Racing Still Very Much in Business


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (September 13, 2011) - Contrary to the belief of some, PDM Racing is not down and out and not gone and forgotten. The Indianapolis-based team is very much still in business with team president Paul Diatlovich eyeing the 2012 season.


Although the team has been on a season-long hiatus in 2011, Diatlovich has been working to put some sort of deal together that would get the team back on the starting grid. PDM Racing is one of the original teams in the Indy Racing League and competing in the Indianapolis 500 and the IZOD IndyCar Series remain goals for the 16-year-old operation. In recent years, the team has competed in Firestone Indy Lights, but the intention was always to get back to the “big leagues” of auto racing.


“We have a competitive Indy Lights car in our stable ready to go and all we need is a competent driver to drive it,” Diatlovich pointed out. “We also have the infra-structure needed for a team along with a very nice suite behind the pits at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Two years ago, our team was good enough to win the opening two rounds of the Firestone Indy Lights series and lead the championship. Unfortunately, we got sidetracked along the way, but we never lost our desire or ambition to come back and compete at that level. We know we can do it again.”


For Diatlovich and PDM, 2011 became a lost cause.


“We came close a race or two this season, but ultimately we had to step back and take a look at things and reevaluate,” he said. “We have a couple of promising situations to consider for 2012. But being a veteran of this sport, I know all too well the dangers of jumping the gun. So let’s say that I am cautiously optimistic and hopefully we will have something to announce real soon.”




First Oval-Track Test Successful for Ramies


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 11, 2010) - When the sun set on the Nashville Superspeedway on Thursday evening, more than 200 trouble-free miles had been run, the No. 18 PDM Racing Dallara remained in immaculate condition and a happy student and teacher pondered the future.


Michael Ramies, a 19-year-old resident of Portola Valley, CA., successfully completed his first test on an oval track in car that PDM Racing runs in the Firestone Indy Lights Series. To put it simply, he passed the test with flying colors and did so on a track he had never seen and on a type of track he had never driven. In fact, having visited the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway only a couple weeks earlier, the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway was only the second oval track he had ever seen in person. Paul Diatlovich, owner of PDM Racing, was certainly impressed with Ramies’ effort.


“You simply have to put this in perspective,” Diatlovich said after the test. “Here’s a young man who had never driven an oval in any kind of racing car, and he patiently listens and learns and then goes out and does the equivalent of two Indy Lights races without any problems. That’s very impressive. Obviously, the next step is to find a way to get him more testing, but I like his attitude, his questions and his overall understanding of what is happening with the car.”


Veteran Indy Lights driver Logan Gomez did some laps in the PDM Dallara to give Ramies a baseline. Then it was time for the young Californian to perform.


“You can’t just put someone who has never driven an oval in the car and say: ‘Go for it,’ ” Diatlovich continued. “In 50 laps, Michael had matched Logan’s lap time. We worked on things all day and the only thing that prevented us from getting more laps was the fact the sun is now setting much more early. But afterward, I was also impressed with what he had to say. He’s very mature for someone so young.”


Ramies had the same reaction most new drivers have driving an oval for the first time.


“When I first drove into the track, I’ll have to say it intimidated me a bit—I had the same feeling when I visited Indianapolis,” he explained. “It was weird being able to see most of the track and of course there was the thought that if you spin, you have the wall. That’s not something you feel on a road course. It also took me some time getting used to the padding (head restraint). I’m used to moving my head around when I run a road course, but I understand the reason for having it and I did get used to it.”


After a pair of 10-lap stints, he got to try a 25-lap run and by the time he returned to the pits, he was running flat out.


“I thought it would take me all day to go flat,” Ramies continued. “But by the end of the first 25-lap stint, I was able to do it. Paul is very good to work with. He teaches you to put a lot of confidence in the car and what it can do. Now I definitely want to run in this series in this car. We just need to get the funding to do that and do more testing.”


And that’s the plan. For more information, contact PDM Racing at 317-297-5025 or Mike Fink of Fineline Motorsports Marketing at 317-291-9180.



Michael Ramies, PDM Plan Test at Nashville


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 9, 2010) - In keeping with its tradition of working with promising young drivers, PDM Racing will test Michael Ramies this Thursday at Nashville Superspeedway, giving the California teen his first opportunity to run on an oval track.


With his eye ultimately on Formula One, Ramies realizes that the IZOD IndyCar Series is also viable path to what many consider the pinnacle of auto racing. But the path to IndyCar includes the Firestone Indy Lights Series. Two weeks ago, Ramies got his first test in an Indy Lights car, running the No. 18 PDM Racing entry at Putnam Park. The Putnam test and subsequent test at Nashville appear to have given the 19-year-old resident of Portola Valley, CA., another goal.


“I’ve been interested in F1 for a long time and I’ll have to say that I never really understood IndyCar,” Ramies said while being fitted for a driver’s seat in the PDM shop. “But now that I’ve been around it a bit, I feel better about it. It’s a great series and even if I don’t reach F1, I would be satisfied to say I have done IndyCar and run in the 500.”


Team owner Paul Diatlovich looks forward to Ramies’ first oval laps.


“He proved to be a good listener and did everything we asked on him in the Putnam Park test,” Diatlovich pointed out. “He asked the right questions and understood what the car was doing. Although all of his experience has been driving road courses, the PDM Dallara has more downforce than any car he has raced so the Putnam Park test was a good first step. The next obvious step is to put him on an oval for the first time. If you want to run in our series, you need to be able to race on all type of tracks.”


Ramies raced go-karts for four years but really got the racing bug after his father, Tom, participated in a Skip Barber driving school. Father encouraged son to also give the school a try and before too long, he had graduated from student to full-time competitor. He won the Barber Western Regional 2008-9 Winter Championship. One thing led to another and Ramies’ progress led to a test with TRG Racing and a spot on the USF1 driver development team, which allowed him to train with highly regarded British driving coach, Rob Wilson.


The latest test opportunity came courtesy Mike Fink of Fineline Motorsports Marketing, who aligned Ramies with PDM. Next up is the all-important oval test at 1.3-mile Nashville track. Although the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the first oval track he has ever visited, he feels confident taking that first test with the experienced crew of Diatlovich and Crew Chief Justin Herring.


“It’s supposed to be a challenging track so I hope to get a few laps in a passenger car beforehand so I can learn things like the proper line,” Ramies said. “It definitely feels good to work with Paul and the PDM guys. The Putnam Park test went well even though I had driven road courses before. An oval track will different from anything I’ve experienced, but I have confidence in this team. Hopefully, we will have a trouble-free test and look to the future.”



PDM Helped Rodrigo Make Progress in 2010


INDIANAPOLIS—Now that the last checkered flag has fallen on the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Series championship and the dust has settled, it is a good time to reflect on the season of PDM Racing and its driver, Rodrigo Barbosa of Sao Paulo, Brazil.


With a lot of help from his friends at PDM, Barbosa can look back on 2010 with pride, especially when comparing this season to his rookie Indy Lights season of 2009. As the saying goes, “it was the difference between night and day.”


In that first season, Barbosa struggled to qualify and once was prohibited from starting because his practice and qualifying times were too slow. By contrast, he qualified for every 2010 race and went on to record the best finishes of his short Indy Lights career. He also ended up earning the “Force for Earth Hard Charger Award” from improving the most total positions during 2010.


In a nutshell, what the driver of the No. 18 PDM Racing entry did was:


•Finished 11 of 13 races in the 2010 season compared to eight of 14 races run in 2009.

•Finished 10 races in a row in 2010 compared to only two races in a row on three different occasions in 2009.

•Had four top-10 finishes in 2010 compared to one top-10 finish in 2009.

•Recorded a career-best finish of eighth at Watkins Glen compared to his best of 2009--a 10th-place finish at Chicago--coincidentally, the first time he worked with PDM’s Paul Diatlovich.

•Did not crash out of any race in 2010 compared to 2009 when accidents eliminated him from four races.

•Wound up 12th in the final point standings as opposed to 15th in the final standings of 2009.


Barbosa also scored back-to-back, top-10 finishes with the eighth-place run at Watkins Glen followed by a ninth-place result at Toronto.


“You simply need only to look at the results he recorded in 2009 and compare what he did in 2010 to see that he definitely made progress,” said Diatlovich, who is legendary in the Indy-car community for being to able to successfully work with new drivers. “In reality, this was Rodrigo’s rookie season; he learned nothing last year and followed up this season by doing an overall better job in the cockpit. We helped him by giving him a good car and he responded by staying out of trouble and bringing the car home each time.”


“As I have stated many times before, I can’t thank Paul and the guys at PDM enough for helping me improve this season,” Barbosa said. “Every race, they gave me a good car and that is why I was able to finish so many races, as well as score my best finishes. I hope we can come back together next season and improve some more.”



Barbosa Finishes Season With 14th at Homestead


HOMESTEAD, FL (October 2, 2010) - Brazil’s Rodrigo Barbosa finished the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season by placing 14th in the race Saturday afternoon, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In doing so, he also finished 12th overall in the final standings with a tally of 241 points. It marked the 10th straight race that the driver of the No. 18 PDM Racing entry had been running at the finish this year.


In Sunday evening’s awards ceremony, Rodrigo earned an extra $5,000 for winning the “Force for Earth Hard Charger Award” from improving the most total positions during the season.


“I want to thank Paul Diatlovich (the team owner), Justin Herring (the chief mechanic) and the rest of the PDM crew for giving me such a good car this season,” Barbosa said. “This may have been the same car I drove last year, but it was not the same car—it was a better car.”


In Saturday’s race, Barbosa started 17th and briefly moved up two spots as the field headed into Turn 1 before dropping back to 17th. A few laps later, he managed to avoid the Turn 4 accident that eliminated Dan Clarke and cost Gustavo Yacaman a lap for repairs in the pits. Barbosa was 15th but managed to pass series champion J.K. Vernay to move into 14th where he remained for the rest of the race. Brandon Wagner won the race, the final one of the season.


“You need only to look at Rodrigo’s results last season to see that he clearly improved,” said Diatlovich. “Considering the fact our team won two races last year, I would have liked to have seen Rodrigo finish higher than he did, but he ended up being a better driver than he was in 2009. Last year, he struggled to finish in the top 10; this season he finished there three times with a top result of eighth.


“I also want to thank the guys on the PDM Racing crew who worked very hard week in and week out to give Rodrigo a good car. I couldn’t ask for any more from them. They did an outstanding job.”




Rodrigo Winds Up In 11th Place At Kentucky


SPARTA, KY (September 4, 2010) - He was involved in a minor accident in Friday practice and had a major shunt unfold before him on the opening lap of the race, but Rodrigo Barbosa managed to survive and finish 11th in Saturday’s 100-mile Firestone Indy Lights event at Kentucky Speedway.


Driving the No. 18 PDM Racing entry, Barbosa’s car sustained minor damage after contact with a fellow competitor during practice, but it was the opening lap of the race that provided the highlight film. Starting 11th, Barbosa dropped back to 14th heading into the second turn, and that might not been a bad thing considering what was about to happen. As the field entered Turn 4, Daniel Herrington and Phillip Major tangled.  Herrington’s car stayed high with its left front suspension heavily damaged. As Major’s car slid down the banked turn, the car of Herrington’s teammate, Stefan Wilson, collected him broadside. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the race was red-flagged for nearly 30 minutes.


The accident moved Barbosa, who managed to avoid the wrecked cars and the debris, back to 11th and that would be the high point of his race. He finished three laps down to race winner Pippa Mann, marking the ninth straight time the Brazilian and the PDM entry have made it to the checker this season.


But perhaps the real highlight for the weekend was Barbosa’s qualifying effort which saw him post the 11th-fastest time, only four-10th of a second off Mann’s pole position time.


Team owner Paul Diatlovich was philosophical.


“Our guys gave Rodrigo a good car and his qualifying time shows that we had a car capable of running with the lead pack,” Diatlovich. “Once again, you look at the carnage from the race—three heavily damaged cars and the main damage for us this weekend was a front wing and a slightly damaged wheel from the Friday accident. So now we get ready and look forward to the season finale at Homestead.”


The final race of the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights series will be held Oct. 2 at the Miami-Homestead Speedway in Florida.



Barbosa Records Solid Top-10 Finish at Chicago



JOLIET, IL (August 28, 2010) - Rodrigo Barbosa dodged an early-race accident, overcame a pit stop for a cut tire and avoided the disappointment of nearly being lapped by the leader to rebound and run a strong race to finish 10th Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway in the Firestone Indy Lights Series.


Driving the No. 18 PDM Racing entry, Barbosa started 15th and briefly tried an inside pass on Adrian Campos Jr. as the field headed into Turn 1. He remained in 15th, but soon gained two spots when Charlie Kimball tangled with Gustavo Yacaman in Turn 2. Kimball flipped and the race was red-flagged but neither driver was injured.


However, when the field began its pace lap for the restart, Barbosa dashed into the pit to have the left front tire replaced. By the time the field crossed the line for the green flag, Barbosa was nearly a half-lap behind on the backstretch. He dropped back and appeared destined to go down a lap when he got a reprieve with a caution for Martin Plowman, who had a tire disintegrate after contact with Pippa Mann. That moved Barbosa up to 12th, but perhaps more importantly allowed him to catch up to the field.


He gained 11th position when Sebastian Saavedra stalled and moved into 10th place when Brandon Wagner spun. He would remain in 10th and finished slightly more than three seconds behind race winner James Hinchcliffe, who edged Mann at the finish line. It marked the eighth straight race that Barbosa and the PDM car have been running at the finish.


“It all really started for me when I hooked up with Paul (Diatlovich) and the PDM team at this race last year and I scored my only top-10 finish of the season,” Barbosa said. “It’s good to know that we have several top-10 finishes this year and my team continues to give me a car that will go the distance. This clearly has been a better season.”


“Rodrigo had a solid weekend,” added team owner Paul Diatlovich. “I think he got discouraged when that unscheduled pit stop put him so far behind. Fortunately, we got a break with the next yellow and after that, he was like a different driver. He ran his best laps in the final stint and that’s why he was so much closer to the winner this time. It was definitely an improvement.”


Barbosa and the PDM team continue next week at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, the penultimate round of the 2010 championship.




Rodrigo 12th at Sonoma; Finishes Seventh Straight


SONOMA, CA (August 22, 2010) - Rodrigo Barbosa once again kept the PDM Racing Dallara out of harm’s way and wound up finishing 12th in Sunday’s Firestone Indy Lights race at Infineon Raceway. It marked the seventh straight race the Brazilian driver has been running at the checker in the No. 18 PDM entry.


Barbosa qualified 16th on Saturday after experiencing some mechanical issues, but found the car much more to his liking for the Sunday pre-race warm-up and the race itself. The 21-year-old native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, was 13th overall in the morning warm-up and appeared to be ready to move forward when the race started.


Unfortunately, when the field rounded the hairpin that leads onto the main straight for the start, Barbosa was nearly put into the wall by fellow Brazilian Giancarlo Vilarinho. There was no contact, by Barbosa’s evasive action kept the car in the contest intact. Several laps later, he ran wide coming off the Turn 7 hairpin, but managed to keep the car straight. The spectacular dust cloud from his partial off-course excursion was replayed on the Versus IZOD IndyCar Series telecast.


Attrition allowed Barbosa to move up to 12th position when the checker flew after 40 laps. Points leader J.K. Vernay won the race, the 10th of 13 in the 2010 championship.


“We had some mechanical problems on Saturday,” Barbosa pointed out. “I found the car was much better today. Overall, it is good to have a reliable car and good to keep scoring some points.”


“Once again, we had a weekend of teaching and learning and Rodrigo responded by staying out of trouble and finishing the race,” added team owner Paul Diatlovich. “We continue to use last season as a yardstick. He ran here a year ago and finished 16th, one lap down to the race winner. This year, his qualifying time was closer to the quick time than it was a year ago, even though he had some mechanical issues, and with that situation remedied on Sunday, you could see the difference when he ran in the pre-race warm-up—he went faster and drove more aggressively. He continues to show improvement.”


Rodrigo and the PDM crew will not have much time for rest. They race again this coming Saturday at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., the site of his first top-10 finish in Indy Lights.



Rodrigo Keeps Running, Gets 12th at Mid-Ohio


LEXINGTON, OH (August 8, 2010) - For the sixth straight race, Brazil’s Rodrigo Barbosa took the checkered flag, this time finishing sixth in the Mid-Ohio 100 Sunday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the ninth leg of the 13-race 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Series.


Driving the No. 18 Dallara of PDM Racing, Barbosa overcome a brief off-course excursion to keep the car running at the finish. Although he was running 13th at the time, he wound up gaining another position when David Martinez spun off the course on the final lap. Barbosa also moved up in the standings to 11th with the absence of Pippa Mann, who is recovering from surgery for a hand injury. Barbosa now has 168 points for the season.


All in all, it was another consistent effort for the 21-year-old native of Sao Paulo, Brazil.


“We look for every positive we can get and it started with the way Rodrigo practiced and qualified,” said team owner Paul Diatlovich. “He continued to improve his times in every session and when qualifying ended, he wasn’t in last place. Then in the pre-race warm-up, he went out and recorded his fastest lap of the weekend. He continues to show improvement and I am pleased we are going in that direction.”


Barbosa qualified 14th out of 15 cars entered, but benefited from Gustavo Yacaman’s mechanical problem on the pace lap that caused the Colombian driver to lose several laps before joining the race, ultimately won by pole winner Martin Plowman. Despite a brief off-course trip late in the race, Barbosa continued in 13th place for most of the race, only to be elevated to 12th on the final lap.


“Obviously, it would be nice to have finished in the top 10 again, but it is good to know that I have a reliable car to drive,” Barbosa said. “I did much better times than I did here a year ago and overall, it was a good weekend.”


Next up for Barbosa and the PDM crew is the 100-miler at the picturesque Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Cal., right in the middle of California wine country. The race is set for Sunday, Aug. 22.



Rodrigo Brings It Home for Fifth Straight Finish


EDMONTON, Canada (July 25, 2010) - On the surface, a 12th-place finish in an auto race does not represent much. However, in the case of Rodrigo Barbosa, his 12th-place run Sunday at the Edmonton City Centre Airport circuit represents a quantum leap from his race there a year ago.


Last year, the 21-year-old Brazilian rookie finished 14th out of 16 starters and was three laps down to the leaders when the checkered flag fell. On Sunday, in the eighth round of the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Series, Barbosa went the distance in the No. 18 PDM Racing entry and finished on the same lap as race winner James Hinchcliffe. That is a reasonably significant jump in 12 months’ time.


Barbosa also finished his fifth straight race this season. That’s also a significant improvement when one considers that he was only able to finish two races in a row on just two occasions last season.


“When you look at the result on paper, it obviously does not reflect the improvement Rodrigo has made,” said PDM Team Owner Paul Diatlovich. “Sure, we’d love to be celebrating a top five or a podium finish, but we aren’t there yet. Rodrigo is learning all the time and this result when compared to his race here a year ago shows that he certainly is learning.”


“I am glad to have finished another race and it shows that my PDM team is giving me a good car every race,” Barbosa added. “But I also am pleased to compare this race to last year’s and see that I not only went faster, but I was able to finish on the lead lap. That didn’t happen very often last year.”


Next up for Barbosa and the PDM team will be the Aug. 8 Indy Lights event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.



Rodrigo 9th at Toronto for Third Straight Top-10 Finish


TORONTO (July 18, 2010) - Rodrigo Barbosa struggled all through 2009 trying to get a top-10 finish in the Firestone Indy Lights Series, but it’s becoming more and more apparent that he isn’t worried too much about last year.


In fact, he has to be a lot more enthused about this year. Thanks to his current arrangement with PDM Racing, the 21-year-old Brazilian finished in the top 10 for the fourth time in the 2010 season. Piloting the No. 18 Dallara of PDM Racing, Barbosa started 14th on the temporary circuit of Toronto’s Exhibition Place but wound up ninth overall in Sunday’s Toronto 100 and for the second straight race was on the same lap as the leaders. The race also marked the fourth straight time he was running at the finish.


He remains in 12th position in the point standings with 132 points, but is only six points behind 11th-placed Pippa Mann and nine points behind Adrian Campos Jr., who is currently 10th overall. Series point leader J.K. Vernay captured the Toronto race, his fourth victory of 2010.


Naturally, the PDM camp was a collection of, well, happy campers.


“When you’ve won races like we have, you don’t normally treat a ninth like a victory and this certainly is not a victory,” said PDM Owner Paul Diatlovich. “But when you look at this kid’s performance last season and even look where we were at during pre-season testing, he’s come a long way. He still has a lot to learn and he knows that, but the good thing is that he is responding now race after race with a consistent performance and he scoring some points while he’s learning. This is another weekend where I come away pleased with the result.”


“Once again, I have to thank Paul and the rest of the PDM crew for getting my car prepared and helping me score another top-10 finish,” said Barbosa. “I want to keep on finishing the races, but I also hope we can move up a bit and score some better results.”


Barbosa and the PDM team will not have to wait long. From Toronto, they travel to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for this coming Sunday’s Firestone Indy Lights race.



Photos from Watkins Glen


                     
                                                                                            
                                                   





Barbosa 9th at Watkins Glen; Second Straight Top 10


WATKINS GLEN, NY (July 4, 2010) - The course in competitive auto racing continued Sunday at Watkins Glen International Raceway and the student showed the teachers some real progress with a steady, ninth-place finish in the Corning 100 Firestone Indy Lights event.


Rodrigo Barbosa (AKA the student) piloted the No. 18 Dallara entered by PDM Racing to his second straight top-10 finish for 2010 and third of the season. The 21-year-old Brazilian driver also finished his third straight race, a personal best over his rookie season of 2009 when he finished consecutive races on three occasions. Barbosa is currently 12th in the standings with 110 points, only four behind 10th place--jointly held by England’s Dan Clarke and Pippa Mann.


Perhaps more importantly, Barbosa also finished on the lead lap and was NOT the last car on the lead lap—a common occurrence last year. It was a satisfying weekend for the student and his teachers (AKA team owner Paul Diatlovich, chief mechanic Justin Herring).


“We keep learning and Rodrigo keeps learning as well,” said Diatlovich. “He ran conservatively at first and took care of his tires and following a caution about three quarters of the way through race, he ran very good laps. We treat every race and every test as a learning experience for our driver and the team. Overall, we had a very good weekend and I am pleased with his progress.”


The driver was also pleased.


“Last year, I just finished races, but it means something to be able to finish in the top 10 more than once,” Barbosa said. “Today, we equaled our best finish of the season with the ninth place (he was also ninth at St. Pete). Hopefully we can make more progress and get some better results and once again, I want to thank my guys for helping me have another good finish.”


Next up for Barbosa and the PDM crew is the July 18 race at Toronto, Ontario, Canada on the streets of Toronto’s Exhibition Place.



PDM Racing Offering Fans Unique Opportunity


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 29, 2010) - PDM Racing, which has fielded a number of cars in the Indianapolis 500 and the Firestone Indy Lights Series, is offering all fans of auto racing a rare opportunity—the chance to witness this year’s Brickyard 400 NASCAR race (July 25) in style.


The PDM Racing suite, which is located behind the pit area inside of the track, offers fans the choice of watching the race, practice and qualifying from one of the seats outside the suite or the luxury of witnessing the proceedings on big-screen televisions inside the air-conditioned suite.


The suite is available for the entire weekend of NASCAR racing activity at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For the price of renting the suite for the weekend, fans not only get admission tickets to the grounds and the suite along with a parking pass, but food and beverage as well. Considering the warmer-than-normal weather that Indiana is currently experiencing, the chance to see one of NASCAR’s top events in late July inside an air-conditioned facility at the track is certainly enticing.


“This is a great chance for the average auto racing fan to experience how the ‘other half’ get to see top sporting events,” said PDM President Paul Diatlovich. “We have been entertaining fans for years and we hope this offer will bring us some new fans. We have a group of ladies who have run our suite for the last 15 years and they will be on hand to make every guest comfortable.”


And there’s more good news. A top IMS suite can normally be rented out during a race weekend for thousands of dollars. Pricing is on request, but multiple purchases will qualify for a handsome discounted price.


For additional information, contact PDM Racing at 317-297-5025.





Barbosa Scores Top-10 Finish at Iowa



NEWTON, IA (June 19, 2010) - Rodrigo Barbosa drove another steady race Saturday night to place the PDM Racing Dallara in the top 10 in the Avoidthestork.com 100 Firestone Indy Lights race at Iowa Speedway.


Barbosa wound up 10th overall to score his second top-10 finish of the 2010 Indy Lights season. He also finished ninth at St. Petersburg earlier in the season. Sebastian Saavedra won the Saturday night race. The 21-year-old Brazilian qualified 11th fastest in the 13-car entry earlier in the day.


When the green flag dropped, Dan Clarke and Charlie Kimball got the jump on Barbosa and he quickly fell to 13th, but soon changed as Kimball spun and hit the Turn 2 wall on the opening lap. Barbosa spun to avoid him, but was able to continue.


He basically soldiered the car the rest of the way, gaining positions with the retirements of Brandon Wagner and Gustavo Yacaman.


“Rodrigo stayed out of trouble all night and it’s good to see him get another top-10 finish,” said team owner Paul Diatlovich. “He’s still learning and he has a lot to learn, but any time you can finish a race at a track like this, that’s a good thing. In fact, any time you run an oval and can put the car back on the transporter intact, you have to be pleased for that alone.”


“It was a pretty quiet race for me, except for the accident on the first lap,” Barbosa said. “Last year, I was struggling to get any kind of result. But this is good to have another top-10 finish this season. Once again, I have to thank the guys at PDM Racing for giving me a good car.”





There’s Nowhere to Go But Up for Barbosa


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 16, 2010) - A year ago, Brazilian driver Rodrigo Barbosa attempted to race at the .875-mile Iowa Speedway as a rookie in the Firestone Indy Lights Series.


A year later, the 21-year-old native of Sao Paulo is still hoping to race at the bullring-like track, located about 30 miles east of Des Moines. The good news is that he can only do better this time around. Last year, Barbosa was a non-starter and awarded 18th finishing position.


But things should be considerably different this year—both in terms of equipment and the team behind him.


As has been the case this season, Barbosa is running the 2010 season for the experienced PDM Racing outfit owned by Paul Diatlovich, prepared by Justin Herring (the chief mechanic) and Brad Brewer. The No. 18 Dallara is the same car run by Barbosa in 2009, but has been heavily reworked by the PDM guys and now sports the smart, white-blue-orange color scheme that has become the PDM trademark.


With Milwaukee no longer on the calendar, Iowa becomes the first and only short-oval test for Barbosa in 2010.


“For me, this will be my first Iowa race, even though I was there last year,” Barbosa explained. “But this year is different. Thanks to the PDM team, my car is much improved and I know I have a very good team trying to help me in Paul, Tim, Justin, Brad and the rest of the crew. Everything is better this year.”


“This is just the latest challenge for us in a season of challenges,” Diatlovich added. “What Rodrigo needs here is what he needs everywhere we race—laps. This is a different type of track. It’s certainly different from anyplace we have run or tested this season. But we will do what we do with Rodrigo for every venue—try to get him comfortable and stress to him to stay out of trouble and most of all, learn.”


Iowa will be the last oval for a time. After Saturday night’s race, the emphasis will be on road circuits with upcoming races at Watkins Glen, Toronto, Edmonton, Mid-Ohio and Infineon before the final three events on the ovals of Chicago, Kentucky and Homestead.




Barbosa Soldiers Home to Finish 12th in Freedom 100


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 28, 2010) - He avoided trouble and ran laps faster than he had a year ago and when the checkered flag fell for Friday’s Freedom 100 Firestone Indy Lights event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Rodrigo Barbosa wound up in 12th place in the No. 18 Dallara entered by PDM Racing.


The 22-year-old Brazilian qualified 14th out of 16 cars and although he lost one spot at the start, he quickly became the beneficiary of three rapid retirements. Points leader J.K. Vernay quickly pulled into the pits on the opening lap and on the second lap, Barbosa was up to 13th following the accident involving pole winner Pippa Mann and Jeff Simmons. A pit stop by Adrian Campos Jr. elevated him to 12th by the time the race restarted on Lap 9.


Campos would soon dispatch Barbosa, but the late retirement by Arie Luyendyk put him back in 12th for the duration of the race.


“I want to again thank Paul (Diatlovich, the team owner), Justin (Herring, the crew chief), Brad (Brewer) and the rest of the PDM team for giving me a better car than I drove here last year,” Barbosa said. “Although it physically is the same car, the guys worked hard to rebuild it and then gave it a beautiful paint job. It looks like a brand new car and it definitely worked better than it did last year.”


“Rodrigo had a good weekend,” added Diatlovich. “He went considerably faster in both qualifying and the race than he did last year so he is making progress. And for a small team like ours, it’s always good when you start out a weekend and end it with the car totally intact, especially at this place where you normally have a lot of damaged cars.


“Rodrigo was nowhere near the accident in Turn 1 (with Mann and Simmons), but he listened to the spotter and kept his tires free of the debris and did not have to pit. Then he simply settled in. He did get tired, but stamina is one of the things we plan to work on in the future. Realistically, this is his rookie season, even though he ran in every race in the series last year. He is also getting used to working with us and in the long run, that should be beneficial to him.”


Next on the Indy Lights schedule will be the June 19th race at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, the sixth race of the 2010 schedule.


INDY NOTES: Barbosa’s 12th-place finish at Indianapolis moved him to up to 11th in the points … Barbosa has decided to move to Indianapolis for the rest of the year.



PDM, Barbosa Eye Qualifying for Freedom 100


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 24, 2010) - Rodrigo Barbosa faced the challenge of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a year ago when he competed in the Freedom 100, the Firestone Indy Lights event held on the famed 2.5-mile oval track.


Barbosa was driving the red ELFF Racing entry and qualified in 22nd position. He experienced mechanical problems in the race itself and wound up finishing in 20th position.


This year he returns only this time, he has some much needed help in the form of PDM Racing’s Paul Diatlovich (the team owner), Justin Herring (the team’s crew chief) and the rest of the PDM crew.  Their experience already proved to be helpful during the May 1 test at the track. Of the 18 participants, Barbosa was last, but the No. 18 PDM Racing entry suffered some mechanical problems while Barbosa accorded himself well enough to only be 1.5 seconds off the pace.


“We had some mechanical problems most of the day, but as always, the PDM guys gave me a comfortable car,” Barbosa said. “I went faster than I had last year and being comfortable makes all of the difference. I’m not surprised because of the experience that Paul, Tim and Justin have at this place.”


“Rodrigo did a good job in the May 1 test and I would have liked to have seen how much quicker he could have lapped had we not had the mechanical issues most of the day,” Diatlovich. “However, it was cooler then so the track has changed. Hopefully, we can get him comfortable running in the warmer weather. But he is still learning so we are concentrating on the race. We want him to be able to run all day on Friday and get a good finish. A lot happens in this race so if you can stay out of trouble, you generally can score a good finish.”


Practice and qualifying for the Freedom 100 begin on Thursday with the race set for Friday afternoon following Carb Day practice for the starting field of Sunday’s 94th running of the Indianapolis 500.



Getting some testing in at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway


    
   








Brewer Gives PDM That Much-Needed Extra Hand


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 1, 2010) - When it comes to personnel, PDM Racing’s Paul Diatlovich has pretty much done it all and as team president, he can rely on the youthful exuberance of Justin Herring, the team’s chief mechanic. 

    But even with the talents of that trio, it is certainly welcome news to have Brad Brewer rejoin the PDM for 2010. A native of Lafayette, Ind., Brewer started out racing go-karts at age 12, but by age 18 realized that his future in the sport would be on the mechanical side.

Twenty-two years later, PDM Racing is the beneficiary of Brewer’s considerable experience and talent with a wrench. Actually, it’s his third stint with the team. In 2006, he ran Aaron Pierce in the PDM Racing Silver Crown entry in USAC and also served as crew chief for Thiago Medeiros, who qualified the PDM Indy car for the Indianapolis 500.

“Last year, I joined PDM after the race in Long Beach and we had to quickly fix the car because of the fire,” Brewer explained. “So I was with the team at Kansas and Indianapolis and then the deal came up with the driver losing his sponsorship so I was out of a job. I knew at the time, there would not be any jobs open with an Indy-car team so I went to the Midget Week races and basically kept running into (team owner) Scott Benic. Scott’s a real racer who runs midgets, sprints and Silver Crown cars for people like Jerry Coons Jr., Shane Hmiel and Dave Darland and fortunately, he gave me a job.”

With Hmiel driving the Silver Crown car, Brewer enjoyed a victory in the race at Iowa Speedway. In a way, the hiatus from PDM took him back to his roots.

“I raced go-karts from age 12 to 18, but by that time, I figured I wasn’t really a driver,” he explained. “I won races, but I won them because I worked on my kart more than the other guys did. I knew I was better as a mechanic.”

For the next few years, he plied his trade in USAC Sprints (with driver Brad Armstrong) and then found himself first in modified stocks with Kurt Hough and ultimately in late model stocks in the NASCAR All-Pro series and the American Speed Association (ASA) where he was crew chief for Hough and his younger brother Aaron.

“We were generally 13th or 14th and that was as good as we were going to get when you considered the budget for the team,” Brewer said. “But it was probably the best training I ever had because we would race 40 times during the summer. You would show up at one place and if it rained you out, you would just go somewhere else and find a place to race.”

Brewer made it to the big leagues by the late 1990s when he worked for Mitch Davis and ISM team in the IRL. For 1998, he built the car driven by Jim Guthrie and he worked at that year’s 500 with Jeff Ward. At some time, his paths crossed with Diatlovich and now he has become part of the PDM family.

“We’re delighted to have someone with Brad’s experience join our team and it also nice to have back with us after doing such a good job the other times he was with us,” Diatlovich pointed out. “For months, Justin and I have had to work under a bare bones budget and do everything ourselves. It’s kept me from doing other important work for the team and now with Brad on board, I can concentrate on those other duties and feel fully confident to have two competent guys taking care of the car. Like all the guys we have, he contributes and hopefully will be a part of any future success we achieve.”





Making progress in shop                                                      


           


                                   


                                   






               


The PDM Racing entry in the Firestone Indy Lights Series will get a new paint job soon.  The “patchwork” design  that ran at Barber and Long Beach is due to be replaced by the more familiar PDM paint scheme shown in a photo taken at the shop.   The car should be painted in time for the May 28th Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Photos come courtesy of Justin Herring, the PDM Racing chief mechanic.                   







Handling Problem Sidelines Barbosa at Long Beach


LONG BEACH, CA (April 18, 2010) - Handling problems gave Rodrigo Barbosa an early exit from the Firestone Indy Lights Series race Sunday at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. He wound finishing in 16th position after completing 29 laps.


The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, had damaged the No. 18 PDM Racing entry in an accident during qualifying on Saturday. However, he was not only able to start Sunday’s race, but was also able to take part in the Sunday morning warm-up. Prior to the warm-up, the PDM crew headed by Paul Diatlovich (the team owner) and Justin Herring (the crew chief) had been forced to repair a front wing assembly in record time.


“Normally, this type of job takes three hours to complete, but our guys worked their tails off to get the job done in 20 minutes,” Diatlovich explained. “That allowed Rodrigo to get some more laps in after missing the entire qualifying session on Saturday. After that kind of effort, it’s a shame that he had to retire the car, but at least we put it back on the transporter in working condition. We’ll figure out what the problem was with the wing when we get back to the shop.”


“I wish we could have finished the race,” Barbosa. “The guys on the PDM Racing crew did a great job of getting the car back together after the accident. But in the race, something was not right and I did want to crash the car again.”


Next on the Indy Lights calendar for PDM Racing and Barbosa will be the prestigious Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 28.



Barbosa Slide Ends Qualifying Run at Long Beach


LONG BEACH, CA (April 17, 2010) - Rodrigo Barbosa’s qualifying run for Sunday’s Firestone Indy Lights Series event at Long Beach, Cal., came to an abrupt halt Saturday when he slid into the barrier in Turn 8 on the opening lap of the session that determines the starting grid for the race.


The 21-year-old Brazilian was uninjured and the No. 18 PDM Racing entry will be repaired in time for him to run in the Sunday race. He will start in 18th position.


“I tried to steer, but the car went straight on into the barrier,” Barbosa said. “They had a race prior to our qualifying session (the annual Toyota Celebrity Grand Prix) and there was a lot of cleanup material still on the track either from an accident or a mechanical failure. It was a very slippery.”


“It’s disappointing in a lot of ways,” added PDM Racing Owner Paul Diatlovich. “In practice, Rodrigo was running laps significantly faster than he did when he raced here last year. We were encouraged that he had improved his laps by eight seconds. Fortunately, we can get the car fixed for the race, but we want Rodrigo to get all of the track time he can get and this sets things back for him and the team.”


The Long Beach event is the third race of the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season.


NOTES: PDM Racing got a boost this weekend with some much-needed support from a local firm—Trench Shoring—that has backed a number of drivers and teams over the years. “I can’t say enough for the support we have received from Tom Malloy (the owner of Trench Shoring).  He has been a good friend to PDM and I can’t think of a better way to thank him than to have a good result in tomorrow’s race.”


Mechanical Problem KO’s Barbosa at Barber


BIRMINGHAM, AL (April 11, 2010) - After turning in a very respectable performance in qualifying on Saturday, Rodrigo Barbosa had a good weekend spoiled as mechanical problems knocked him out of the Firestone Indy Lights GP Sunday afternoon at Barber Motorsports Park.


Barbosa qualified 15th out of 17 starters, but dropped a spot to Nic LeDuc on the first lap and remained in 16th position until fuel pressure problems sidelined him on the 24th lap. France’s JK Vernay captured his second straight event, one of 13 stops on the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights championship for 1990.


Driving the No. 18 Dallara entered by PDM Racing, Barbosa was on the lead lap in 16th position when he suddenly slowed and pulled the car over near the exit to Turn 4. The 21-year-old resident of Sao Paulo, Brazil,


“After Rodrigo’s performance in qualifying on Saturday, “We certainly have had our share of failures,” observed Team Owner Paul Diatlovich. “Rodrigo was driving a steady pace in a race that had few cautions but he made a little progess.


“The damage is minimal and we’re always pleased when we find out that the car has little or no damage. It will be ready for Long Beach.”


“It was an uneventful run, but I knew it was time to park the car,” Barbosa said.

“To have that small success in the opening race, but then have a DNF for mechanical reasons is a disappointment. But I have every reason to believe the PDM crew will have car ready to go for Long Beach and hopefully we will continue to improve in qualifying and have a good result in the race.”


Next on the schedule is the Indy Lights event in Long Beach on Sunday.



Barbosa Has Good Run in Barber Qualifying


BIRMINGHAM, AL (April 10, 2010) -  A respectable run to ninth place at St. Pete gave him his best finish to date, but Rodrigo Barbosa hopes to keep improving on that figure. One way to help would be improvement in qualifying and the 21-year-old Brazilian did just that by turning in his best performance since becoming a part of the Firestone Indy Lights Series last year.

Barbosa, a native Sao Paulo, will start 15th in the PDM Racing entry in Sunday’s Indy Lights event at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham. Sunday’s race will be his 16th career start in Lights but will mark the first time he has not started last.  Both Barbosa and Team Owner Paul Diatlovich were pleased with the result.


“Paul, Justin (Herring, the chief mechanic) keep telling me to be patient and learn from their experience,” Barbosa said. “Their approach is definitely starting to pay off in results. I was happy with the ninth at St. Pete, but Paul wants me to keep working and to not be satisfied with a ninth. Doing better in qualifying will help us get better results in the races.”


“Rodrigo had a solid day,” Diatlovich pointed out. “Obviously, he’s not starting last and that’s a good thing, but I am especially pleased with the way in which he achieved that. For the first time, he was able to take full advantage of sticker tires in a qualifying round. And it was also the first time he didn’t spin in qualifying. He posted his fastest time ever at the track and had it not been for someone spinning late in the session, he would have gone quicker—he was on his best lap when the caution came out.”


Sunday’s race, the second of the 13-race championship, will begin at 12:15 p.m. Next on the schedule in the annual Long Beach Grand Prix, held on the city streets of Long Beach, Cal.



Barbosa Finishes Respectable 9th at St. Pete


ST. PETERSBURG, FL (March 28, 2010) - It was raining, cars were crashing and the race was red-flagged at one point, but when the checkered flag fell on the opening round of the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Series season, PDM Racing’s Rodrigo Barbosa and avoided trouble and finished a respectable ninth place in Sunday’s 35-lap event on the streets of St. Pete.  The race was won by rookie J.K. Vernay of France.

The result is Barbosa’s best in Indy Lights. Last year at Chicago, he recorded his best finish of the season with a 10th-place run. The Chicago race was also his first time to work with the PDM triumvirate of Paul Diatlovich, Justin Herring. Slowly but surely, the 21-year-old native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, is making some improvement over last year.

    “Paul keeps telling me we will take one step at a time,” Barbosa said. “With 10th as my best finish last year, our goal was to open the season with a better result. It wasn’t a big step, but still it was a step up. I again want to thank the PDM guys were their effort this weekend on my behalf.”

Diatlovich offered high praise for the latest in a long line of young drivers he has worked with at PDM.

    “First off, we were in a street race in the rain with the usual carnage and we were able to finish the race and then put the car on the transporter with all four wheels on,” Diatlovich added. “I am very happy with Rodrigo’s effort today. He took it easy on a super slick track in the early going and then got himself into a comfort zone and drove hard. In fact, he ended up setting the second fastest lap of the race. And more importantly, he stayed out of trouble and brought the car home. Now we work on getting a better result.”


Next on the calendar for Barbosa and PDM is the April 11 race at the Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala. The team tested there in late February.




Barbosa to Start 16th in St. Petersburg Race


ST. PETERSBURG, FL (March 27, 2010) - Rodrigo Barbosa will start 16th in Sunday’s Firestone Indy Lights Series event on the streets of St. Pete, the first race of the 2010 season and the 21-year-old Brazilian can certainly thank the effort of the PDM Racing crew for even getting him on the track.

After spending considerable time converting one of the Michael Crawford Motorsports Dallaras from oval track to road course configuration, allowing Barbosa to take to the track. The second-year driver will start in last place on the grid in Sunday’s 40-lap race, but that might not be bad.

Historically, Turn 1 has tended to be a problem area those up front and especially those in the middle of the pack. And two years ago, PDM driver Cyndie Allemann had a good finish spoiled by an accident that occurred in front of her in Turn 3. Two cars tangled and while Cyndie’s car made no contact, she found herself trapped behind the two cars while several cars were able to squeeze by.

“At this track, you really have to watch what people do in Turn 1 at the start and further up the track on the first lap,” said PDM President Paul Diatlovich. “I think if Rodrigo can keep his nose clean, he should have a nice finish. I’m very happy with his performance today. He really tried and that’s all we can ask of him. We’re in the race and we’re hoping to have a good time in it and get a decent finish.”

As a rookie last year, Barbosa finished both of the Indy Lights races (this year there is only one Lights race scheduled for St. Pete). In the second race, Barbosa started 25th and improved 12 positions to finish 13th--on the lead lap.

“I want to thank the effort of the entire PDM crew, but especially thank Paul, Justin (Herring, the chief mechanic) for all the work in getting this car ready to race,” Barbosa said. “This is a different car, but like the previous PDM car I tested with, they made this one comfortable for me to drive. I still can’t believe how much better their cars are than the one I drove last year. Now I am hoping to drive my own race and get a good finish.”



PDM, Barbosa Complete Open Test at Barber


BIRMINGHAM, AL (February 26, 2010) - PDM Racing and Rodrigo Barbosa participated in Friday’s open test for Firestone Indy Lights cars at Barber Motorsports Park in anticipation of the season opener March 28 at St. Petersburg, Fla., and a return trip to Barber for the April 11 race scheduled for the 2.6-mile track.

Although the weather was chilly with the thermometer hovering around 50 degrees, the 21-year-old Brazilian recorded 48 trouble-free laps before becoming ill and ending the day’s running. The official timing and scoring chart had Barbosa with a top lap of 1:19.8, good for an average speed in excess of 103 miles per hour, but the team believed his best lap was actually a 1:19.4. Regardless, driver, crew and the No. 18 PDM Racing entry made it through the test unscathed.  And uneventful is exactly the way team owner Paul Diatlovich wanted it.  “Whether it’s a test or a race weekend, you always want to end the day with the engine intact and all four wheels on the car,” Diatlovich quipped. “With the cool temperatures, there wasn’t a lot to be gained except for seat time and miles for our driver. Unfortunately, Rodrigo felt ill towards the end of the afternoon session so we decided to call it a day a little earlier than we would have liked. We just wanted him to run laps and try a few things. He went a little faster than he had last year in a private test with us here so every improvement helps.”

“Paul likes to do things one step at a time when he starts working with a new driver,” Barbosa added. “They have done this over and over again and they obviously know what they are doing when you look at their past success with new drivers.

“It was very cold today and you have to think that it will be warmer when we race here in April and therefore much faster. I know the No. 18 car is a very good car and I hope to keep learning from Paul,  Justin (Herring, the chief mechanic) and improving on my times.”

The PDM Racing transporter will head to hopefully warmer climes for additional testing. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Championship commences in one month on the streets of St. Pete.

For additional information, call 317-297-5025



Barbosa To Run With PDM Racing for 2010


INDIANAPOLIS (February 19, 2010) - Young Brazilian driver Rodrigo Barbosa will compete in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Championship for the veteran PDM Racing team, it was announced today. For the 21-year-old native of Sao Paolo, Brazil, it will be the second season of racing in Indy Lights. Last year, while driving for ELFF Racing, Barbosa was 15th in the overall point standings with a top finish of 10th place at Chicago. It was at Chicago that Barbosa worked with the combination of PDM owner Paul Diatlovich, talented young chief mechanic Justin Herring.

“I am delighted to become a part of the PDM Racing operation,” Barbosa said. “Paul Diatlovich has proven many times that he knows how to help young drivers. And all you have to do is look at last year to see that PDM is a winning team, having captured both races at St. Petersburg and leading the championship.”

“Last fall, we decided to see what Rodrigo could do in our winning car, so we tested him at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama,” Diatlovich said. “He ended up running four seconds quicker than he had during the open test for Indy Lights there last spring driving the car he ran during the 2009 season. That’s a significant improvement and the key is often trying to make the driver comfortable in the car. He showed us he was capable of going much faster when he felt that comfort zone in our PDM car.”

PDM Racing and Barbosa will open the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Championship season on Sunday, March 28 at St. Petersburg, Fla., site of last year’s back-to-back victories for the team. Prior to that race, the team will be involved in some test sessions.



Barbosa Looks for Better Times in 2010


INDIANAPOLIS (February 19, 2010) - In last year’s Firestone Indy Lights Championship, Brazilian rookie Rodrigo Barbosa finished 15th in the final point standings and had a top finish of 10th at Chicago. So why is the 21-year-old native of Sao Paolo smiling today?

Barbosa will return to Indy Lights driving for PDM Racing that won the opening two races of the 2009 season. Under the guidance of long-time owner Paul Diatlovich, PDM has established a reputation for working with young, inexperienced drivers. Since 2008, the team’s operation has gotten stronger, thanks to the arrival of  Justin Herring, the team’s talented chief mechanic.

Barbosa can tell you that the Diatlovich--Herring triumverate are very capable of producing results. In his first race working with them together, he scored his first top-10 finish. Following the season, he drove the team’s No. 18 car in a test session at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala., and wound running four second quicker than he had run during the Indy Lights open test there in spring. For that test, Barbosa was driving the ELFF Racing entry he would campaign during the 2009 season.

“I knew from working with Paul, Tim and Justin at Chicago that I would be able to go faster when we tested at Barber last fall,” Barbosa said. “But I had no idea I could cut my time by four seconds in one day. For the first time, I understood what it felt like to be comfortable in a good car.”

“We weren’t surprised by the time he recorded in the Barber test,” Diatlovich explained. “With all due respect to his team last year, their car had a lot of miles on it and probably should have been relegated to show car status. But it was his rookie season and he got a taste of racing Indy Lights.

“At PDM, we pride ourselves with our record of successfully working with new drivers. We gave Rodrigo a good car at Barber, got him comfortable and he responded in the way we had hoped. I won’t make any wild promises, but I think you definitely will see a lot of improvement out of this driver for 2010.”

Barbosa started out in karting in Brazil and moved up to Brazilian Formula Renault, where he competed for two seasons. After a stint in Atlantics in the United States, he ran in the Indy Lights for the entire 2009 season.

For PDM Racing and Barbosa, the first real test will come in the 2010 season opener March 28 at St. Petersburg, Fla., site of last year’s back-to-back wins for the team. Prior to that race, the team will participate in some testing activity.


PDM Racing Team Is Back At It


INDIANAPOLIS (October 22, 2009) - After a brief interlude, the guys at PDM Racing are back doing what they love most—going racing and working on racing cars.Following a promising start to 2009 in which the team scored victories in the opening two rounds of the Firestone Indy Lights Championship, the operation had to put its racing activities on hold after sponsorship money failed to materialize following the Liberty 100 in May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


However, Team Owner Paul Diatlovich and Crew Chief Justin Herring are looking at a busy off-season as they work with a pair of young racers in two different series. Currently being worked on in the PDM Racing shop is the Dr. John Deuel-owned Silver Crown pavement car that will be driven by 16-year-old Coleman “The Iceman” Gulick, who currently resides in Binghampton, N.Y. Despite his age, Gulick comes highly recommended and finds himself paired with Diatlovich, who has had a successful history of working with young drivers.

“Coleman has been impressive in the various development series in which he has competed and you only have to look as far as Jeff Gordon to see that his age shouldn’t be a factor,” Diatlovich pointed out. “This team has a history of working with new talent and hopefully we can show everyone else in the racing community that this kid has what it takes.”


After sitting out most of the 2009 Indy Lights season, Diatlovich, Herring returned to do a handful of races with Brazil’s Rodrigo Barbosa. The current plan is to conduct a series of off-season tests designed to get Barbosa up to speed.

“After the start to the season we had, it’s been tough sitting on the sidelines and not only watching other people win, but simply watching other people race,” Diatlovich pointed out. “It’s great to be busy again. I can’t wait to go testing—for that matter, I can’t wait to go racing.”