Teddy Musella Gets Second Win of NOLA SpeedTour Weekend

AVONDALE, La. (April 14, 2023) – Teddy Musella (No. 25 Scuderia Buell Ligier JS F4) notched his second victory of the Ligier JS F4 Series weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park. Marking the inaugural weekend of the series, Musella stood on the podium for all three races this weekend, with two victories and a runner-up finish. 

Notes of Interest: 

  • The NOLA SpeedTour marks the first race weekend for the Ligier JS F4 Series, a new stepping stone from karts to racecars in the Parella Motorsports Holdings (PMH) open-wheel ladder system. 
  • Teddy Musella leaves the NOLA SpeedTour weekend as the points leader after earning victories in Races 1 and 3, and a runner-up finish in Race 2. The 14-year-old also earned the Omologato Perfectly-Timed Move of the Race for his performance this weekend, for which he was presented a bespoke Omologato timepiece. 
  • Bacon Zelenka had a career-best performance with his runner-up finish in Race 3. 
  • After spending much of the weekend toward the front of the pack, Daniel Quimby earned his first-career podium in Sunday’s race. 

After finishing on the podium in both of Saturday’s races, Maite Cáceres (No. 6 Abitab/Supermatch Ligier JS F4) led the field down the starting grid with Kekai Hauanio (No. 29 N.E.Where Transportation / New’T Racing Ligier JS F4) to her outside. Hauanio stayed side by side with Cáceres through Turn 1, but pulled ahead as the duo reached Turn 2. By Turn 4 of the opening lap, Cáceres was under pressure from fourth-place starter Musella who pulled ahead as they exited the corner. Musella set his sights on Hauanio and continued his march forward. As they crossed the start/finish line to start the third lap, Musella pulled up next to Hauanio, overtook the lead as they entered Turn 1 and started driving away. 

Behind Musella, Hauanio and Cáceres, a great battle was underway for the fourth position with Bacon Zelenka (No. 45 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4), Christopher Parrish (No. 83 Save22 Ligier JS F4) and Daniel Quimby (No. 24 Cruise America/MIR Raceline/FIJI Airways/GalvanizeIns Ligier JS F4) all jockeying for the position. Amid the battle and with just 16 minutes left on the clock, Zelenka spun while running in the fourth position, which caused him to drop all the way back to 10th. 

At the front of the pack, Musella, Hauanio and Cáceres were all running nose to gearbox as the race passed its halfway point. The trio continued to battle as the clock ticked down, and they were only slowed by a full-course caution that was brought out as Parrish’s car lost its engine cover, leaving debris on the track. Safety crews worked swiftly to clear the track, allowing the field to have a three-minute shootout to the checkered flag.

Musella rolled toward the green flag first, with Hauanio hot in his tracks. Just behind him, Cáceres was under attack from Brad Majman (No. 95 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4)—who also happened to be celebrating his 15th birthday. Quimby was just behind Majman in fourth, but he had his mirrors full with Zelenka on his gearbox.  As they exited Turn 16 coming to the white flag, Zelenka pulled ahead of Quimby to claim the fifth spot. As they reached turn three, Majman overtook the pack to move into the second position with Musella still out front. On the final lap, Cáceres fell back to seventh as she lost the handling on her Ligier chassis. Meanwhile, Musella led the field across the finish line with Majman just behind in second, Hauanio in third, Zelenka in fourth and Quimby behind them in fifth.

     READ MORE: Race 3 Official Results

“It was a tough race,” said Musella from atop the podium. “Kekai [Hauanio] had a little bit more pace than me at the end—he was having good pace the whole race. Defending down the back straight, especially after that safety car restart, was just a mess, really. Coming out on top is just an amazing feeling. I’d like to thank my family, my dad, Artie [Flores] for coaching me the whole weekend, as well as the team for giving me a great car to do this performance.”

Following the race, the stewards issued a series of decisions which resulted in penalties for both Majman and Hauanio. It was ruled that Hauanio forced a driver off the track during his battle with Cáceres, which resulted in a five-second penalty. Majman was also issued a five-second penalty for jumping the start. With such a tight pack, Majman dropped to ninth on the official results, with Hauanio just behind him in 10th.

Ligier JS F4 is back on track next month at Road America for the Road America SpeedTour, May 16-19. Tickets for the weekend are available on RoadAmerica.com. Live timing and scoring can be accessed on the Race Monitor app, and additional news and updates will be posted on the series’ FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

– Photos by Gavin Baker Photography