LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 23, 2006) – The steady rain that fell at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course did little to stop BSI Racing’s Mike Gatto, of Atlanta, Ga., from topping the speed charts in this morning’s practice session, in preparation for Saturday’s SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook Round Four race. The MX-5 Cup race is part of the EMCO Gears Classic presented by Keybank race weekend at Mid-Ohio. Gatto’s teammates Todd Buras, of Melbourne, Fla., and Carlos Garcia, of Miami, Fla., completed the top three. -30-
While rain fell for the entire 35-minute practice session, the four-car BSI Racing team was the only team that took the track early in the session. Nearly halfway through the session, Gatto powered his No. 57 Vision Painting Mazda MX-5 cup to the top spot with a fast time of 1:58.504 (68.696 mph).
“I’ve always loved the rain,” Gatto said of the wet track conditions. “I’ve struggled a little bit on this track so far this weekend. I was actually pretty pleased that it rained today. The car handled great. I had great teammates. We were all running together out there.
Given that the weather forecast for this afternoon’s qualifying session calls for more rain, Gatto believes the team won’t make many changes to the car heading into the session.
“A lot [of the qualifying strategy] depends on how hard it rains,” Gatto said. “If it rains like it did [in morning practice] or even harder, then we will stay the course we are on right now. If it dries up, then that is when it gets a little more difficult. If the line starts to dry, then the rains [tires] are not going to work. But, I am pretty excited if it actually rains this afternoon.”
Buras, the current MX-5 Cup point leader, piloted his No. 56 BSI Racing/supportthem.com Mazda MX-5 around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in a time of 1:58.568 (68.558).
Driving the No. 60 BSI Racing/Miami Dade Health Mazda MX-5, Garcia turned the third quickest time of 1:58.752 (68.451 mph). Larry Wright, of Evanston, Ill., and Anders Hainer, of Hidden Hills, Calif., were fourth and fifth respectively.
Only 15 of the 21 registered cars took advantage of the morning practice session.
MX-5 Cup qualifying is set for 3:10 p.m. (EDT) today. Round Four of the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook starts at 2 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, June 24.
To follow qualifying and race action from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course live via live timing, visit www.mx-5cup.com and click on the Mid-Ohio event page link.
For more information about the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook, including schedule, entry list and event coverage, visit www.mx-5cup.com.
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