BOWMANVILLE, Ont. CANADA (May 18, 2008) – Eric Foss, of Fort Worth, Texas, earned his second-straight SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup pole in qualifying for Round Two at Mosport International Raceway. Seventeen year-old Christian Franck, of Simi Valley, Calif., will start second for this afternoon’s race, part of Victoria Day Speedfest.
After laying low during Saturday’s practice sessions, Foss shattered the MX-5 Cup qualifying record at Mosport in the No. 28 Team MER/Autobarn Mazda/Brooke Co. MX-5. The current point leader entered a lap of 1:35.999 (92.213 mph) around the 10-turn, 2.459-mile Canadian circuit, more than a second quicker than the previous qualifying record of 1:37.115 (91.153 mph), set by Russ Bond in 2006.
Foss credited his qualifying breakthrough to his teammates’ hard work in testing and practice.
“My teammates have really been helping me out this weekend,” Foss said. “I had a bad miscue on the test day, which almost cost me the whole day, but Team MER put the car back together and it’s just awesome. I’ve got to thank Ryan [Schimsk], Rob [Huffmaster], Anders [Hainer] and all my teammates; they worked on the setup all day Friday and we implemented it into my car. We tried a couple things yesterday, then today we just worked together. Unfortunately, I couldn’t give Ryan the same lap he gave me with the nice tow down the back straighaway. We have a couple more things we want to try for the race and we don’t know what the weather’s going to be, so that will make it interesting and entertaining for everyone I’m sure.”
The Road Atlanta race winner knows teamwork will play a big role in the race as well.
“The race is going to be a lot like Atlanta,” Foss added. “Christian [Franck] and Brett [Smrz] have been working well together all weekend and running really quick. We paired up in teams of two in qualifying; Anders and Rob worked together well and Ryan and I were working together, so we’ll just try to continue that. That’s the great thing about this series is the teammates are building great relationships and it makes it a lot of fun.”
It appeared Foss would be flanked by the Alara cars of Smrz and Franck on the grid, but after post-qualifying technical inspection the No. 6 Alara/Smrz Racing MX-5 of Smrz, from Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, was found to be underweight and placed at the back of the grid. Franck was therefore moved to the outside pole in the No. 16 Alara Racing MX-5, with a time of 1:36.386 (91.843 mph).
Foss’ teammate Ryan Schimsk, of Austin, Texas, will start behind him on the grid in the No. 81 Team MER/Airco Mechanical MX-5. Schimsk entered a time of 1:36.586 (91.653 mph) to claim third on the grid. He will have another MER teammate alongside of him in fourth. Rob Huffmaster, of Clarkston, Mich., turned a 1:36.590 (91.649 mph) in the No. 27 Team MER/Huffmaster Co. MX-5 to qualify fourth. Anders Hainer, of Woodland Hills, Calif., completes the top-five in the No. 13 Team MER/Under Armour MX-5 after turning a 1:36.744 (91.503 mph).
Elivan Goulart, defending race winner Todd Buras, Brad Rampelberg, Robert Michaelian and Neal Sapp completed the top 10. The top 11 cars were all under the previous qualifying lap record.
Round Two of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup will go green at 1:30 p.m. (EDT). Live timing and scoring is available at www.mx-5cup.com.