LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 28, 2005) – Elivan Goulart, of Huntington, Conn., recovered from an early spin avoiding another competitor to score his first-career SCCA Pro Racing Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook pole position for today’s Atlantic Tour finale at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Jim Daniels, of Germantown, Tenn., will start second.
Driving the No. 70 Dolphin Motorsports/Red Line Oil 1994 Miata, Goulart made an evasive maneuver moments into the session to avoid a spinning car that sent his own car spinning off course at the exit of turn one, narrowly missing the guardrail. Goulart recovered to later record a record lap of 1:44.641 (77.682 mph), 0.068-second better than Daniels’ time.
“I was trying to avoid the car spinning across the track,” Goulart said. “He was coming back across the track to tee-bone me. So I cut into the grass to avoid him and I got sideways, skimming the wall by like two inches. I thought ‘on man, this is not going to be pretty’ so I gave it full throttle and I just bounced it off the [rev] limiter and it just kept me out of the wall.
“I’m very excited about my first pole. I’ve got to thank [Chris] Puskar for that. He gave me a huge tow down the straightaway. He just bumped me all the way down. I have to thank him for that lap.”
A two-time SCCA Club Racing National Championship Runoffs winner at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Goulart comes off a third place finish in Saturday’s Round Seven race.
Daniels was in contention for Saturday’s win until the final corners of the race in his No. 47 specmiata.com 1990 Miata, and will start second after turning a fastest time of 1:44.709 (77.632 mph). Eric Stearns, of Van Buren, Ohio, earned his career-best starting spot to date with a third-place effort after turning a lap of 1:44.792 (77.570 mph) in his No. 97 Dick’s Auto Salvage 1993 Miata.
Puskar, whose crew worked all night to repair his No. 26 Carbotech/Red Line Oil 1991 Miata after a crash in Saturday’s event, recovered to qualify fourth, followed by Hugh Sutton’s No. 71 King RAT Motorsports 1995 Miata.
Sunday’s race will determine the 2005 Atlantic Tour Champion. Saturday’s winner Tom Long and defending series Champion Payton Wilson are currently tied in the standings, with 192 points. Long will line up seventh, with Wilson 10th. Whoever finishes ahead will likely win the Championship. Todd Buras has an outside shot at the title, nine points behind the duo. He will start sixth.
For more information, please visit www.scca.com/Pro/Miata.asp.