MONTEREY, Calif. (May 2, 2005) – Justin Hall, of Davis, Calif., and Jim Daniels, of Germantown, Tenn., split the season-opening SCCA Pro Racing Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook doubleheader this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, part of the U.S. Sports Car Invitational weekend.
Driving the No. 12 Off Camber Racing Mazda Miata 1.6, Hall captured his second-straight Laguna Miata Cup win on Saturday to go with his win in 2004. Hall started third in the field of 43 entries, and battled polesitter Todd Buras, of Atlanta, Ga., for the majority of the race before taking the 0.855sec. win in the 17-lap, 38.046-mile contest.
While Hall and Buras, driving the kkrr.com/bsiracing.com entry, battled for the lead, Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif., held a close third until the closing stages of the race, when the lead duo gradually pulled away. Steven Gorriaran, of Providence, R.I., and Christian Miller, of Newark, Calif., completed the top five.
Perhaps the most impressive drive of Saturday was turned in by Mountain View, California’s Terry McCarthy, who started 42nd after a mechanical problem in qualifying to finish seventh, behind Jon Prall, of Los Gatos, Calif. McCarthy earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award for his spirited drive.
Sunday again provided close, clean racing action, with Daniels taking the win in his BSI Racing Mazda Miata 1.8 after a race-long battle with Hall. After a DNF on Saturday, Daniels started from the pole, but it was McCarthy that held the point for much of the beginning of the race in his FMG/880 Trailer/Rebello Racing Engines entry until a quick spin in turn nine relegated him to the bottom half of the top 10.
Daniels was able to spoil Hall’s attempt to sweep the doubleheader by beating him to the checkered flag by just 0.302sec. After McCarthy’s drive from the back of the pack on Saturday, Buras turned in a similar effort, coming from his 38th starting spot to finish third, earning the Sunoco Hard Charger and taking the track record with a fastest lap of 1:49.339 (73.686 mph) on the race’s penultimate lap.
Former series Champion Bobby Carter, of Brentwood, Calif., improved from his 12th starting position to finish fourth—just 0.001sec. ahead of McCarthy.
Rounds Three and Four of the Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Pacific Tour Championship are scheduled for Portland International Raceway July 29-31.
The Atlantic Tour of the Miata Cup begins this weekend, with a doubleheader scheduled as part of the Road Atlanta Drift Atlanta weekend May 7-8.
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