SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 28, 2005) – Any hopes of a Justin Hall hangover held by other SCCA Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook competitors were dashed early Sunday at Infineon Raceway as the Davis, Calif. driver not only showed up in his No. 12 OFF Camber Racing 1990 Mazda Miata, but went faster than he did Saturday, turning a 1:54.275 (72.457 mph) on the 2.26-mile circuit to earn the pole for the sixth and final round of the Miata Cup Pacific Tour, part of the Argent Mortgage Grand Prix.-30-
Carlo Sparacio, of Federal Way, Wash., came on strong late in his No. 2 TC Motorsports/Group 2 Motorsports 1992 Mazda Miata to qualify second with a 1:55.339 (71.788 mph), while Hall’s OFF Camber teammate Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif., will start third in his No. 13 OFF Camber Racing 1990 Mazda Miata.
Hall, who wrapped up the Miata Cup Pacific Tour Point Championship with a Round 5 victory Saturday, turned the wick up early Sunday morning, ripping off his record-setting time on his fifth lap. The mark broke the previous best of 1:55.073 that he set Saturday, and was the only lap time in the 1:54-range turned by any Miata Cup competitor this weekend.
“I don’t know what happened,” Hall said after being asked what he had done to find the extra speed. “I don’t have an explanation other than everything was hooked up. We actually were having a little problem after I was doing those little victory doughnuts after winning the Championship yesterday. An alternator belt came off, and that drives the water pump on these cars. The motor got up to about 220 degrees.
“I got a new belt this morning, put it on, and was pretty concerned about the motor. But as the results suggest, the Sunbelt power can handle that 220 degrees.”
That aside, Hall also noted that while it was nice to finalize his championship early in the double-round weekend, it was back to business for this afternoon’s Round 6 race.
“It was definitely nice to wrap the Championship up yesterday,” Hall said. “But we’re here to win. We were here until nine last night and back here at seven this morning. We’re not here to screw around.”
Hall trailed Rampelberg nose-to-tail for most of the 20-minute qualifying session Sunday morning, and Rampelberg said it was a system that has worked this season.
“We’ve been teammates all year,” Rampelberg said. “We’ve been kind of running 1-2, at Portland and Laguna Seca, and we just hook up in qualifying. These cars are just faster in the drafts, and it’s the right way to do it.
“I came in and made an adjustment, Justin waited for me, and then we just put a couple of laps together. It just worked out that way. It was a good deal.”
Round 5 runner-up Terry McCarthy, of Mountain View, Calif., will start fourth in the No. 29 FMG/880 Trailer/Rebello Racing Engines 1995 Miata, while David McAnaney, of Davis, Calif., is the third member of the OFF Camber Racing to crack the top five, qualifying fifth in the No. 45 OFF Camber Miata with a 1:55.580 (71.639 mph).
The Round 6 race is scheduled to begin this afternoon at 3:15 p.m. (PDT).
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