After a four-hour practice session yesterday, the 45-minutes of on-track time at Iowa Speedway allotted to the cars and drivers of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear produced a new – and not unexpected – racer at the top of the time sheet… Nazareth, Pa., native Sage Karam, winner of Round 4 at Milwaukee. His lap of 21.905 (146.925mph) in the No. 88 Andretti Autosport / MAZDASPEED / Comfort Revolution Mazda was only a tenth quicker than his best time of yesterday, but was under the official Star Mazda track record set by Peter Dempsey in 2010; the time, however, does not count as an official new lap record, because Star Mazda recognizes lap records set only during qualifying and the race.
"Practice went pretty well today, finishing P1," said Karam. "We improved from yesterday's test session and learned a lot today about the car. We made some good changes, so I'm happy about practice. Hopefully, we can learn some more tomorrow during practice and put it on pole for qualifying."
The small increments between best laps – the top six were all less than 2/10ths of a second apart, and the entire field was covered by slightly more than one second – indicates that these drivers came to Iowa with the cars already pretty much dialed in. In fact, the top six times on the sheet were the same top six from yesterday, just in a slightly different order.
Second quick was Nick Andries with a 21.972 (146.477mph) in his No. 81 Team Pelfrey / Lithionics Battery / GS610 Brake Fluid / Trademark Garage Floors Mazda, followed in third by Gustavo Menezes with a lap of 21.973 (146.471mph) in his No. 28 Juncos Racing / Truecar / Safety Park Mazda. Yesterday's hottest shoe, Chilean racer Martin Scuncio settled for fourth today with a lap of 21.994 (146.331 mph) in his No. 60 Juncos Racing / Bia Comunicaciones / Cable Del Pacifico Mazda.
Next up was Connor De Phillippi with a 22.098 (145.642mph) in the Team Pelfrey / Justice Brothers Products / Trademark Garage Floors Mazda, followed by current championship points leader, French racer Tristan Vautier in the No. 5 JDC Motorsports / Cecibon / Circuit du Laquais Mazda with a 22.137 (145.386mph).