TOOELE, Utah (Sept. 19, 2009)
- Todd Lamb, of Atlanta, Ga., collected his sixth-career pole position in qualifying for this afternoon's SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Round Eight race. Lamb's main Champion rival, Marc Miller, of Holland, Mich., qualified second.
Driving the No. 84 AMG/Traqmate/Luna-C MX-5, Lamb had only 20 minutes to turn the perfect qualifying lap at the 23-turn, 4.486-mile road course. As it turned out, it was more than enough time to earn his sixth MX-5 Cup pole.
"It's difficult to turn a good lap to begin with when you have 23 turns, because every corner is an opportunity to make a mistake," Lamb said. "We figured we'd get two good laps in qualifying and at most tracks you get three or four. We made the most of the first lap and I'm pretty happy with the result."
On his first flying lap, Lamb entered a 3:20.262 (80.642 mph). Though it was not as quick as the practice time he entered on Thursday, a 3:19.912 (80.783 mph), it was unbeatable in this morning's qualifying session.
"We didn't quite get where we were at in practice, I think because the track temp is still higher than what it was on Thursday evening when we turned that fast lap," Lamb hypothesized. "We're pretty close though. Ultimately, the car had a little bit of a push and we made a few small changes this morning to compensate for what we felt yesterday. I think we probably went the wrong way, but we'll just switch it back for the race. The car was really good to begin with and we could probably run it as is, but we're always striving for perfection."
With only two hours and 20 minutes between qualifying and the race, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (MDT), the Atlanta Motorsports Group team will have to make their adjustments quickly. Despite the time crunch, Lamb was confident the car would be ready to go for the 45-minute race.
"We keep really good records of what we've done," Lamb said. "We made a couple quick changes this morning and they'll be pretty easy to change back. It'll only take about 10 minutes to make the change."
Lamb's biggest threat in the MX-5 Cup Championship, Miller, qualified his No. 28 Team MER/MOCA/Race Now for Autism/MMP MX-5 second. Though he briefly led the qualifying session, Miller will ultimately line up second on the grid after turning a 3:21.152 (80.285 mph).
Last year's polesitter and race winner at Miller Motorsports Park, Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif., qualified third. Piloting the No. 14 AMG MX-5, Rampelberg entered a qualifying time of 3:21.455 (80.164 mph).
World Challenge Touring Car ace Charles Espenlaub, of Lutz, Fla., qualified the No. 73 Hale Motorsports/Patron Tequila MX-5 fourth. Espenlaub, who is also competing in the KONI Challenge and Rolex GT races at Miller Motorsports Park this weekend, turned a 3:22.064 (79.923 mph) in MX-5 Cup qualifying.
Lyonel Kent, of Powell, Tenn., completed the top five. The Road Atlanta polesitter clocked a 3:22.182 (79.876 mph) in the No. 13 ALARA Racing/eData Solutions MX-5.
Justin Piscitell, who recently earned his first pole position at Road America, qualified sixth.
Nick Mancuso, Mark Jenkins, Stan Wilson and Max Riddle completed the top 10.
Round Eight of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup will take place later today, at 12:30 p.m. (MDT). Live timing and scoring is available at www.mx-5cup.com
. The race will be broadcast on syndicated cable and satellite networks at a later date.
TOOELE, Utah - Starting lineup for Saturday's SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Round Eight race at Miller Motorsports Park, with position, car number in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, fastest lap time, and speed in miles per hour.
1, (84), Todd Lamb, Atlanta, Ga., MX-5, 3:20.262, 80.642.
2, (28), Marc Miller, Holland, Mich., MX-5, 3:21.152, 80.285.
3, (14), Brad Rampelberg, San Jose, Calif., MX-5, 3:21.455, 80.164.
4, (73), Charles Espenlab, Lutz, Fla., MX-5, 3:22.064, 79.923.
5, (13), Lyonel Kent, Powell, Tenn., MX-5, 3:22.182, 79.876.
6, (89), Justin Piscitell, Patterson, N.Y., MX-5, 3:22.378, 79.799.
7, (29), Nick Mancuso, Mettawa, Ill., MX-5, 3:22.489, 79.755.
8, (25), Mark Jenkins, Fairview, Texas, MX-5, 3:22.644, 79.694.
9, (92), Stan Wilson, Mt. Juliet, Tenn., MX-5, 3:22.741, 79.656.
10, (6), Max Riddle, Vancouver, British Columbia, MX-5, 3:22.840, 79.617.
11, (11), Ara Malkhassian, Sonoma, Calif., MX-5, 3:22.976, 79.564.
12, (31), Jeff Mosing, Austin, Texas, MX-5, 3:24.004, 79.163.
13, (27), Zach Ply, Joliet, Ill., MX-5, 3:24.411, 79.005.
14, (26), Tim Probert, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 3:25.757, 78.488.
15, (10), Chris Brown, Portsmouth, N.H., MX-5, 3:25.971, 78.407.
16, (21), Randy Hale_III, Haddam, Conn., MX-5, 3:26.052, 78.376.
17, (44), Steve Bottom, Newport Beach, Calif., MX-5, 3:26.159, 78.335.
18, (22), Laura Olson, Costa Mesa, Calif., MX-5, 3:27.287, 77.909.
19, (75), Alfred Ciaola, New York, N.Y., MX-5, 3:27.368, 77.879.
20, (54), Brad Adams, New Orleans, La., MX-5, 3:28.419, 77.486.
21, (68), Michael Vitarelli, Brooklyn, N.Y., MX-5, 3:30.457, 76.735.
22, (55), Susan Krohn, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 3:30.833, 76.599.