MONTEREY, Calif. (May 15, 2009) – Todd Lamb, of Atlanta, Ga., was fastest in SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup practice at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Ara Malkhassina, of Sonoma, Calif., and Marc Miller, of Holland, Mich., completed the top three in preparation for Saturday’s Round Two race, part of the Verizon Festival of Speed Presented by SPEEDCOM.
In only his second MX-5 Cup event, and his second visit to Mazda Raceway, Lamb set the fasted practice lap of the day in his No. 84 AMG Racing MX-5. Shaving more than a second off of his morning time, Lamb set a 1:42.602 (78.524 mph) in the much warmer afternoon session.
“I think it’s starting to get a little greasy out there,” Lamb said. “It’s getting warmer with the sun out. Overall, it’s a little quicker than it was this morning, just because it’s dry.”
Lamb is also competing in the Koni Challenge series this weekend, driving a BMW M3. With limited seat time at Mazda Raceway, he’s found competing in two series to be tricky, but helpful.
“[The extra time in Koni] certainly doesn’t hurt, but the cars are drastically different in the way they’re set up and in the way you drive them. It’s almost a deterrent to try to have to mentally think about which car you’re driving while you’re in it. Yesterday, I was even running test sessions back-to-back. In a way, that probably hurt me in both cars, but today, with the sessions spread out, I was able to focus on each one independently and I think that’s why we’re quicker.”
Lamb is enjoying his time in MX-5 Cup. This weekend is his first time back with the series since Mosport of 2006.
“MX-5 Cup is awesome. The cars are a blast. It’s a bigger version of the Spec Miata and it’s a lot of fun. Jason [Hoover] and the guys at Atlanta Motorsports Group are doing a fantastic job.”
Though he improved on his morning time, Malkhassian was unable to surpass Lamb’s quick lap. Driving the No. 11 ALARA Racing MX-5, Malkhassian entered a 1:42.792 (78.379 mph), putting him second fastest in the afternoon session and on the day.
Miller also improved on his morning time, turning a 1:42.934 (78.271 mph) in the No. 28 Team MER/MOCA/RaceForAutism MX-5. The time placed the Road Atlanta race winner third on the afternoon practice sheets and third on the day.
Robert Michaelian, of Seal Beach, Calif., and Justin Piscitell, of Patterson, N.Y., both improved their practice times in the afternoon to end the session fourth and fifth, respectively. Michaelian entered a 1:43.036 (78.194 mph) in the No. 19 AMG/Biz Rate MX-5, while Piscitell turned a 1:43.113 (78.135 mph) in the No. 89 ALARA Racing/DAMG Racing/MAZDASPEED MX-5. The pair were also four and fifth quickest of the day as well.
Zach Ply, Nick Mancuso, Lyonel Kent, Jeff Mosing and Brett Smrz completed the top 10 in the 30-minute afternoon practice session at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course. The top 10 times of the day were all turned in the afternoon session.
Qualifying for Round Two of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup will go green at 8:00 a.m. (PDT). The race will follow later in the day at 11:25 a.m. (PDT). Live timing and notes are available at www.mx-5cup.com.
MONTEREY, Calif. - Combined practice results for Saturday's SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Round Two race, part of the Verizon Festival of Speed Presented by SPEEDCOM at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, 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, 1:42.602, 78.524.
2, (11), Ara Malkhassian, Sonoma, Calif., MX-5, 1:42.792, 78.379.
3, (28), Marc Miller, Holland, Mich., MX-5, 1:42.934, 78.271.
4, (19), Robert Michaelian, Seal Beach, Calif., MX-5, 1:43.036, 78.194.
5, (89), Justin Piscitell, Patterson, N.Y., MX-5, 1:43.113, 78.135.
6, (27), Zach Ply, Joliet, Ill., MX-5, 1:43.203, 78.067.
7, (29), Nick Mancuso, Mettawa, Ill., MX-5, 1:43.207, 78.064.
8, (13), Lyonel Kent, Powell, Tenn., MX-5, 1:43.438, 77.890.
9, (31), Jeff Mosing, Austin, Texas, MX-5, 1:43.538, 77.815.
10, (6), Brett Smrz, Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, MX-5, 1:43.734, 77.667.
11, (18), Max Riddle, Vancouver, British Columbia, MX-5, 1:43.925, 77.525.
12, (75), Alfred Caiola, New York, N.Y., MX-5, 1:44.189, 77.328.
13, (92), Stan Wilson, Mt. Juliet, Tenn., MX-5, 1:44.453, 77.133.
14, (44), Steve Bottom, Newport Beach, Calif., MX-5, 1:44.466, 77.123.
15, (26), Tim Probert, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 1:44.554, 77.058.
16, (00), Harrison Williams, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 1:44.759, 76.908.
17, (22), Bob Neal, Harbor City, Calif., MX-5, 1:44.881, 76.818.
18, (54), Brad Adams, New Orleans, La., MX-5, 1:45.215, 76.574.
19, (21), Randy Hale_III, Haddam, Conn., MX-5, 1:45.402, 76.438.
20, (10), Chris Brown, Portsmouth, N.H., MX-5, 1:45.684, 76.234.
21, (06), Kenny Kun Yim, Los Angeles, Calif., MX-5, 1:47.427, 74.998.