BOWMANVILLE, Ont. (June 17, 2006) – Before unusually warm and muggy conditions settled into the area Saturday afternoon, Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, took advantage of a pristine morning and set the combined practice fast time of 1:37.632 (90.671 mph) during the first session in his No. 28 Team MER/specmiata.com/Autobarn Mazda Mazda MX-5 in advance of Sunday’s SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook race, part of the Clarington 200 Mosport Father’s Day weekend at Mosport International Raceway.-30-
Carlos Garcia, of Miami, Fla., topped the second session in his No. 60 BSI Racing/Miami Dade Health Mazda MX-5, and was second overall with a 1:37.699, while second-round race winner Jim Daniels, of Germantown, Tenn., was third in his No. 76 specmiata.com/Team MER MX-5
Though fastest among the MX-5 field, the day did not go as smoothly for Saini as he may have hoped.
Just a few laps after turning his time, Saini dropped a wheel at the exit of the first turn, causing him to drive into the tire wall. The damage was mostly cosmetic, and Saini took part in the afternoon session.
“I got in there little deep and tried to hold on to it,” Saini said. “It dropped a tire into the dirt, and anyone who has driven Mosport knows that it is a bad thing to do. I was just trying to find the limit, and I went a little too far.
“I think the car is okay. I was just trying to take it easy in the last session, make sure the car still drove straight, and it did. Team MER always gives me a great car, and even after today, it’s in good shape. The guys do an amazing job.”
Temperatures bolted to near 90 degrees Fahrenheit by the second session, which may have helped to slow times across the board by one or two-tenths of a second. The heat, Saini said, was something that could play a part in Sunday’s race, which is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.
“Cool air, cool track,” Saini said, when asked what he’d like to have for qualifying, which will take place at 9 a.m. “It seems like the cars get a little slippery when it gets this hot, so it should make for an interesting race. If it gets this hot tomorrow, it will definitely come down to tire management. So we will have to do a good job of managing them if we want to be there at the end.”
Veteran driver Payton Wilson, of Chantilly, Va., was fourth in practice overall with a 1:37.727 (90.583 mph) in the No. 59 King RAT Motorsports/BSI Racing Mazda MX-5, and Todd Buras, of Melbourne, Fla., was fifth after turning a 1:37.946 (90.380 mph) in his No. 56 BSI Racing/supportthem.com Mazda MX-5.
To follow qualifying and race action from Mosport live via live timing, visit www.mx-5cup.com and click on the Mosport event page link.
For more information about the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by Hankook, including schedule, entry list and event coverage, visit www.mx-5cup.com.
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