CANADA (June 20, 2005) – Defending series Champion Payton Wilson, of Gainesville, Va., swept the SCCA Pro Racing Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook doubleheader at Mosport International Raceway for the second-straight year, allowing him to jump to the Atlantic Tour points lead and into position for his second-straight title.
Driving the No. 1 King RAT Motorsports/OG Racing Mazda Miata 1.8, Wilson won both poles and led every lap of the twin 18-lap, 44.262-mile events to erase a seven-point deficit and take an 18-point lead into the August season-closing doubleheader at Mid-Ohio.
After qualifying first, Wilson jumped out to the lead in Saturday’s contest and never looked back, as the battle for second ensued between the next six cars on the grid, including Hugh Sutton (Racing Pitt Products Miata 1.8), Jason Saini (Motorsports Exchange/Hawk Brakes Miata 1.8), Chris Puskar (Carbotech/Red Line Oil/DB Home Miata 1.8), Jim Daniels (BSI Racing Miata 1.8), point leader Todd Buras (Krispy Kreme/BSI Racing Miata 1.8) and Lime Rock winner Tom Long (RaceSports/Race Engr Miata 1.6).
Saini, Daniels, Sutton and, finally, Long, occupied the second spot in a furious battle to try to reel in Wilson, but the battling proved to be to the defending Champ’s advantage, as he raced to a 4.388-second win over Long, who advanced from seventh on the grid, and Saini. Sutton came home fourth and with a new race lap record of 1:40.479 (88.102 mph), followed by Buras. Jeff Courtney (Karavan Trailers/Badger Components Miata 1.6) was presented the Sunoco Hard Charger award for advancing from 17th to 10th in the race.
In Sunday’s race two, Wilson put his King RAT Motorsports/OG Racing car on the pole with a new qualifying record of 1:40.282 (88.275 mph). He again went flag-to-flag for his fourth-straight Mosport win, but his lead would never eclipse a second in the event, unlike Saturday’s race.
Second-starting Sutton mirrored Wilson in the race’s opening laps. Following a mid-race caution to rebuild the turn 10 tire wall, Buras was able to move past Sutton and give chase to attempt to regain the points lead he lost the day earlier. With four laps remaining, the six car train for the lead included Wilson, Buras, Sutton, Saini and Daniels, with Erik Stearns and Puskar close behind. On lap 15, Buras slid wide at Moss corner, possibly after a bit of contact, and shuffled to the back of the train.
That allowed Long to again give chase of Wilson, wringing his 1.6-liter Miata for all it had. Despite running on Wilson’s bumper for the remaining three laps, he didn’t have enough to make a move. Wilson beat Long to the checker by just 0.216sec, followed by Sutton, Saini and Daniels. Sutton again turned the race’s fastest lap, this time a record 1:39.899 (88.614 mph).
Tim McQuiston (LuckyTaco.com Miata 1.6) took the Sunoco Hard Charger award for advancing from 20th to 13th in the race.
With two races remaining, Wilson now leads the standings with 176. Long is 18 back, with 158, followed by Buras (155), Daniels (132) and Saini (127).
The SCCA Pro Racing Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Atlantic Tour ends with Rounds Seven and Eight as part of the EMOC Gears Road Racing Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, August 26-28.
Link to story: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=329