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Rookie Bickers Sets the Pace in Mazda MX-5 Cup Practice Two
Posted by: newsla on Mar 13, 2014 - 06:58 AM
Sports Cars
Rookie Bickers Sets the Pace in Mazda MX-5 Cup Practice Two


Joey Bickers, of Moorpark, Calif., set the fast time of practice two in preparation for Round One of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires, in support of the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fuel by Fresh From Florida. Andrew Charbonneau, of Delray Beach, Fla., finished second, followed by John Dean, of Sebring, Fla., in third.

 

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Driving the No. 29 Mazda Motorsports Development MX-5, Bickers looked more like a veteran instead of the rookie he is. He stopped the watch with a best time of 2:32.987 (87.071 mph) around the 17-turn, 3.74-mile Sebring International Raceway.

“That session was the best for me, because I’ve really started to get comfortable with the car on this track,” Bickers said. “All day I’ve been struggling with getting up to speed, working on my driving skills instead of the car. Right now, I think the car is in a good place.

“After that session I feel a lot more confident, in terms of driving. I come from racing in Spec Miata and Formula Fords, so there are a couple differences to which I have needed to adjust. There is more horsepower, more grip and more braking power in these cars.”

Charbonneau, an SCCA National Champion in Spec Miata, logged a fast lap of 2:33.077 (87.015 mph). He says his ten years of racing experience in many different types of cars has helped him adjust quickly to his No. 15 ALARA Racing/Michelob Light MX-5.

“This is my 10-year anniversary of when I started racing,” Charbonneau said. “I’ve won a lot of races, including a National Championship, and been able to race in a lot of different classes. I have always wanted to go pro racing, and this opportunity presented itself. So, I thought this was the perfect way to celebrate my anniversary.

“These guys at ALARA Racing have prepared a great car. I got really lucky by getting on the right team with a great group of guys to make sure I have good equipment.”

Driving his No. 16 Projections Research/PPG MX-5, Dean slotted into third after setting a lap of 2:33.276 (86.902 mph). Dean’s time during the second practice was nearly 1.904 seconds slower that his time in the opening session.

“For me the track felt a lot different than it did in the morning,” Dean said. “It was just difficult out there in the afternoon session, but at a team I think the Sick Sideways guys did a great job. We were really able to work together and get some good data from the session.

“Our tires are toast. We’ve been using tires from last year. The first time we’ll be on the BFGoodrich Tires g-Force R1 S’s is during qualifying. I use the R1 S on some other cars that we have in our shop. They’re a little bit wider, but they perform really well just like their other tires.”

For the 2014 season, all cars in the Mazda MX-5 Cup class will run the softer-compound BFGoodrich Tires g-Force R1 S. The change should result in more grip with the same durability of the g-Force R1 used last season. The Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge cars will still use the g-Force R1.

Kenton Koch, like Dean, lost time during the second session of the day for the Mazda MX-5 Cup. Koch drove his No. 12 Mazda Motorsports Development MX-5 to a best lap of 2:33.330 (86.871 mph).

Dean Copeland was also slower during this outing, but minimized his loss in speed from the first to second session. His lap of 2:33.491 (86.780 mph) was only 0.788-second slower than his best lap from the first session.

Ben Albano, of Greenwich, Conn, was the fastest driver in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge class, setting a time of 2.36.343 (85.197 mph).

“A lot of rubber was laid down from the previous sessions on track,” said Albano. “We were changing tire pressures a lot during that practice to maximize the grip. Basically, we were doing three lap stints, then coming to the pits for an adjustment.

“In a way, it was practice for our qualifying session, as you can really get three maximum laps in before you need to back off, allowing the tires to cool a bit.”

Zach Lee, of San Antonio, Texas, was the second fastest in the class with a 2:36.615 (85.049 mph) lap. Bryan Hixon, of San Antonio, Texas, completed the top three after setting a time of 2:36.650 (85.030 mph) in his No. 63 Blackmore Partners/xBorder Food & Wine SBMX-5.

The drivers of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires take to the circuit one last time today when they qualify in a 30-minute session, beginning at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). Round One starts Thursday, at 11:10 a.m. (EDT), with Round Two set for 7:45 a.m. (EDT), on Friday.

Stay up to date with the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires by going to www.mx-5cup.com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MazdaMX5Cup.

Results from practice session two for Thursday’s SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires Round One race, part of the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fuel by Fresh from Florida, at Sebring International Raceway, with position, class, car number in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, fastest lap time, and speed in miles per hour.

1, MX, (29), Joey Bickers(R), Moorpark, Calif., MX-5, 2:32.978, 87.071.
2, MX, (15), Andrew Charbonneau, Delray Beach, Fla., MX-5, 2:33.077, 87.015.
3, MX, (16), John Dean II, Sebring, Fla., MX-5, 2:33.276, 86.902.
4, MX, (12), Kenton Koch(R), Glendora, Calif., MX-5, 2:33.330, 86.871.
5, MX, (7), Dean Copeland, Bowie, Md., MX-5, 2:33.491, 86.780.
6, MX, (17), Lucas Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:33.655, 86.687.
7, MX, (11), Ara Malkhassian, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:33.729, 86.646.
8, MX, (28), Patrick Gallagher, Thornville, Ohio, MX-5, 2:33.742, 86.638.
9, MX, (41), Sebastian Landy, Great Falls, Va., MX-5, 2:33.808, 86.601.
10, MX, (35), Devin Jones(R), Mooresville, N.C., MX-5, 2:33.888, 86.556.
11, MX, (8), Nathanial Sparks, Spanish Fort, Ala., MX-5, 2:33.916, 86.540.
12, MX, (20), Chris Haldeman(R), Princeton, Texas, MX-5, 2:33.983, 86.503.
13, MX, (49), Mike Cooper, Syossett, N.Y., MX-5, 2:34.032, 86.475.
14, MX, (3), Daniel Bender, Glencoe, Ill., MX-5, 2:34.112, 86.430.
15, MX, (19), Timothy Reger(R), Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:34.396, 86.271.
16, MX, (77), Dillon Machavern(R), Charlotte, Vt., MX-5, 2:34.413, 86.262.
17, MX, (6), Timothy Paul(R), Mahopac, N.Y., MX-5, 2:34.529, 86.197.
18, MX, (40), Ethan Low(R), Clearwater, Fla., MX-5, 2:34.783, 86.056.
19, MX, (26), Tim Probert, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:35.098, 85.881.
20, MX, (2), Beth Chryst, Herndon, Va., MX-5, 2:35.674, 85.563.
21, MX, (27), Charles Paquin, Ottawa, Ontario, MX-5, 2:36.025, 85.371.
22, MX, (10), Brent Mosing, Lafayette, La., MX-5, 2:36.828, 84.933.
23, MX, (79), Spencer Patterson(R), Pittsburgh, Pa., MX-5, 2:37.016, 84.832.
24, MX, (23), Christian Tetzlaff, Athens, Ga., MX-5, 2:37.929, 84.341.
25, MX, (18), Joseph Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:37.969, 84.320.
26, MX, (30), Ernie Francis(R), Miami, Fla., MX-5, 2:38.377, 84.103.
27, MX, (31), Jason Cherry(R), Gambrills, Md., MX-5, 2:40.689, 82.893.

1, SBMX, (61), Ben Albano, Greenwich, Conn., SB MX-5, 2:36.343, 85.197.
2, SBMX, (60), Zach Lee, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:36.615, 85.049.
3, SBMX, (63), Bryan Hixon, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:36.650, 85.030.
4, SBMX, (98), Johan Schwartz, Charlotte, N.C., SB MX-5, 2:36.796, 84.951.
5, SBMX, (99), Drake Kemper, Toluca Lake, Calif., SB MX-5, 2:36.894, 84.898.
6, SBMX, (94), Sarah Montgomery, Lafayette, La., SB MX-5, 2:36.984, 84.849.
7, SBMX, (93), Robby Foley, Randolph, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:37.071, 84.802.
8, SBMX, (65), Felix Borodaty, Short Hills, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:38.694, 83.935.
9, SBMX, (67), Pat Daly, New York, N.Y., SB MX-5, 2:40.324, 83.081.
10, SBMX, (69), Chris Beaufait, Freeland, Wash., SB MX-5, 3:22.603, 65.744.

Combined practice results for Thursday’s SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires Round One race, part of the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fuel by Fresh from Florida, at Sebring International Raceway, with position, class, car number in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, fastest lap time, and speed in miles per hour.

1, MX, (16), John Dean II, Sebring, Fla., MX-5, 2:31.372, 87.995.
2, MX, (41), Sebastian Landy, Great Falls, Va., MX-5, 2:31.568, 87.881.
3, MX, (12), Kenton Koch(R), Glendora, Calif., MX-5, 2:31.744, 87.779.
4, MX, (15), Andrew Charbonneau, Delray Beach, Fla., MX-5, 2:32.085, 87.582.
5, MX, (28), Patrick Gallagher, Thornville, Ohio, MX-5, 2:32.149, 87.545.
6, MX, (19), Timothy Reger(R), Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:32.228, 87.500.
7, MX, (11), Ara Malkhassian, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:32.333, 87.440.
8, MX, (8), Nathanial Sparks, Spanish Fort, Ala., MX-5, 2:32.506, 87.340.
9, MX, (40), Ethan Low(R), Clearwater, Fla., MX-5, 2:32.657, 87.254.
10, MX, (7), Dean Copeland, Bowie, Md., MX-5, 2:32.703, 87.228.
11, MX, (17), Lucas Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:32.707, 87.225.
12, MX, (35), Devin Jones(R), Mooresville, N.C., MX-5, 2:32.854, 87.142.
13, MX, (49), Mike Cooper, Syossett, N.Y., MX-5, 2:32.950, 87.087.
14, MX, (29), Joey Bickers(R), Moorpark, Calif., MX-5, 2:32.978, 87.071.
15, MX, (6), Timothy Paul(R), Mahopac, N.Y., MX-5, 2:33.021, 87.046.
16, MX, (77), Dillon Machavern(R), Charlotte, Vt., MX-5, 2:33.228, 86.929.
17, MX, (26), Tim Probert, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:33.451, 86.803.
18, MX, (20), Chris Haldeman(R), Princeton, Texas, MX-5, 2:33.983, 86.503.
19, MX, (3), Daniel Bender, Glencoe, Ill., MX-5, 2:34.112, 86.430.
20, MX, (27), Charles Paquin, Ottawa, Ontario, MX-5, 2:34.884, 85.999.
21, MX, (10), Brent Mosing, Lafayette, La., MX-5, 2:35.289, 85.775.
22, MX, (2), Beth Chryst, Herndon, Va., MX-5, 2:35.674, 85.563.
23, MX, (18), Joseph Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:35.988, 85.391.
24, MX, (79), Spencer Patterson(R), Pittsburgh, Pa., MX-5, 2:36.593, 85.061.
25, MX, (23), Christian Tetzlaff, Athens, Ga., MX-5, 2:37.929, 84.341.
26, MX, (30), Ernie Francis(R), Miami, Fla., MX-5, 2:38.377, 84.103.
27, MX, (31), Jason Cherry(R), Gambrills, Md., MX-5, 2:38.650, 83.958.

1, SBMX, (93), Robby Foley, Randolph, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:33.913, 86.542.
2, SBMX, (99), Drake Kemper, Toluca Lake, Calif., SB MX-5, 2:34.617, 86.148.
3, SBMX, (98), Johan Schwartz, Charlotte, N.C., SB MX-5, 2:34.787, 86.053.
4, SBMX, (63), Bryan Hixon, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:35.144, 85.855.
5, SBMX, (61), Ben Albano, Greenwich, Conn., SB MX-5, 2:35.175, 85.838.
6, SBMX, (60), Zach Lee, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:35.283, 85.778.
7, SBMX, (94), Sarah Montgomery, Lafayette, La., SB MX-5, 2:36.984, 84.849.
8, SBMX, (65), Felix Borodaty, Short Hills, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:37.498, 84.572.
9, SBMX, (67), Pat Daly, New York, N.Y., SB MX-5, 2:39.327, 83.601.
10, SBMX, (69), Chris Beaufait, Freeland, Wash., SB MX-5, 2:39.585, 83.466.

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