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Local Racer Dean Takes Pole for Round One of Mazda MX-5 Cup at Sebring
Posted by: newsla on Mar 13, 2014 - 05:29 PM
Sports Cars
Local Racer Dean Takes Pole for Round One of Mazda MX-5 Cup at Sebring


Local hero John Dean, of Sebring, Calif., captured the pole position for Thursday’s Round One race of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires. Kenton Koch, of Glendora, Calif., will start second, followed by Nathanial Sparks, of Spanish Fort, Ala., in third.

 

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Dean snatched the top spot with a fastest lap of 2:30.612 (88.439 mph) around the 17-turn, 3.74-mile Sebring International Raceway permanent airport course.

Driving the No. 16 Projections Research/PPG MX-5, Dean asserted himself as a candidate for pole early in the session. By the end of lap two, Dean topped the time sheet. He was bested by Dean Copeland on lap three, however Dean retook the top spot after the next circuit. From that point on, Dean was only challenged for the top spot by Sparks for the remainder of the 30-minute session.

“I came out of the gates really hard,” Dean said. “I was able to gap the driver behind me fairly well and that just freed the mirrors up. Then, I just kept my head down, pushing hard.”

“We are just really happy. Before the session we had to make a transmission change and then we found we had a bad wheel bearing. That part was changed minutes before we left for the grid. The car worked flawlessly and was just awesome.

“We’ve got three generations of John Deans here. We have such a great team, a great collaboration of people. It’s just so great to make this happen here, at home.”

Koch spent the entire session amongst the top-five positions throughout the entire qualifying run. At the controls of his No. 12 ALARA Racing/Mazda Motorsports Development MX-5, Koch put in consistently fast laps, slowly bringing his lap times down. In the end, Koch posted a best lap of 2:31.612 (88.091 mph).

“As a racer you always want to do better,” Koch said. “But, you can’t expect to be on the pole every race. You take what you can get, and P2 is definitely a good thing. It will be cool to start on the front row at Sebring. It’s such a historical track and I’m pretty excited about it.

“ALARA Racing, and Ken [Murillo], did a great job putting the car together. In the last practice, the car was pretty tight. So, we took a big swing at it and went in the right direction. We didn’t hit a homerun, but we made it to the wall.”

In the No. 8 OOTSK Performance/Bimmerworld MX-5, Sparks qualified third with a best lap of 2:31.282 (88.047 mph). The top-three starting position put to rest some of the concerns Sparks had regarding his outright speed during the two practice sessions.

“The whole weekend has been pretty worrisome,” Sparks said. “We had some really old tires on there and were really slow. I was banking on the fact that new tires would affect that and allow us to pick up the pace.”

“I felt good and was P1 for a while. Unfortunately, I was knocked out by my teammate, John Dean. I’m going to give him a hard time about that tomorrow, but I’m really glad we’re here. I’m looking very forward to the race tomorrow. I’m planning to follow my teammate into Turn One tomorrow, so we’ll see where that takes us.”

Sebastian Landy will start Thursday’s race from the fourth position in his No. 41 Excitations.com/Atlanta Motorsports Group MX-5. He did that by setting a fast time of 2:31.364 (87.999 mph).

Dean Copeland will take to the lights for the standing start in the fifth position. In the No. 7 Copeland Motorsports/SyncSpeed Inc. MX-5, Copeland earned the starting spot a best time of 2:31.691 (87.810 mph).

Bryan Hixon, of San Antonio, Texas, took pole position in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge class. In the No. 63 Blackmore Partners/xBorder Foods & Wine SBMX-5, Hixon tripped the timers with a best lap of 2:34.055 (86.462 mph).

“I spent a lot of time thinking about the tire strategy last night,” Hixon said. “I went ahead and left the tires used during the test day on the car. It really turned out working working for us. I was also thinking there may be a small rain shower, so I put my fast laps in early.

“I’m still trying to figure out what my strategy is going to be for tomorrow. I got lucky, followed the rules and pulled it off.”

Johan Schwartz, of Charlotte, N.C., will start in the second position in class with a 2:34.878 (86.003 mph), driving the No. 98 Promatex/Pipefish/Instrumart SBMX-5. Robby Foley, of Randolph, N.J., will start third after setting a time of 2:34.884 (85.999 mph).

Round One of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires 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.

Starting lineup 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, 2:30.612, 88.439.
2, MX, (12), Kenton Koch(R), Glendora, Calif., MX-5, 2:31.206, 88.091.
3, MX, (8), Nathanial Sparks, Spanish Fort, Ala., MX-5, 2:31.282, 88.047.
4, MX, (41), Sebastian Landy, Great Falls, Va., MX-5, 2:31.364, 87.999.
5, MX, (7), Dean Copeland, Bowie, Md., MX-5, 2:31.691, 87.810.
6, MX, (15), Andrew Charbonneau, Delray Beach, Fla., MX-5, 2:31.912, 87.682.
7, MX, (19), Timothy Reger(R), Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:32.278, 87.471.
8, MX, (11), Ara Malkhassian, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:32.331, 87.441.
9, MX, (29), Joey Bickers(R), Moorpark, Calif., MX-5, 2:32.590, 87.292.
10, MX, (3), Daniel Bender, Glencoe, Ill., MX-5, 2:32.607, 87.283.
11, MX, (35), Devin Jones(R), Mooresville, N.C., MX-5, 2:32.707, 87.225.
12, MX, (77), Dillon Machavern(R), Charlotte, Vt., MX-5, 2:32.764, 87.193.
13, MX, (17), Lucas Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:32.920, 87.104.
14, MX, (27), Patrick Gallagher, Thornville, Ohio, MX-5, 2:32.933, 87.097.
15, MX, (26), Tim Probert, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:33.047, 87.032.
16, MX, (6), Timothy Paul(R), Mahopac, N.Y., MX-5, 2:33.403, 86.830.
17, MX, (40), Ethan Low(R), Clearwater, Fla., MX-5, 2:33.592, 86.723.
18, MX, (20), Chris Haldeman(R), Princeton, Texas, MX-5, 2:34.158, 86.404.
19, MX, (49), Mike Cooper, Syossett, N.Y., MX-5, 2:34.265, 86.345.
20, MX, (23), Christian Tetzlaff, Athens, Ga., MX-5, 2:34.564, 86.177.
21, MX, (2), Beth Chryst, Herndon, Va., MX-5, 2:35.100, 85.880.
22, MX, (10), Brent Mosing, Lafayette, La., MX-5, 2:35.267, 85.787.
23, MX, (18), Joseph Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:35.596, 85.606.
24, MX, (79), Spencer Patterson(R), Pittsburgh, Pa., MX-5, 2:36.019, 85.374.
25, MX, (28), Charles Paquin, Ottawa, Ontario, MX-5, 2:37.963, 84.323.
26, MX, (31), Jason Cherry(R), Gambrills, Md., MX-5, 2:35.824, 85.481.

1, SBMX, (63), Bryan Hixon, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:34.055, 86.462.
2, SBMX, (98), Johan Schwartz, Charlotte, N.C., SB MX-5, 2:34.878, 86.003.
3, SBMX, (93), Robby Foley, Randolph, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:34.884, 85.999.
4, SBMX, (99), Drake Kemper, Toluca Lake, Calif., SB MX-5, 2:35.249, 85.797.
5, SBMX, (61), Ben Albano, Greenwich, Conn., SB MX-5, 2:35.314, 85.761.
6, SBMX, (60), Zach Lee, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:35.418, 85.704.
7, SBMX, (94), Sarah Montgomery, Lafayette, La., SB MX-5, 2:36.109, 85.325.
8, SBMX, (65), Felix Borodaty, Short Hills, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:38.467, 84.055.
9, SBMX, (67), Pat Daly, New York, N.Y., SB MX-5, 2:39.203, 83.666.
10, SBMX, (69), Chris Beaufait, Freeland, Wash., SB MX-5, 2:39.243, 83.645.

Starting lineup for Friday’s SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires Round Two 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, 2:30.951, 88.240.
2, MX, (41), Sebastian Landy, Great Falls, Va., MX-5, 2:31.539, 87.898.
3, MX, (12), Kenton Koch(R), Glendora, Calif., MX-5, 2:31.808, 87.742.
4, MX, (8), Nathanial Sparks, Spanish Fort, Ala., MX-5, 2:31.953, 87.658.
5, MX, (7), Dean Copeland, Bowie, Md., MX-5, 2:31.956, 87.657.
6, MX, (15), Andrew Charbonneau, Delray Beach, Fla., MX-5, 2:32.284, 87.468.
7, MX, (11), Ara Malkhassian, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:32.477, 87.357.
8, MX, (19), Timothy Reger(R), Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:32.619, 87.276.
9, MX, (3), Daniel Bender, Glencoe, Ill., MX-5, 2:32.634, 87.267.
10, MX, (29), Joey Bickers(R), Moorpark, Calif., MX-5, 2:32.651, 87.257.
11, MX, (77), Dillon Machavern(R), Charlotte, Vt., MX-5, 2:32.828, 87.156.
12, MX, (35), Devin Jones(R), Mooresville, N.C., MX-5, 2:32.848, 87.145.
13, MX, (17), Lucas Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:32.929, 87.099.
14, MX, (27), Patrick Gallagher, Thornville, Ohio, MX-5, 2:33.009, 87.053.
15, MX, (26), Tim Probert, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:33.177, 86.958.
16, MX, (6), Timothy Paul(R), Mahopac, N.Y., MX-5, 2:33.430, 86.814.
17, MX, (40), Ethan Low(R), Clearwater, Fla., MX-5, 2:33.595, 86.721.
18, MX, (20), Chris Haldeman(R), Princeton, Texas, MX-5, 2:34.464, 86.233.
19, MX, (10), Brent Mosing, Lafayette, La., MX-5, 2:35.328, 85.754.
20, MX, (23), Christian Tetzlaff, Athens, Ga., MX-5, 2:35.353, 85.740.
21, MX, (2), Beth Chryst, Herndon, Va., MX-5, 2:35.496, 85.661.
22, MX, (18), Joseph Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:35.755, 85.519.
23, MX, (79), Spencer Patterson(R), Pittsburgh, Pa., MX-5, 2:36.765, 84.968.
24, MX, (28), Charles Paquin, Ottawa, Ontario, MX-5, 2:38.058, 84.272.
25, MX, (30), Ernie Francis(R), Miami, Fla., MX-5, 2:33.719, 86.651.
26, MX, (31), Jason Cherry(R), Gambrills, Md., MX-5, 2:36.508, 85.107.

1, SBMX, (63), Bryan Hixon, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:34.374, 86.284.
2, SBMX, (93), Robby Foley, Randolph, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:35.059, 85.902.
3, SBMX, (98), Johan Schwartz, Charlotte, N.C., SB MX-5, 2:35.303, 85.767.
4, SBMX, (60), Zach Lee, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:35.560, 85.626.
5, SBMX, (61), Ben Albano, Greenwich, Conn., SB MX-5, 2:35.569, 85.621.
6, SBMX, (99), Drake Kemper, Toluca Lake, Calif., SB MX-5, 2:35.882, 85.449.
7, SBMX, (94), Sarah Montgomery, Lafayette, La., SB MX-5, 2:36.471, 85.127.
8, SBMX, (65), Felix Borodaty, Short Hills, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:38.500, 84.037.
9, SBMX, (67), Pat Daly, New York, N.Y., SB MX-5, 2:39.208, 83.664.
10, SBMX, (69), Chris Beaufait, Freeland, Wash., SB MX-5, 2:39.394, 83.566.

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