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Aug 08, 2014 - 03:24 PM
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Dean Notches Top Spot in Mazda MX-5 Cup Opening Practice at Road America
Posted by: newsla on Aug 08, 2014 - 03:21 PM
Sports Cars
Dean Notches Top Spot in Mazda MX-5 Cup Opening Practice at Road America


John Dean, of Sebring, Florida, was the fastest driver during the opening Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires practice at Road America, in preparation for Rounds Nine and 10, part of the Road Race Showcase. Ara Malkhassian, of Houston, and Kenton Koch, of Glendora, California, completed the top three spots.

 

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Driving the No. 16 Projections Research/PPG MX-5, Dean logged a best time of 2:37.616 (92.457 mph) around the 14-turn, 4.048-mile track. Dean will look to rebound from a couple difficult finishes during the last couple races.

“Practice was awesome, we found a setting in the suspension that worked really well at Sebring and it was immediately evident that the setup was awesome,” Dean said. “It’s so much easier to drive the car and it rewards you with consistency.

“This track is all about the draft. We’re optimistic. At this point the championship is out of reach, so I’m just trying to learn and develop the team and our cars so that we have a good chance for next year.”

Malkhassian, piloting his No. 11 ALARA Racing MX-5, laid down the second quickest time of the 30-minute session. He stopped the clock at 2:37.845 (92.318 mph).

“We’re really enjoying being out there,” Malkhassian said. “The cars are running well and the BFGoodrich tires that we have on the car this year, as well as the suspension, have combined to make this car so much more fun than it’s been the last few years.

“It’s really nice to have a car that’s well-balanced and handling well. The racing here [at Road America] produces some of the best racing, year after year. Because of the three very long straights, and the aerodynamic nature of an open-top car, nobody really gets a chance to break away from the pack. So, what you end up with is a very exciting race.”

Koch completed the top three with a lap of 2:37.944 (92.265 mph) in the opening session of the weekend, at the controls of his No. 12 ALARA Racing/Mazda Motorsports/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5.

“Practice went well,” Koch said. “My time was a bit slower because I was running in a pack of two cars, whereas some people were using the draft in groups of four and more.

“I’m definitely looking forward to Rounds Nine and 10, the car is set up better and it’s performing very well here. Road America is unpredictable because of the Talladega-like nature of the course.”

Nathanial Sparks slotted into the fourth position as he posted a best lap of 2:38.294 (92.061 mph) in the No. 8 OOTSK Performance/Bimmerworld MX-5.

Finishing fifth on the time charts for this opening session was Michael Cooper. His best lap was registered at 2:38.376 (92.014 mph), in the No. 40 Atlanta Motorsports Group MX-5.

In the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge, Lucas Bize, of New York, was the top driver. Bize recorded a fast lap of 2:40.642 (90.716 mph). He will be working double-duty as he will also be racing in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series this weekend.

Ben Albano, of Greenwich, Connecticut, was the second fastest driver in the class. His best time at the controls of the No. 61 Project Yellow Light SBMX-5 was 2:41.047 (90.487 mph). Robby Foley, of Randolph, New Jersey, completed the top three with a fast time of 2:41.190 (90.407 mph).

The SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires is on track for their second practice session, preceding Round Nine, Friday at 11:05 a.m. (CDT). Qualifying for the doubleheader weekend is scheduled for Aug. 9, at 8:30 a.m. (CDT), with Round Nine slated for later in the day, at 7:00 p.m. (CDT). Round 10 is scheduled for Aug. 10, at 10:50 a.m. (CDT).

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 at Facebook.com/MazdaMX5Cup and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MazdaMX5Cup.

Results from Practice Session One in preparation for Saturday's SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires Round 9 race, part Road Race Showcase at Road America, 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, 2:37.616, 92.457.
2, MX, (11), Ara Malkhassian, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:37.854, 92.318.
3, MX, (12), Kenton Koch(R), Glendora, Calif., MX-5, 2:37.944, 92.265.
4, MX, (8), Nathanial Sparks, Spanish Fort, Ala., MX-5, 2:38.294, 92.061.
5, MX, (48), Michael Cooper, Syossett, N.Y., MX-5, 2:38.376, 92.014.
6, MX, (40), Russell Walker, Dallas, Texas, MX-5, 2:38.644, 91.858.
7, MX, (17), Lucas Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:38.893, 91.714.
8, MX, (49), Sebastian Landy(R), Great Falls, Va., MX-5, 2:39.158, 91.561.
9, MX, (7), Dean Copeland, Bowie, Md., MX-5, 2:39.200, 91.537.
10, MX, (41), Forrest Landy(R), Great Falls, Va., MX-5, 2:39.895, 91.139.
11, MX, (35), Devin Jones(R), Mooresville, N.C., MX-5, 2:40.008, 91.075.
12, MX, (29), Joey Bickers(R), Moorpark, Calif., MX-5, 2:40.138, 91.001.
13, MX, (6), Timothy Paul(R), Mahopac, N.Y., MX-5, 2:40.492, 90.800.
14, MX, (26), Tim Probert, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:41.250, 90.374.
15, MX, (27), Nick Igdalsky(R), Stroudsburg, Pa., MX-5, 2:41.770, 90.083.
16, MX, (10), Brent Mosing, Lafayette, La., MX-5, 2:41.817, 90.057.
17, MX, (28), Patrick Gallagher, Thornville, Ohio, MX-5, 2:41.891, 90.016.
18, MX, (18), Joseph Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:42.063, 89.920.
19, MX, (2), Beth Chryst, Herndon, Va., MX-5, 2:42.578, 89.635.
20, MX, (77), Alex Ratcliff(R, Berryville, Va., MX-5, 2:44.276, 88.709.

1, SBMX, (98), Lucas Bize, New York, N.Y., SB MX-5, 2:40.642, 90.716.
2, SBMX, (61), Ben Albano, Greenwich, Conn., SB MX-5, 2:41.047, 90.487.
3, SBMX, (93), Robby Foley, Randolph, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:41.190, 90.407.
4, SBMX, (99), Drake Kemper, Toluca Lake, Calif., SB MX-5, 2:41.199, 90.402.
5, SBMX, (60), Zach Lee, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:41.992, 89.960.
6, SBMX, (94), Sarah Montgomery, Lafayette, La., SB MX-5, 2:42.734, 89.549.
7, SBMX, (65), Felix Borodaty, Short Hills, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:44.623, 88.522.
8, SBMX, (63), Bryan Hixon, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:45.205, 88.210.
9, SBMX, (69), Chris Beaufait, Freeland, Wash., SB MX-5, 2:46.627, 87.457.


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