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Sparks Sets Fastest Lap in Practice Two from Road America
Posted by: newsla on Aug 09, 2014 - 06:21 AM
Sports Cars
Sparks Sets Fastest Lap in Practice Two from Road America


Nathanial Sparks, of Spanish Fort, Alabama, was the fastest in the Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires field during the second practice session from Road America, in preparation for Round Nine of the Championship. Kenton Koch, of Glendora, California, and Michael Cooper, of Syossett, New York, were second and third, respectively.

 

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Times registered by each of the drivers were slower, across the board, as the track surface had started to heat up causing a lack of grip. Driving the No. 8 OOTSK Performance/Bimmerworld MX-5, Sparks registered a fast time of 2:38.191 (92.121 mph) around the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit. Sparks’ lap was 0.575-second longer than the fastest lap of the first session, set by Dean.

“I’m feeling really strong about our qualifying session,” Sparks said. “We’ve run single laps and they are not much slower than a drafting lap. We’ll do well [in qualifying]; we usually manage to find ourselves up at the front.

“The track is beautiful and has plenty of corners that are awesome and fast, but really, in these cars it’s such a draft-fest that a good race track comes into play here.”

Koch drove the No. 12 ALARA Racing/Mazda Motorsports/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5 to a fast time of 1:38.258 (92.082 mph). The top-three finish in the session backed up his strong pace from the morning session.

“The second session definitely went better,” Koch said. “We squared away all the problems in the car, so I’m really looking forward to qualifying tomorrow morning. It’s a matter of finding the optimal time to be on track. It’s going to be cold in the morning and it might be hot later in the session, so you have to experiment with it.

“So far, the season has gone better than I thought it would. Initially, coming into the series, I was thinking I would be in the top five and hopefully compete for the championship. Now I find myself looking to win the championship this year. It’s definitely something I wasn’t expecting.”

Cooper, at the wheel of the No. 48 Atlanta Motorsports Group MX-5, logged a fast time of 2:38.266 (92.077 mph). While all drivers slowed, Cooper was able to minimize his losses and gain two positions in the standings.

“The second round of practice was pretty good,” Cooper said. “We put new tires on yesterday, so we’re on pretty old tires now. It’s starting to fall off a little now, but it’s good to get some setup work done.

“I really like driving at Road America. I’ve always liked it, since the first time I came here. I like the fast nature of the track and it always makes for good racing.”

After setting the quickest lap in the opening practice session, John Dean was in fourth when the checkered flag flew to end Practice Two. He registered a fast lap of 2:38.276 (92.072 mph) in the No. 16 Projections Research/PPG MX-5.

Sebastian Landy completed the top five positions for the session. Driving the No. 49 Excitations.com/Atlanta Motorsports Group MX-5, Landy stopped the timing clock at 2:38.604 (91.881 mph).

Bryan Hixon, of San Antonio, Texas, topped the standings in the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge class. In the No. 63 Blackmore Partners/xBorder Foods & Wine SBMX-5, Hixon managed a quick lap of 2:42.248 (89.818 mph).

“I felt much more comfortable during this session,” Hixon said. “I had a really rough start yesterday when I hit the wall at 101 mph.

“It’s hard to get back on the horse sometimes. The best thing you can do for qualifying is to get two great laps in because there might be a red flag.”

Zach Lee, of San Antonio, Texas, was second with a lap of 2:42.261 (89.810 mph), while Drake Kemper, of Toluca Lake, California, finished third with a time of 2:42.451 (89.705 mph) in the No. 99 Royal Rugby SBMX-5.

The SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires will set the field for both ends of the doubleheader weekend Saturday, 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 Two in preparation for Saturday's SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires Round Nine race, part of the 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, (8), Nathanial Sparks, Spanish Fort, Ala., MX-5, 2:38.191, 92.121.
2, MX, (12), Kenton Koch(R), Glendora, Calif., MX-5, 2:38.258, 92.082.
3, MX, (48), Michael Cooper, Syossett, N.Y., MX-5, 2:38.266, 92.077.
4, MX, (16), John Dean II, Sebring, Fla., MX-5, 2:38.276, 92.072.
5, MX, (49), Sebastian Landy(R), Great Falls, Va., MX-5, 2:38.604, 91.881.
6, MX, (11), Ara Malkhassian, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:38.730, 91.808.
7, MX, (29), Joey Bickers(R), Moorpark, Calif., MX-5, 2:38.943, 91.685.
8, MX, (41), Forrest Landy(R), Great Falls, Va., MX-5, 2:39.279, 91.492.
9, MX, (7), Dean Copeland, Bowie, Md., MX-5, 2:39.293, 91.484.
10, MX, (35), Devin Jones(R), Mooresville, N.C., MX-5, 2:39.427, 91.407.
11, MX, (40), Russell Walker, Dallas, Texas, MX-5, 2:39.580, 91.319.
12, MX, (6), Timothy Paul(R), Mahopac, N.Y., MX-5, 2:40.674, 90.698.
13, MX, (28), Patrick Gallagher, Thornville, Ohio, MX-5, 2:41.530, 90.217.
14, MX, (26), Tim Probert, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:41.541, 90.211.
15, MX, (27), Nick Igdalsky(R), Stroudsburg, Pa., MX-5, 2:41.683, 90.132.
16, MX, (2), Beth Chryst, Herndon, Va., MX-5, 2:41.768, 90.084.
17, MX, (10), Brent Mosing, Lafayette, La., MX-5, 2:42.490, 89.684.
18, MX, (77), Alex Ratcliff(R, Berryville, Va., MX-5, 2:42.533, 89.660.
19, MX, (18), Joseph Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:43.510, 89.124.
20, MX, (17), Lucas Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:54.837, 83.350.

1, SBMX, (63), Bryan Hixon, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:42.248, 89.818.
2, SBMX, (60), Zach Lee, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:42.261, 89.810.
3, SBMX, (99), Drake Kemper, Toluca Lake, Calif., SB MX-5, 2:42.451, 89.705.
4, SBMX, (61), Ben Albano, Greenwich, Conn., SB MX-5, 2:42.907, 89.454.
5, SBMX, (93), Robby Foley, Randolph, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:43.025, 89.390.
6, SBMX, (94), Sarah Montgomery, Lafayette, La., SB MX-5, 2:44.377, 88.654.
7, SBMX, (69), Chris Beaufait, Freeland, Wash., SB MX-5, 2:50.658, 85.391.
8, SBMX, (65), Felix Borodaty, Short Hills, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:51.460, 84.992.
9, SBMX, (98), Lucas Bize, New York, N.Y., SB MX-5, no time.

Combined practice results in preparation for Saturday's SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires Round Nine race, part of the 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, 2:38.191, 92.121.
5, MX, (48), Michael Cooper, Syossett, N.Y., MX-5, 2:38.266, 92.077.
6, MX, (49), Sebastian Landy(R), Great Falls, Va., MX-5, 2:38.604, 91.881.
7, MX, (40), Russell Walker, Dallas, Texas, MX-5, 2:38.644, 91.858.
8, MX, (17), Lucas Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:38.893, 91.714.
9, MX, (29), Joey Bickers(R), Moorpark, Calif., MX-5, 2:38.943, 91.685.
10, MX, (7), Dean Copeland, Bowie, Md., MX-5, 2:39.200, 91.537.
11, MX, (41), Forrest Landy(R), Great Falls, Va., MX-5, 2:39.279, 91.492.
12, MX, (35), Devin Jones(R), Mooresville, N.C., MX-5, 2:39.427, 91.407.
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, (28), Patrick Gallagher, Thornville, Ohio, MX-5, 2:41.530, 90.217.
16, MX, (27), Nick Igdalsky(R), Stroudsburg, Pa., MX-5, 2:41.683, 90.132.
17, MX, (2), Beth Chryst, Herndon, Va., MX-5, 2:41.768, 90.084.
18, MX, (10), Brent Mosing, Lafayette, La., MX-5, 2:41.817, 90.057.
19, MX, (18), Joseph Catania(R), Cazenovia, N.Y., MX-5, 2:42.063, 89.920.
20, MX, (77), Alex Ratcliff(R, Berryville, Va., MX-5, 2:42.533, 89.660.

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, (63), Bryan Hixon, San Antonio, Texas, SB MX-5, 2:42.248, 89.818.
7, SBMX, (94), Sarah Montgomery, Lafayette, La., SB MX-5, 2:42.734, 89.549.
8, SBMX, (65), Felix Borodaty, Short Hills, N.J., SB MX-5, 2:44.623, 88.522.
9, SBMX, (69), Chris Beaufait, Freeland, Wash., SB MX-5, 2:46.627, 87.457.


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