Mazda MX-5 Cup Set to Take on NOLA Motorsports Park
Timing/Scoring: Live Timing & Scoring and lap notes via the SCCAŽ Pit Board are available for all sessions through www.mx-5cup.com.
The host state to this weekend's event will be represented by two drivers from nearby Lafayette. ALARA Racing teammates Brent Mosing and Sarah Montgomery will be making their first professional start in their declared home state. This is the second year that Montgomery has raced with the series, having moved up from the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge class in which she raced last year.
Mosing is a series veteran who has raced in the series since its inception in 2006. As a gentleman driver, racing is a stress reliever for him. Racing in front of family, friends and other supporters is an added bonus.
The SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires continues its 12-Round campaign to crown a new Champion in 2015. The host venue for Rounds Three and Four of the Championship is the Country Club-style NOLA Motorsports Park, just south of New Orleans. The Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup will take part in the first weekend of professional-level auto racing at the growing facility.
While a new circuit presents a huge unknown for the drivers and crews, what is known is that the Sick Sideways racing team, led by owner John Dean, made a statement at the opening two rounds of the season at Sebring. In Round One, Drake Kemper, of Toluca Lake, California, took home the win in his first race in the top class in the No. 99 Royal Rugby/Mazda Motorsports Development/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5. In Round Two, it was Dean, of Sebring, Florida, who notched the win in his No. 16 Bulb Jacket/PPG/Sick Sideways MX-5.
Nathanial Sparks, of Spanish Fort, Alabama, is the third member of the team and also finished fifth and third in the opening two races, respectively, in the No. 8 OOTSK Performance/Sick Sideways MX-5. With the entire team off to a strong start, it will be imperative to trio to keep their momentum headed in the proper direction.
Patrick Gallagher, of Thornville, Ohio, left his mark during the opening two races of the season, as well. He leads his contingent of three Atlanta Motorsports Group teammates in the points following a pair of second-place finishes at Sebring in his No. 44 Howard Concrete Pumping MX-5. Also flying the Atlanta Motorsports banner at NOLA Motorsports Park will be Kyle Loustaunau, of Vacaville, California, and Peter Portante, of Plainville, Connecticut. As the most recent Mazda Motorsports Club Racer Shootout winner, Loustaunau will pilot the No. 4 Mazda Motorsports Development/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5. Portante, in the No. 24 Atlanta Motorsports Group MX-5, is a newcomer to the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup, but is a professional racing veteran with experience in open-wheel, formula machines. Most recently, he contested the USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2013 and 2014. Portante also scored an SCCA Formula Continental National Championship, in 2013.
ALARA Racing brings the numerical advantage to bear this weekend, as they haul nine cars to NOLA. The armada is led by series stalwart, and team principal, Ara Malkhassian, of Houston. He will drive his customary No. 11 ALRARA Racing MX-5. His team features a mixture of seasoned veterans and young talent, which could prove to be the winning mixture.
Timothy Paul, of Mahopac, New York, showed he may be a force to be reckoned with as the season progresses. In his second season, Paul qualified his No. 6 ALARA Racing/Cellmark MX-5 second in Round One, and on pole for Round Two. Paul finished the first race just outside the top five, but suffered damage during Round Two that put him well back in the field. With more time among the top drivers, Paul may find himself back in the title fight before long.
Another hot shoe racing for ALARA Racing is Sarah Montgomery, of Lafayette, Louisiana. She made the move from the Skip Barber class to the Cup class this season as she pilots the No. 14 Travel Lafayette, LA/F.A.S.T. Fresh Air System Technologies MX-5. Montgomery will enjoy a groundswell of support in the Big Easy as this is her first professional race start in front of a hometown crowd. Brent Mosing, of Lafayette, Louisiana, will also carry favor with the fans in attendance in his No. 10 ALARA Racing MX-5.
Devin Jones, of Mooresville, North Carolina, is another young driver that could jump to the front of the field for ALARA Racing. Jones will be at the wheel of his No. 35 ALARA Racing/Veristor MX-5. Rounding out the roster of drivers on the team is Zach Lee (No. 12 ALARA Racing MX-5), of San Antonio, Texas; Tim Probert (No. 26 ALRARA Racing MX-5), of Houston; Keith Jensen (No. 32 ALRARA Racing MX-5) and rookie Matt Koskinen (No. 34 ALARA Racing MX-5), of Harper Woods, Michigan.
With two other teammates in tow, Dean Copeland, of Bowie, Maryland, may also be in the mix when the checkered flag flies at NOLA Motorsports Park. Driving the No. 7 Copeland Motorsports Sync Speed Inc. MX-5 entry, Copeland almost left Sebring with a win in Round Two as he held the lead through the last corner. However, both Gallagher and Dean were able to get a better drive off the corner leaving Copeland behind.
Hernan Palermo, of Houston, made his debut with the team in Sebring and will be joined by Alex Bachoura, of Houston, in Louisiana. Palermo will be at the controls of the No. 77 CMS/Brimtek/Sync Speed Inc. MX-5, while Bachoura will pilot the No. 17 Copeland Motorsports MX-5 machine.
The series newest team, McCumbee McAleer Racing, will also bring two cars to the party in just miles from the French Quarter. Rookie Aurora Straus, of New York, will be making her third start in the series in the No. 28 ModSpace MX-5. She will be joined by Charles Paquin, of Ottawa, Ont., Can., who will drive the No. 72 ModSpace MX-5.
In a solo-car effort, Christian Tetzlaff, of Athens, Georgia, is also on the entry list. He will be at the controls of his No. 23 Lanier Technical College/MAZDASPEED MX-5.
In the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge, six drivers are slated to take the two green flags during the weekend. Championship leader Robby Foley, of Randolph, New Jersey, is planned to be in attendance. Sam Adams, of Richfield, Wisconsin, the newest member of the group will attempt to build on his Round Two win with another successful pair of starts. Bryan Hixon, of San Antonio, Texas, who sits third in the Championship Standings, will also be at the controls of his No. 63 TheHotelContessa.com/Seven Devils Lodge SBMX-5.
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Event Entry List
#, Driver/Hometown, Sponsors, Car
4, Kyle Loustaunau(R)/Vacaville, CA, Mazda Motorsports Development/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5
6, Timothy Paul(R)/Mahopac, NY, ALARA Racing/Cellmark MX-5
7, Dean Copeland/Bowie MD, Copeland Motorsports/SyncSpeed MX-5
8, Nathaniel Sparks/Spanish Fort, AL, OOTSK Performance/Sick Sideways MX-5
10, Brent Mosing/Lafayette, LA, ALARA Racing MX-5
11, Ara Malkhassian/Houston, TX, ALARA Racing MX-5
12, Zach Lee/San Antonio, TX, ALARA Racing MX-5
14, Sarah Montgomery/Lafayette, LA, Travel Lafayette, LA/F.A.S.T. Fresh Air Systems Technology MX-5
16, John Dean II/Sebring, Bulb Jacket/Sick Sideways MX-5
17, Alex Bachoura/Houston, TX, Copeland Motorsports MX-5
23, Christian Tetzlaff/Athens, GA, Lanier Technical College/MAZDASPEED MX-5
24, Peter Portante/Plainville, CT, Atlanta Motorsports Group MX-5
26, Tim Probert/Houston, TX, ALARA Racing MX-5
28, Aurora Straus(R)/New York, NY, ModSpace MX-5
29, Chad McCumbee/Ocean Isle Beach, NC, ModSpace MX-5
32, Keith Jensen(R)/Dallas, TX, ALARA Racing MX-5
34, Matt Koskinen(R)/Harper Woods, MI, ALARA Racing MX-5
35, Devin Jones/Mooresville, NC, ALARA Racing/Veristor MX-5
44, Patrick Gallagher/Thornville, OH, Howard Concrete Pumping MX-5
77, Hernan Palermo(R)/Houston, TX, Copeland Motorsports/Brimtek/SyncSpeed MX-5
99, Drake Kemper/Toluca Lake, CA, Royal Rugby/Mazda Motorsports Development/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5
61, Ben Albano/Greenwich, CT, Project Yellow Light/Manfredi Jewels SBMX-5
62, Kieron O'Rourke/Grand Cayman, SBMX-5
63, Bryan Hixon/San Antonio, TX, TheHotelContessa.com/Seven Devils Lodge SBMX-5
65, Robby Foley/Randolph, NJ, SBMX-5
67, Sam Adams/Richfield, WI, SBMX-5
68, Nikko Reger/Houston, TX, SBMX-5