Szymczak Tops Opening Playboy MX-5 Cup Practice At Mazda Raceway
May. 10, 2012 - MONTEREY, Calif. - Christian Szymczak, of Palos Verdes, Calif., led the opening practice at the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup’s “home” race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Thursday.
Christian Szymczak led the opening session at Mazda Raceway (Weber photo)
Szymczak turned a lap of 1:42.032 (78.963 mph) in the No. 34 Projections Research/Sick Sideways MX-5 to lead the 30-minute practice session, the first of two on Thursday in preparation for this weekend’s doubleheader at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile course.
The series’ all-time leader in starts, Ara Malkhassian, was second in the session behind the wheel of the No. 11 ALARA Garage MX-5 with a time of 1:42.229 (78.811 mph), just 0.197-second behind Szymczak for the lead. Malkhassian may have gone faster, but contact with another car ended his session early.
Dean Copeland, who battled for the lead at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca a season ago, was third with a 1:42.678 (78.467 mph) in the No. 7 Sync Speed Inc/Copeland Motorsports MX-5, followed by Elliot Skeer’s No. 17 MAZDASPEED/Sparco MX-5 in 1:42.695 (78.454 mph).
John Dean, the Round Two winner, completed the top five with a lap of 1:42.698 (78.451 mph).
In all, just 0.666-second separated the top five times in the practice session.
David Knight led the Skip Barber Racing School MAZDASPEED Pro Series with a time of 1:43.632 (77.744 mph) in the No. 60 Pharmanex/Skip Barber MX-5.
The Series returns with a second 30-minute practice at 10:40 a.m. PDT this morning.
More information on the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup is available at www.mx-5cup.com.
Follow the MX-5 Cup on Twitter @MazdaMX5Cup.