Copeland Tops P2, Szymczak Quickest In Combined Playboy MX-5 Cup Practices At Mazda Raceway
May. 10, 2012 - MONTEREY, Calif. - Dean Copeland, of Bowie, Md., turned the fastest lap of the second SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup practice on Thursday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, just off the pace of the first session of the day. Christian Szymczak, of Palos Verdes, Calif., saw his opening time hold up to lead the combined charts.
Dean Copeland led P2 at Mazda Raceway (Weber photo)
Copeland turned a lap of 1:42.697 (78.452 mph) in the No. 7 Sync Speed Inc/Copeland Motorsports MX-5 during the second of the 30-minute practice sessions. With qualifying looming later in the day, Copeland – like most of the field – elected to use the same BFGoodrich Tires g-Force R1 in each session and falling just shy of the 1:42.678 (78.467 mph) he set in the early session.
Szymczak was just 0.090-second behind Copeland’s practice two time, and his lap of 1:42.032 (78.963 mph) in the No. 34 Projections Research/Sick Sideways MX-5 in practice one was quickest on the combined charts.
“We’ve worked a lot on the cars, and we’ve figured a lot out,” Szymczak said of the new team, which made it's debute at Sebring. “At Sebring, we were running settings that weren’t ideal, I think, we didn’t understand a lot about the cars. We’ve got a great mechanic, and he tries to figure stuff out, John [Dean] tries to figure stuff out, and try to put in my two cents and I think we’ve learned a lot. We’re pretty happy.
“I’m feeling pretty good. At this point, I think it’s reasonable to think we stack up pretty well against the competition. We might not be on pole, but hopefully we’ll be close. If we’re on pole, great, I’d like the 5 points. But we’ll take what we can get, hopefully we start towards the front and have a great race.”
Ara Malkhassian, who was second in the first session and on the combined chart with a time of 1:42.229 (78.811 mph) in the No. 11 ALARA Garage MX-5, was third in practice two after his team made the necessary repairs to the right front of his Mazda after contact with another driver in the opening practice.
Elliot Skeer’s No. 17 MAZDASPEED/Sparco MX-5 was fourth in both sessions. The championship leader turned a lap of 1:42.695 (78.454 mph) for his quickest time of the day, which also came in the first session.
John Dean, the Round Two winner, was fifth in each session and overall after a lap of 1:42.698 (78.451 mph) in the first session.
David Knight was the overall leader in 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 during the opening session. Zachry Lee, from San Antonio, Texas, was quickest in practice two with a time of 1:44.674 (76.970 mph).
Qualifying for Round Three of the season and the first of the doubleheader weekend takes place at 2:10 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.
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.