McAleer Grabs Playboy MX-5 Cup Pole At Mid-Ohio By Narrow Margin
Jun. 9, 2012 - LEXINGTON, Ohio - Stevan McAleer, a Putnam Valley, N.Y. resident, earned his third SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup pole of 2012 during Saturday’s qualifying at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in a session that had just a 0.351-second gap between first and fifth.
|Stevan McAleer will start Sunday from the pole (Hawking photo)
McAleer’s third pole of the season came on his fourth lap of the 30-minute session, when his No. 28 CJ Wilson Children’s Charities/Numberix/Blue Mercury Capital MX-5 lapped the 13-turn, 2.258-mile circuit in 1:39.675 (81.553 mph) to set a new track record.
“We’ve been quick all weekend,” McAleer said. “I didn’t expect it to be as close as it was. I thought there would be maybe two of us up front, and it turns out there’s only two tenths between four cars.
“It’s super important to be on pole. It’s going to be interesting on the first lap trying to actually hold them off on the back straight. Again, same as Mazda Raceway, it’s nice to be on pole and we’ll see if we can get a gap.”
The pole time stood by the narrowest of margins when John Dean’s No. 16 Projections Research/Sick Sideways MX-5 turned a lap of 1:39.706 (81.528 mph) to fall just 0.031 short. Dean’s time, while just shy of the pole, was also just ahead of his teammate, Christian Szymczak, and the No. 34 Projections Research/Sick Sideways MX-5. Szymczak lapped the hot, slick track in 1:39.767 (81.477 mph), just another 0.061 behind Dean and less than a tenth from the pole time.
McAleer’s CJ Wilson Racing teammate, Elliott Skeer, was fourth and will start on the second row with a 1:39.910 (81.361 mph) in the No. 17 MAZDASPEED/Sparco MX-5. Dean Copeland, despite being only 0.351-second behind the pole time in his No. 7 Sync Speed/Copeland Motorsports MX-5, will start fifth on the grid.
Even Nathan Sparks, who will start Sunday’s Round Five race sixth on the grid, was only 0.669-second behind the pole in his No. 3 OOTSK Performance MX-5 with a lap of 1:40.334 (81.009 mph).
Bryan Hixon was the quickest qualifier in the Skip Barber Racing School MAZDASPEED Pro Series class, with a time of 1:41.887 (79.782 mph) in the No. 63 Seven Devils Lodge/Tequila Me MX-5.
The SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup will make a standing start for Round Five of 11 this season at 11:55 a.m. EDT on Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
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.