CJ Wilson Racing Sweeps Friday Playboy MX-5 Cup Practice at Road America
Jun. 22, 2012 - ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Three CJ Wilson Racing drivers claimed the top three spots in Friday morning’s SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup practice at Road America in a session where the top eight drivers were separated by less than a second.
|Stevan McAleer led a CJ Wilson Racing sweep of Friday's practice (Les Tension Photography)
Championship leader Stevan McAleer led a pack that included Sam Barnett, making his first appearance in the series, and MAZDASPEED Shootout winner Elliott Skeer.
McAleer turned a lap of 2:39.207 (91.534 mph) in the No. 28 CJ Wilson Children’s Charities/Numerix/Blue Mercury Capital MX-5 while the three cars worked in the draft around the 4-mile circuit.
“The track was definitely quicker that time around,” McAleer said. “There’s pretty much a lot of drafting going on there. You look at the first 10 times, the draft probably helped everybody’s lap times.
“I wanted to make sure I was doing it at the end, getting a couple of laps by myself. We’re pretty confident that we’ve got three good cars. It’s good to have Sam up here, he came from nowhere, which is fantastic, and hopefully we can have similar positions in qualifying.”
Barnett’s No. 29 ModSpace Racing MX-5 slipped into second on the time sheets with a 2:39.430 (91.406 mph), just 0.223-second behind his teammate. Barnett has run Club Racing Spec Miatas and spent some time in a front-wheel drive MAZDASPEED3 before making his debut in the Playboy MX-5 Cup.
The 17-year-old Skeer was third in 2:39.630 (91.291 mph) behind the wheel of the No. 17 MAZDASPEED/Sparco MX-5.
The Sick Sideways duo of John Dean and Christian Szymczak filled out the top five in the session. Dean’s No. 16 Projections Research/Sick Sideways MX-5 crossed the stripe in 2:39.742 (91.227 mph), followed by Szymczak’s No. 34 Projections Research/Sick Sideways MX-5 in 2:39.774 (91.209 mph).
In all, eight cars were within 0.768-second during the session. Nathan Sparks (No. 3 OOTSK Performance MX-5), Dean Copeland (No. 7 Sync Speed Inc/Copeland Motorsports MX-5), and Jeff Mosing (No. 12 Frank’s International/Race Now For Autism MX-5) were all within striking distance during the practice.
The times may not be indicative of this afternoon’s qualifying session, in which drivers are expressively forbidden to draft. The practice times could, however, be an indicator of conditions in the 45-minute timed race.
The SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Round Six weekend continues with qualifying at 3 p.m. CDT to set the field for Saturday’s standing start, scheduled for 7:25 a.m.
More information on the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup is available at www.mx-5cup.com.
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