ProMoMo Speed Teammates Lead Opening MX-5 Cup Practice From Sebring
Mar. 14, 2012 - SEBRING, Fla. - The SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup opened the season on Wednesday morning at Sebring International Raceway with a 30-minute practice session, and a hometown team introduced themselves to the series with the top times. The series opens with a doubleheader on Thursday and Friday of the 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh From Florida.
|Christian Szymczak led John Dean and the opening session at Sebring. (Weber photo)
A pair of ProMoMo Speed teammates, based in Sebring, Fla., made their debut in dramatic fashion, with Christian Szymczak, of Palos Verdes, Calif., topping the charts with a best time of 2:32.301 (88.404 mph) in the No. 34 Projections Research/Sick Sideways Mazda MX-5 around the 17-turn, 3.74-mile circuit. Sebring’s John Dean turned his best time early in the session, posting a 2:32.494 (87.347 mph) in the No. 16 Projections Research/Sick Sideways machine.
“It’s a fantastic start,” Szymczak said at the end of the session. “We were hoping to be somewhere up near the top and we really didn’t know we were going to end up there. We felt we pretty strong but we’re definitely excited to be one and two, it’s a good result for the team.”
Szymczak is returning to professional racing after almost 10 years away from the sport. He last raced the Skip Barber Pro Series open-wheel machines in 2002.
“I’m really happy,” Szymczak said of his return to the sport. “I was a bit apprehensive coming in, and there’s a lot of pressure. I’ve been away for a long time. It feels great to be back at the track and back in a car and mixing it up out there. It’s so much fun.”
A trio of CJ Wilson Racing teammates completed the top five, with 17-year-old Elliot Skeer third in the No. 17 MAZDASPEED/Sparco/Milgard Windows & Doors MX-5 with a time of 2:32.677 (88.186 mph). Skeer is making his MX-5 Cup debut after winning the MAZDASPEED Ladder Shootout for club racing champions.
Stevan McAleer, driving the No. 28 CJ Wilson Children’s Charities/Blue Mercury Capital/RUfocused.com/Sambo Website Design MX-5, was fourth with a time of 2:32.721 (88.161 mph), just 0.044-second behind his teammate.
Chad McCumbee, a relative newcomer to road racing who began his career in NASCAR’s top series, was fifth with a time of 2:33.337 (86.867 mph) in the No. 29 ModSpace MX-5. McCumbee ran one Playboy MX-5 Cup weekend a season ago.
Nine Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Series cars are also running as a class within the Playboy MX-5 Cup Series. Dennis Trebing, of Cape Coral, Fla., Zachry Lee, of San Antonio, Texas, and Daniel Moen, of Wilbraham, Mass., topped the class.
The Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup returns to the track for a second 30-minute practice session on Wednesday afternoon at 3:40 EDT, with 30-minute races scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
More information is available at www.mx-5cup.com.
Follow the Playboy MX-5 Cup on Twitter @MazdaMX5Cup.