Ortiz Keeps Championship Pressure On with Monticello Pole
 September 28, 2018| 
  • Series News
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Monticello, N.Y. (27 September 2018)- Bryan Ortiz raced from 25th on the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich grid to finish 3rd at Portland International Raceway. While he was pleased to claim the “Hard Charger” award and take the $1,000 and the Battery Tender that went with it, he didn’t want to have to do that again. 

The Puerto Rico-based racer won’t have that much traffic for race one on Saturday as he claimed the pole position—and the championship point that goes along with it—with a fast lap time of 2:40.405-seconds in the No. 4 Bella Racing/Mazda Puerto Rico entry for Copeland Motorsports. 

“This means a lot to me—it is our first pole in this series!” said Ortiz. “It is our best hope for the championship is to do everything that we can in our control. So this bonus point is good and there is nothing better than starting up front. I was watching videos with a map to learn the track-it is a big track with a lot of corners. It was a strange day with lots of different conditions so I just tried to figure out what I could do to improve every time out. I’m enjoying the track and I think that helps me go fast!”

The day opened with a wet practice in the morning and followed with a second practice featuring no precipitation but still soggy track conditions. The third session of the day, 30 minutes for qualifying, saw the sun emerge as the track continued to improve through the session. Championship leader Nikko Reger will start on the front row for race one as he hopes to grow his one point advantage over Selin Rollan. 

“I think it is an incredible track, and the facilities are pretty amazing,” said Reger of his first visit to Monticello Motor Club. “The varying weather has been crazy. We had an almost all-dry session there in qualifying and I got to practice some passing, so I feel ready to race.”

2016 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Champion Nathanial “Sparky” Sparks scored the pole for Saturday’s second race as he hopes to convert his mathematical chances at the championship into a reality. 

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