TLP TALKS: ROAD AMERICA
 June 21, 2018| 
  • Series News
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Tony Laporta, who is the man on the mike for Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, sat down to talk about this weekend and what the fans should expect at Road America…

ROAD AMERICA – AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARK OF SPEED

Why am I excited to head to Road America? The cheese curds… 

Well the cheese curds, and the incredible racetrack that will be home to some of the closest racing of the season. Just over four miles long, Road America features 14 technical and challenging corners. Born from the necessity to move street racing on to the track, the racecourse known as “America’s National Park of Speed” has been around since 1955 and features arguably the most beautiful landscapes that any racing series will visit all year long. 

Oh, and the Gearbox concession stand located between turn five and the front stretch has some seriously good cheese curds. But take it from me, get two orders.  

CLOSE – REALLY CLOSE - COMPETITION 

To put it mildly, the racing in Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup presented by BF Goodrich is the best thing ever. John Doonan and the boys at Mazda Motorsports along with Glenn, and Alana Long and their team at Long Road Racing together have created a truly special racing platform. When I described Global MX-5 Cup racing as a battlefield, series rookie and Mazda Scholarship driver Selin Rollan agreed and added “...there is always a battle anywhere you are in the field and everyone has the exact same equipment, it’s just how you (the driver) utilizes it.”

In 2017, the pair of Global MX-5 Cup races at R.A. produced a COMBINED margin of victory of less than a half of a second between the winner and the runner up in both races. Again, for those of you in the back, race one at Road America last year saw series champion Patrick Gallagher beat Bryan Ortiz to the line by 0.0263-seconds. Race two went to Nathaniel Sparks who edged Todd Lamb out by 0.0468-seconds.

WEATHER FORECAST LOOKING UP FOR WEEKEND IN WISCONSIN

The forecast heading in to the third weekend of Global MX-5 Cup racing had shown chances for rain earlier this week, but upon checking in again with everyone’s favorite race week weather forecasting tweeter, @Indycar_Wxman the race weekend weather looks ideal for close racing, and fun off the track. Should the weather turn at all, drivers and teams are adequately prepared for wet weather racing, after experiencing similar conditions at the season opening rounds in Austin, Texas. 

The whole field had their BFGoodrich rain tires on and even through the rain stopped and the track started to dry out in spots, the drivers all kept the tires on and were able to set faster and faster laps all the way to the finish. That fact has to put the driver’s minds at ease should the skies open up.

CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT REACHES HALFWAY POINT IN WISCONSIN

And speaking of close competition out on the track, it should come as no surprise that the fight for the championship and the $200,000 payout in the point standings is as close as I’m going to be to the Gearbox concession stand ordering cheese curds all weekend. 

Nikko Reger, the 20 year old from Houston, Texas is leading the championship fight at the halfway weekend of the 2018 season. 18 points back is easily the biggest surprise of the season, Mazda Scholarship driver from Orlando, Florida and ROOKIE Selin Rollan. After winning the second race of the season in Texas, Rollan sits second in the championship standings and leads the rookie of the year standings with Puerto Rico’s Bryan Ortiz sitting third in the championship standings just one point back from Rollan. Last years rookie of the year Robert Stout and the 2016 Champion Nathaniel Sparks round out the championship top-five. 

 
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