Szymczak Leads Opening MX-5 Cup Practice at Sebring
SEBRING, Fla. (March 13, 2013) – Christian Szymczak, of Palos Verdes, Calif., topped Wednesday’s first SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup practice session at Sebring International Raceway, part of the 61st Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh From Florida. Patrick Gallagher, of Thronville, Ohio, and John Dean II, of Sebring, Fla., completed the top three.
Driving with Alara Racing for the first time in his No. 34 MX-5, Symczack turned a 2:30.944 (88.244 mph) around the 17-turn, 3.7-mile circuit to lead the 28-car field.
“We looked pretty good in testing,” said Symczack. “I was hoping we would do well. I try not to get my hopes too high in any one session and just try to drive as well as I can. We try to figure stuff out on the car and just do the best we can. I was very happy with how we did out on track and hope to continue in this form.”
Gallagher, who won the Mazda Club Racer Shootout to earn his rookie seat in the 2013 series, was second fastest in the 30-minute session that was truncated to 17 minutes due to a tire wall repair. Gallagher turned a 2:31.890 (87.695 mph) in the No. 28 MAZDASPEED/Howard Concrete/CTL Engineering MX-5.
Local driver John Dean II, who won the second of two races at Sebring in 2012, turned a 2:32.117 (87.564 mph) in the No. 16 Sick Sideways/Projections Research/PPG MX-5.
Nathanial Sparks, of Spanish Fort, Ala., was fourth quickest in the No. 8 Ootsk Performance/Bimmerworld MX-5 with a lap of 2:32.469 (87.362 mph), followed by Ara Malkhassian, of Houston, Texas, in the No. 11 ALARA Racing/ALARA Garage MX-5.
Kenton Koch, of Glendora, Calif., was the fastest car in the Skip Barber Racing School MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge class, turning a 2:34.979 (85.947 mph). Drake Kemper, of Toluca Lake, Calif., was second fastest, but spun exiting Turn 17 and struck the tire barrier, bringing the session to an early conclusion.
The series next takes to the track for Practice Session Two at 3:30 p.m. (EDT). The SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup will conduct two races this week, Round One on Thursday at 5:20 p.m. and Round Two on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Follow the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup on Twitter @MazdaMX5Cup.
SEBRING, Fla.- Results from practice session one for Friday's SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Round 1 race, part of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida, with position, class, car number in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, fastest lap time, and speed in miles per hour. 1, MX, (34), Christian Szymczak, Palos Verdes, Calif., MX-5, 2:30.944, 88.244. 2, MX, (28), Patrick Gallagher(R), Thornville, Ohio, MX-5, 2:31.890, 87.695. 3, MX, (16), John Dean_II, Sebring, Fla., MX-5, 2:32.117, 87.564. 4, MX, (8), Nathanial Sparks, Spanish Fort, Ala., MX-5, 2:32.469, 87.362. 5, MX, (11), Ara Malkhassian, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:32.752, 87.200. 6, MX, (7), Dean Copeland, Bowie, Md., MX-5, 2:32.896, 87.118. 7, MX, (12), Bryan Hixon(R), San Antonio, Texas, MX-5, 2:33.194, 86.948. 8, MX, (38), Chris Windsor, Thurmont, Md., MX-5, 2:34.395, 86.272. 9, MX, (49), Sebastian Landy(R), Great Falls, Va., MX-5, 2:34.408, 86.265. 10, MX, (10), Brent Mosing, Lafayette, La., MX-5, 2:35.648, 85.577. 11, MX, (87), Scott Phillips(R), Tucson, Ariz., MX-5, 2:36.272, 85.236. 12, MX, (26), Tim Probert, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:36.434, 85.147. 13, MX, (2), Beth Chryst, Herndon, Va., MX-5, 2:36.621, 85.046. 14, MX, (41), Forrest Landy(R), Great Falls, Va., MX-5, 2:36.896, 84.897. 15, MX, (00), Harrison Williams, Houston, Texas, MX-5, 2:36.961, 84.861. 16, MX, (19), Emilee Tominovich, Clarksville, Md., MX-5, 2:37.310, 84.673. 17, MX, (23), Christian Tetzlaff, Athens, Ga., MX-5, 2:38.834, 83.861. 18, MX, (29), Ari Strauss, Cold Spring, N.Y., MX-5, 2:38.975, 83.786. 19, MX, (27), Charles Paquin, Ottawa, Ontario, MX-5, 2:39.529, 83.495. 20, MX, (17), Elliott Skeer, Vista, Calif., MX-5, no time. 21, SBMX, (63), Kenton Koch, Glendora, Calif., Barber MX-5, 2:34.979, 85.947. 22, SBMX, (99), Drake Kemper, Toluca Lake, Calif., Barber MX-5, 2:35.739, 85.527. 23, SBMX, (69), Greg Holloway, Melbourne Australia, , Barber MX-5, 2:36.859, 84.917. 24, SBMX, (95), Russell Muck, Grosse Pointe, Mich., Barber MX-5, 2:37.299, 84.679. 25, SBMX, (93), Robby Foley, Randolph, N.J., Barber MX-5, 2:37.342, 84.656. 26, SBMX, (60), Lucas Bize, New York, N.Y., Barber MX-5, 2:37.398, 84.626. 27, SBMX, (90), Fred Chin, Henderson, Nev., Barber MX-5, 2:39.791, 83.358. 28, SBMX, (97), David Knight, Ludlow, Vt., Barber MX-5, no time.