SSCA Mazda MX-5 Series Results July 20, 2013
Szymczak Scores First Mazda MX-5 Cup Career
Win at CTMP
Christian Szymczak wins his first race at Canadian Tire
2013 - BOWMANVILLE, Ont. - Christian
Szymczak, of Palos Verdes, Calif., took the win in Saturday’s Round
Seven of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup at Canadian Tire
Motorsport Park. John Dean, of Sebring, Fla., came home second, followed by
Elliott Skeer, of Vista, Calif., in third.
Christian Szymczak wins his first race at Canadian Tire
In a race that featured some
very close running near the front, Szymczak was able to hold down the top
position for 27 of 28 laps around the 10-turn, 2.459-mile road course.
Starting on the pole in the No. 34 ALARA Racing MX-5, Szymczak held the
lead of the race, which averaged 91.357 mph, until he was passed by Skeer
on lap two. Szymczak retook the lead on lap three, and never looked back,
scoring his first CTMP win.
“It was a tight race the whole way through,” Szymczak
said. “The draft really came into play and everyone was able to run
in a pack. It was very hectic. I found myself looking behind, trying to pay
attention to where the guys were behind me. There was never a dull moment.
I’m happy to get away with the win and keep the car clean.
“We were able to get a good feel for the car and what it will do
throughout the race distance. We also got to see what everyone else is
capable of. Those two things set our minds at ease going into tomorrow,
because we have an idea of what to expect.”
Starting from the third position, Dean spent most of the race
embroiled in a tight battle for third. On lap 24, while fighting for
second, Skeer and Ara Malkhassian pushed wide going through Turn Eight,
opening the door for Dean. Driving the No. 16 Projections Research/Sick
Sideways MX-5, Dean took advantage of the opening, holding onto second
position for the final four laps.
“On this track it is very difficult to pass,” Dean said.
“The best thing to do was to fan out a little bit and try to pass
that way. There was a bit of contact, and Ara [Malkhassian] ended up
pushing Skeer wide in Turn Eight, which allowed me to make the pass.
“As the laps wound down, I was pushing hard, because I could see
Skeer back there. We go into race two with a car that’s in once
piece, with not much work to do, so that’s a blessing.”
In the No. 17 Pelican Replacement
Windowns.com/ZoomZoomNation.com/Alpinestars MX-5, Skeer filled
Szymczak’s mirrors for the first half of the race, staying within
0.2-second of the leader. On lap 19, Malkhassian got a run on Skeer, and
made the pass for second stick. Five laps later, after going side-by-side
with Malkhassian in Turn Eight, which allowed Dean past both drivers, Skeer
slotted into fourth. He was ultimately able to get back around Malkhassian
to complete the podium.
“We were looking pretty good off the start,” Skeer said.
“For the first eight laps of the race we were solid, waiting for
something to happen or make something happen, later on. That was the plan
from the start, to conserve the tires.
“Things got interesting when Ara [Malkhassian] got up toward the
front. At that point, you have to start to battle or you’re going to
drop back to fifth or sixth. It’s frustrating when you’re
trying to fight to stay on the podium and you see the new point leader
inching away. That was probably the hardest part. But, I know that the car
is good. Come tomorrow, it could just be like any other race weekend this
year with Christian [Szymczak] winning on Saturday and me winning on
Sunday. Hopefully, this will be another one of those weekends.”
Following spirited battles with nearly every driver in the top-five,
Malkhassian brought the No. 11 ALARA Garage/ALARA Racing MX-5 home in
fourth, setting a new race lap record of 1:36.193 (92.027 mph).
Patrick Gallagher completed the top-five, but was in the hunt for most
of the race, keeping the leaders within striking distance. In the No. 28
MAZDASPEED/Howard Concrete Pumping/CTL Engineering MX-5, Gallagher spent
most of the race within 1.5 seconds of the leader, until the waning
In the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge, Kenton Koch racked up
another victory in 2013, keeping his win shutout streak alive. Driving the
No. 63 Skip Barber Racing School SBMX-5, Koch was in second by the end of
lap one, battling an ill-handling car, until Lucas Bize was forced to drop
out on lap 17 with a driveline issue. Koch went on to the win.
“We definitely had some tough competition out there,” Koch
said. “My car was so loose. I didn’t take into consideration
the track conditions we would be running in, later in the evening. I felt
like I was on ice the entire time, trying to keep from wrecking the car.
The traffic was also a challenge. If it had just been me and Lucas [Bize]
out there, it would have been a lot more fun dicing with each other.
“Lucas [Bize] was driving a tough race out there. Even if my car
were handling well, I’m sure he would have given me a real run for my
money. This win was a lot harder, but we’ll see how tomorrow goes.
We’re going to make some changes and work to get a gap from the Mazda
MX-5 Cup cars to race with Lucas.”
Robby Foley, of Randolph, N.J, and David Knight (No. 97 Jacuzzi
SBMX-5), of Ludlow, Vt., completed the podium in second and third,
respectively. While Koch took the win, Bize took the track record, with a
fast lap of 1:37.715 (90.594 mph).
The standing start for Round Eight of the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup is
scheduled for Sunday at 5:15 p.m. (EDT), capping off two days of racing
action at CTMP.
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