Monterey, Calif., (May 9, 2013) - Cloudy skies hung over over Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca throughout the day, but there was nothing foggy about Sean Rayhall's performance on track. The 18-year-old captured the pole after posting the fastest time of 1:22.242 in just his fifth lap on the course.
Rayhall parked his entry in pit lane after six total laps to ride out the rest of the session in patient anticipation until he owned the pole for the third round of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Series.
Sean Rayhall Captures the Pole"Qualifications went really well today for the Comprent Motor Sports Machine," Rayhall said. "The Robert Talbott No. 14 got the pole for both races so we are really excited about that. Me and Mike (Brandon) worked really hard these past few nights to get the perfect set up and we made a lot of changes. But it ended up being the right way to go!"
On the heels of Rayhall was Performance Tech's Ryan Booth who finished P2. The Charleston, S.C., native wasn't able to take the pole but was elated to be racing alongside his father, Jim Booth.
"It was a good run but I just didn't have the pace to get Pole," Booth said. "So we start in second for both days and that's pretty good, so I am just excited for the race. It's fun to race with my dad. We haven't had much opportunity to race each other yet, but he gets the short end of the stick because everyone picks on him because I am faster! But he's the one that makes it all happen!"
Ryan Booth battled with teammate Daniel Goldburg for second position, but a red flag with minutes remaining in the session cost Goldburg his fastest lap.
The No. 10 car of JDC Motorsports, with Mikhail Goikhberg finished fourth in qualifying. The Russian, who currently resides in Vancouver, was pleased with his car's performance compared to testing runs completed the day before.
"We got way more out of the car today than we did yesterday but there's still work to be done," Goikhberg said. "We are in the same place we were in Sebring right behind the top three guys, so we need to get faster. But we showed consistency in Sebring and we just need to keep pushing forward and if there's a chance to take a podium spot, we will work toward it."
Vying for position with the top group was Jon Brownson of Eurosport Racing, who also posted his best time of 1:24.033 on his fifth lap on the track. In the bright red No. 34 Élan DP 02, Brownson was in the mix to contend with the young guns and secured the highest spot in the field for the Masters Championship.
Fellow Master classman Scott Tucker in the Level 5 Motorsports entry finished .740 off of Brownson and was followed by Richard Fant with Ferrari of Houston. Fant managed to maneuver a seventh-place finish in qualifications despite sliding off track into the gravel early on in the 30-minute session.
Race One of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be a 30-minute race starting at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10. The second round expands to a 45-minute race beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 11.