Justice sweeps Friday practice at Mazda Raceway October 20, 2006. Monterey, California. Ryan Justice, of Portland, Oregon, set the pace in both practice sessions today for Round Twelve of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear being...
Justice sweeps Friday practice at Mazda Raceway
October 20, 2006. Monterey, California. Ryan Justice, of Portland, Oregon, set the pace in both practice sessions today for Round Twelve of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear being held this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as part of the Monterey Sports Car Championships. Driving the #38 Northwest Autosport World Food Program Mazda, Justice improved on his morning fast time with a lap of 1:21.426 (98.816 MPH) around the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit to lead the field of forty-one drivers participating in the Star Mazda season finale.
"The team did an excellent job today so I have to give the credit to them for all their hard work and I also have to thank the World Food Program and Jim Justice for their support," Justice said. "We had some problems with the brakes in the first session today and the crew went to work and changed everything out before the afternoon session. The car is working really well and I'm looking forward to qualifying and the race."
Michael Potekhen returns to the top of the time sheets today after setting the second fastest time overall with a lap at 1:21.697 (98.618 MPH) in the #53 Apex Racing Avenue Communities Mazda. "We had a rough weekend at Road Atlanta when the wiring harness failed during the race so it feels good to be back up at the front of the field again," the Tempe, Arizona resident explained. "I really enjoy this track and they've done a great job with the circuit. Now we're looking to go out tomorrow and finish out the season with a victory."
As the championship race becomes a two-man battle between Adrian Carrio and Kevin Lacroix, Carrio currently holds the speed advantage after setting the third fastest time of the day at 1:21.705 (98.608 MPH) in the #14 World Speed Motorsports Rockford Fosgate Mazda. "We had a strong session out there this afternoon and know exactly what we need to do tomorrow, " Carrio, the championship points leader entering the final round, revealed. "We spent most of the session working on our race setup and determining how the car will change during the race and we feel we'll be ready for the final battle tomorrow."
While Carrio sits ahead of Lacroix at the end of final practice he wasn't able to put a large gap on the St Eustache, Canada resident as Lacroix sits just behind him on the time sheets with the fourth fastest time of the day in the #74 John Walko Racing Uni-Select Auto Parts Mazda. Lacroix, who clinched the Rookie-of-the-Year crown at Round Eleven, still has an uphill climb to take the championship from Carrio, who holds a thirty-five point lead in the standings.
The championship showdown will now move to the sole forty minute qualifying session of the weekend which is scheduled for 8:00 AM Pacific Time on Saturday, October 21st. Round Twelve of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is scheduled to roll off the grid later in the morning at 11:35 AM Pacific Time.
-credit: star mazda