-- THE TWILIGHT ZONE RETURNS -- First-time Star Mazda Racer Richard Kent qualifies on pole, three drivers under the track record on a cold, foggy morning at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca / Oct. 18 -- So apparently the ...
-- THE TWILIGHT ZONE RETURNS --
First-time Star Mazda Racer Richard Kent qualifies on pole, three drivers under the track record on a cold, foggy morning at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca / Oct. 18 -- So apparently the first practice session on Thursday morning in which first-time Star Mazda racer Richard Kent set the fastest time wasn't an aberration after all; in qualifying on a cold, foggy morning at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Kent, an English karting champion with a background in the European Formula Palmer Audi series and a few Formula Renault U.K. races earlier this season, put the #77 Andersen Racing / Traka / Allied Building Supplies Mazda on pole for the final race of the 2008 Star Mazda Champion ship presented by Goodyear with a fast lap of 1:19.935.
"We did some testing in the car at Mosport, but this is my first time racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca so naturally I'm delighted with the results so far," said Kent. "We were fast in the first practice and had a brilliant setup for qualifying thanks to my engineer Remy Lantigne. We didn't really change anything for the conditions, just ran the setup we had from yesterday and it worked perfectly. The cars are great to drive, very fast with good feedback and you certainly couldn't ask for a more professional team than Andersen Racing."
Qualifying on the outside of the front row was Irishman Peter Dempsey, a 4-race winner so far this season who is currently third in the championship battle. He turned a lap of 1:20.121 in the #21 Andersen Racing/LotusWorks/ Center Jewellers.ie/Quayside.ie/ Allied Building Products Mazda. Taking third spot on the grid was championship points leader, and another four-time race winner, American John Edwards. He turned a 1:20.335 in The #7 AIM Autosport/ Mobil 1 Mazda.J All of the top-3 qualifiers were under the lap record of 1:20.4 set in this event last year by 2007 Star Mazda champion Dane Cameron. And due to the fact that, while Kent is running in the race, he is not officially entered in the championship, the one point for pole position goes to Peter Dempsey; it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the race to come.
Rounding out the top-5 were the remaining championship contender Joel Miller and Englishman Jonny Baker. Miller, the 2007 Skip Barber Pro Series Champion who is racing in the 2008 Star Mazda Championship courtesy of the MAZDASPEED Motorsport Driver Development Ladder scholarship, turned a time of 1:20.912 in the #20 JDC Motorsports / Mazda / K&N Air Filters Mazda. Baker, who ran a full Star Mazda season in 2007 with Andersen Racing is running a one-off event here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and turned a lap of 1:21.028 in the #5 Andersen Racing / Allied Building Supplies Mazda.