Mid-Ohio: Thursday test day notes

Potekhen sets the pace during Thursday's wet test sessions at Mid-Ohio May 18, 2006. Lexington, Ohio. Michael Potekhen, of Silverthorne, Colorado posted the fastest time of the day on Thursday during unofficial practice for Round Three of the...

Potekhen sets the pace during Thursday's wet test sessions at Mid-Ohio

May 18, 2006. Lexington, Ohio. Michael Potekhen, of Silverthorne, Colorado posted the fastest time of the day on Thursday during unofficial practice for Round Three of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Driving the Apex Racing Avenue Communities Mazda, Potekhen overcame the cold and wet conditions throughout the day to lap the 2.25-mile road course in 1:23.464 (97.393 MPH) in the second of three practice sessions.

"Today was a really good day for us at Apex Racing, even though the weather was gloomy, in fact I wouldn't mind if rained up until qualifying," Potekhen, who enters this weekend tied for the championship with Adrian Carrio explained. "We tested here several weeks ago and in the few dry laps we had today the balance in the car came right back and the lap times were falling. We are a new team this season and while we knew we would be strong we didn't know how quickly we would be running up front, so to come into this weekend tied for the championship and setting the fast time today is a credit to all the crew and their hard work."

Severe thunderstorm and high wind warnings greeted the teams on their arrival to the circuit this morning, and while the threats failed to fully materialize all three sessions were slowed by rain and damp conditions, with the second session, which started in dry conditions before showers rolled over the circuit near the halfway mark, offering drivers the best opportunity to set a quick lap.

Ross Smith, of Plano, Texas, set the second fastest time of the day at 1:23.618 (97.214 MPH) in his John Walko Racing Maxwell Paper Products Mazda, while Carrio, from Monument, Colorado, was third fastest on the day in the World Speed Motorsports Rockford Fosgate Mazda at 1:23.850 (96.945 MPH). Ryan Justice, who led every session in Houston and captured his first series victory, topped the time sheets in the first and final practice session but could only set the fourth fastest time of the day at 1:25.615 (94.946 MPH) in his Northwest Autosport Mazda. Defending Masters Champion John Pew rounded out the top five drivers on the day, with the North Palm Beach, Florida, driver clocking a time of 1:26.632 in his NVG Velocity Motorsports Mazda.

Official practice for Round Three of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is scheduled to begin on Friday, May 19th at 8:50 AM Eastern Time.

-smaz-

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Ryan Justice , Michael Potekhen , John Pew , Ross Smith , Adrian Carrio