Road America: Friday practice notes

Ron White sets record in final practice at Road America August 18, 2006. Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Driving for a new team, Ron White, from Santa Clara, California, set a new track record in practice for Round Nine of the Star Mazda Championship...

Ron White sets record in final practice at Road America

August 18, 2006. Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Driving for a new team, Ron White, from Santa Clara, California, set a new track record in practice for Round Nine of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. Moving this weekend to the newly formed Ross Smith Racing, White, driving the #69 Ross Smith Racing Maxwell Paper Products Mazda, lapped the 4.048-mile Road America circuit in a time of 2:04.388 (117.156 MPH) to break the previous record of 2:04.621 set in 2004 by Daniel DiLeo.

"After running my own team for the first part of the season it's an adjustment as I only have to focus on my job as a driver and not on all the other parts of running a team, so I've been working on my driving, and working on the data to keep myself busy," the 25-year old driver explained. "We didn't get much time yesterday to get out there and do some fast laps, and I had never run here in any type of car before, but we had a really good session. We just went out there to try to lay down a few good laps and my engineer Kent Stacy tried some things and the thing was fast. It's the first time I've been P1 in practice and a first for the team as well so it's been a good weekend so far."

Also lapping under the previous track record, with a time of 2:04.567 (116.988 MPH) in the #9 Andersen Racing Team Skip Barber Mazda, Gerardo Bonilla, of Orlando, Florida, was pleased to be back at the front of the field. "This is the resurgence that we've been trying to get to all year as we've had a roller coaster season, but through it all my team owner Dan Andersen has kept the faith," Bonilla, winner of the opening round at Sebring International Raceway revealed. "Everybody on the team has continued to work hard and this session was the culmination of their efforts as I was able to get into a grove that I haven't been in in a while and everything that we laid out for the weekend has been going to plan. We're dedicating this weekend to my grandmother who passed away last week and Road America is like a second home to me so I am excited with the way things are going this weekend."

Adrian Carrio, who topped the time sheets in the opening session of the day, was third fastest in the afternoon session with a time of 2:04.889 (116.686 MPH) in the #14 World Speed Motorsports Rockford Fosgate Mazda and remained confident heading into qualifying. "We had a good session but we set our fast time early in the session and it looks like the track was faster later in the session," the current championship points leader commented. "The car was good so we're just going to work on a couple of things with the car and try to go out there tomorrow morning and set a fast lap."

With final practice complete the drivers now turn their attention to qualifying which is scheduled to get underway at 8:00 AM Central Daylight Time on Saturday, August 19. Round Nine of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, nineteen laps around the famed Road America road course, will roll off the grid at 1:05 PM Central Daylight Time.

-credit: star mazda

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Skip Barber , Ross Smith , Adrian Carrio , Ron White , Gerardo Bonilla , Daniel DiLeo