Road Atlanta II: Graham Rahal qualifying notes

Rahal Qualifies Second Thursday For Friday's Star Mazda Race at Road Atlanta BRASELTON, Ga., Sept. 29 - Newly-crowned SCCA Formula Atlantic national champion Graham Rahal of New Albany, Ohio is back in his Andersen Walko Racing Star Mazda car...

Rahal Qualifies Second Thursday For Friday's Star Mazda Race at Road Atlanta

BRASELTON, Ga., Sept. 29 - Newly-crowned SCCA Formula Atlantic national champion Graham Rahal of New Albany, Ohio is back in his Andersen Walko Racing Star Mazda car this week, and on Thursday he qualified second at Road Atlanta for Friday afternoon's 45-minute Star Mazda championship race.

Driving the yellow No. 12 Star Mazda car sponsored by The Bobby Rahal Automotive Group, Bosch, Renier Construction and Norwalk Furniture, the 16-year-old star took only 1:20.948 to cover the 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course during his fastest lap in the 22-minute qualifying session Thursday afternoon. That works out to an average speed of 112.961 miles per hour, just 0.394 of a second slower than his teammate, Robbie Pecorari of Aston, Pa., ran to earn the pole in the 29-car field.

"In the big scheme of things, it was good," Rahal said of his qualifying session. "We could have probably done his [Pecorari's] time; in fact I know we could have, but there was no reason to push it and put it in the wall. If Robbie wins that'll be good because he's my teammate, but no way am I going to let him get away with it easily.

"We have a few things we need to do before tomorrow's race, but so far things are going well," he added.

Tomorrow's 45-minute race is scheduled to begin at 2:50 p.m. The event supports Saturday's Petit Le Mans American Le Mans Series race. Point leader Raphael Matos will start right behind Rahal, with Ryan Justice behind Pecorari as they take the green flag.

Both Pecorari and Rahal actually ran a bit faster in the practice session that preceded qualifying, when it was a few degrees cooler than it was during quals. Rahal was timed in 1:20.752 (113.236 mph) during that session.

After tomorrow's race, only the Star Mazda season finale remains. It will be held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Oct. 13-15.

Star Mazda races are broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED. The race from Road America is scheduled to be broadcast at 2 p.m. this Sunday. The race from Mosport is scheduled to be shown at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23. Saturday's race from Road Atlanta is scheduled to air at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, and the season finale from Laguna Seca is scheduled to air at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19. All times are Eastern.

Rahal's Web site is located at grahamrahal.com, while his sponsor's Web site is at bobbyrahal.com. His Star Mazda team's Web site is at andersenwalko.com. Other interesting information can be found at starmazda.com and restartcommunications.com.

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Graham Rahal , Ryan Justice , Robbie Pecorari