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Laguna Seca: Touring Car practice one report

Lindsey Leads First SPEED TC Practice at Mazda Raceway MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2009) -- Patrick Lindsey, of Santa Barbara, Calif., put his SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Presented by Toyo Tires0x00ae ride on top of the ...

Lindsey Leads First SPEED TC Practice at Mazda Raceway

MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2009) -- Patrick Lindsey, of Santa Barbara, Calif., put his SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Presented by Toyo Tires0x00ae ride on top of the practice sheets at the track that shares its namesake, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Fellow Mazda drivers Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., and Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, completed the top three in the first of two practice sessions ahead of Sunday's Applied Computer Solutions Monterey Sports Car Championships Presented by Bondurant.

On his first flying lap around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course, Lindsey entered what would be the quickest time of the session, a 1:38.118 (82.113 mph).

"The car feels a lot better than yesterday [during the promoter test day]," Lindsey said of his No. 57 StreetUnit.com/Snappitt.com MAZDA6. "The Horton Motorsports guys made some great adjustments. We're happy to have a quick Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, especially since our sponsors Street Unit and Snapitt.com are here. We're excited that we have a potentially fast car for qualifying and the race, but we won't really know until everyone shows their hand. Once everyone qualifies I think we'll know where we stand.

"The track isn't the greatest right now. The grip just isn't there. We've had to make some wholesale changes to the car and every other track we've gone to, minor changes have paid big dividends. Now, we've had to go a bit bigger to find that sweet spot. Between us and Tri-Point, we're making good strides in the right direction. This track is very difficult. Whoever gets it right is going to have a great day on Sunday."

If Lindsey gets it right, it will feel like a home track win for the Santa Barbara driver, whose World Challenge career began at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2007.

"This is a home race for us," Lindsey said. "I'm based out of Santa Barbara, Snapitt's based out of Santa Barbara, Horton Autosport is based out of Santa Barbara, my family, who's here this weekend, is based out of Santa Barbara. It's a little chilly up here, I'd prefer something a little farther south, but this works."

Making his return to World Challenge Touring Car for the first time since the season opener at Sebring, Herr was second in the No. 75 MAZDASPEED/Stoptech/ProParts MAZDA6. Herr entered a 1:38.344 (81.924 mph).

Current point leader Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, was third in the order, clocking a 1:38.391 (81.885 mph) in the No. 74 MAZDASPEED/StopTech/ProParts MAZDA6.

Though he exited the 45-minute combined-class practice session early after making contact with a World Challenge GT car, Charles Espenlaub, of Lutz, Fla., was fourth quickest. Espenlaub clocked a 1:38.434 (81.849 mph) in the No. 73 MAZDASPEED/StopTech/ProParts MAZDA6.

James Clay, of Blacksburg, Va., completed the top five. Driving the No. 36 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW 328i, Clay entered a 1:38.811 (81.537 mph).

Clay's teammate, Seth Thomas (BMW 328i) followed in sixth.

The RealTime Acura TSXs of Peter Cunningham, Kuno Wittmer and Pierre Kleinubing were seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.

Nick Esayian (BMW 328i) completed the top 10.

The second practice session of the weekend, also combined with World Challenge GT, will take place later today at 5:25 p.m. (PDT).

The Applied Computer Solutions Monterey Sports Car Championships Presented by Bondurant, will take place Sunday, Oct. 11, at 9:30 a.m. (PDT). Live timing and lap notes are available at www.world-challenge.com. World Challenge is on Twitter @SPEEDWC.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Peter Cunningham , Charles Espenlaub , James Clay , Nick Esayian , Kuno Wittmer , Chip Herr , Seth Thomas , Jason Saini , Patrick Lindsey