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Mid-Ohio: GT practice one report

Marziale Paces Morning SPEED GT Practice at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 18, 2008) -- Ritch Marziale, of Tempe, Ariz., was fastest in the first of two practice sessions for Sunday's Mid-Ohio SCCA SPEED GT Presented by Remington. Defending...

Marziale Paces Morning SPEED GT Practice at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 18, 2008) -- Ritch Marziale, of Tempe, Ariz., was fastest in the first of two practice sessions for Sunday's Mid-Ohio SCCA SPEED GT Presented by Remington. Defending race winner Eric Curran, of Hampton, Mass., was second fastest, followed by Brandon Davis, of Huntington Beach, Calif.

After a long night spent setting up the No. 56 All-Cut Concrete Cutting Dodge Viper, Marziale and crew were pleasantly surprised to find themselves at the top of the morning practice times.

"It's 99 percent crew," Marziale said. "They worked until 3:30 in the morning. We changed the set up entirely [from Thursday's test] and Ken Micol, Mike Williams and Mark Barton are the reason we're at the top of the chart.

"I've been here a couple times. I like the track because I like Mike McCann. We're buddies and this is his home state, so I always like coming here. We have such fond memories here. When we first started racing 10 years ago this was one of the first tracks we came to."

Marziale turned the fastest lap of the session, a 1:27.467 (92.935 mph), shortly after the 18-minute session's only red flag, brought out for the No. 9 Lala Motorsports Dodge Viper of Guntar Schaldach, which was stuck in the gravel at the carousel.

Curran was second fastest in the No. 30 Whelen Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. Last year's SPEED GT polesitter and race winner at Mid-Ohio entered a fast lap of 1:27.502 (92.898 mph).

Currently third in the Drivers' Championship, Davis ended the session third on the time sheets, turning a lap of 1:27.553 (92.844 mph) in the No. 10 ACS/Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang Cobra.

Tommy Milner, of Leesburg, Va., put the No. 21 Rahal Letterman Racing Aston Martin DB9 fourth in practice for the car's return to SPEED GT. It's been more than a year since the Aston has been raced in the series, but the development work done by Rahal Letterman Racing seems to be paying off as Milner was able to clock a lap of 1:27.616 (92.777 mph).

Ohio driver Michael Galati completed the top five in the K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 GT3. A long-time resident of nearby Olmstead, Ohio, Galati's fastest lap of the session was a 1:27.797 (92.586 mph). His teammate, point leader Randy Pobst, who was born in Dayton, Ohio, was sixth fastest.

Brandon's father, Mike Davis, was seventh in the second Ford Mustang Cobra. Tommy Archer (Dodge Viper), Andy Pilgrim (Cadillac CTS-V) and Jeff Courtney (Dodge Viper) completed the top 10.

The second practice session for the Mid-Ohio SPEED GT Presented by Remington will take place at 7:05 p.m. (EDT) this evening. Qualifying is scheduled for 10:25 a.m. on Saturday. The race will go green at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Live timing and lap notes for all sessions is available at www.world-challenge.com.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Tommy Archer , Randy Pobst , Michael Galati , Brandon Davis , Tommy Milner , Mike Davis , Jeff Courtney , Ritch Marziale
Teams Williams