Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Has Fast Friday Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Monterey, CA) 15 May 2009-- Ford Racing Mustang Challenge racers staged an impressive and caution-free race in treacherous conditions at New Jersey Motorsports Park for...
Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Has Fast Friday Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
(Monterey, CA) 15 May 2009-- Ford Racing Mustang Challenge racers staged an impressive and caution-free race in treacherous conditions at New Jersey Motorsports Park for round 5 of the 2009 championship, but things couldn't have looked more different on Friday as the series took to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in nearly perfect weather to warm up for Sunday's round 6 race.
This weekend's Verizon Festival Of Speed marks the first visit to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge. With two practice sessions, the field of racers made the most of the chance to get as familiar as possible with the 2.238-mile Monterey facility.
Caddell led the charge in morning practice with his quick time of 1:38.548 seconds, and then backed that up with another fast lap in the afternoon session to improve the mark to 1:38.282-seconds.
But the 2008 KONI Challenge Champion was far from done being fast for the day, as he has joined Jim Click Racing for the KONI Sports Car Challenge race as part of the Monterey event, and was put to work qualifying the car on Friday afternoon.
The switch from the Ford Mustang FR500S that the Mustang Challenge utilizes to the championship-winning FR500C that is the competition platform for KONI competition is one that Caddell is familiar with, as the KONI Challenge start will be Caddell's second, having scored a shot at KONI competition at Daytona as part of his Ford Racing Champions Package to open the 2009 racing season.
Caddell, who scored 10th in that KONI debut co-driving with Jim Click, will share his KONI ride with another Mustang Challenge racer in Mike McGovern, who finished third in the 2008 Mustang Challenge championship. The Mustang Challenge will be further represented in Saturday's KONI Challenge race, as Ted Anthony Jr. will co-drive with Jim Click to make it four Mustang Challenge regulars competing in the 2.5-hour endurance race.
Friday featured a KONI qualifying session, which saw Caddell score 5th on the grid.
"We were hoping for a little bit more out of the qualifying session, but this is still a good place for us to be starting, on the inside for turn one," said Caddell. "I'm grateful that Jim Click is making this happen, and I'm really excited to have Mike as my co-driver. We've raced a lot in Mustang Challenge, so this is just a great opportunity and hopefully we can bring him a strong result tomorrow. You have to drive these cars differently because there are some big differences, but it only takes a lap or two to get used to it. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."
NOTE: New racers and returnees-
Ed Lever is making his Mustang Challenge series debut this weekend, and the weekend also will see John McKenna rejoining the Mustang Challenge paddock as well as Jim Click, who started off with a top-ten time in practice.