Laguna Seca Miata Challenge practice

Hartzel leads Miata Challenge practice at Laguna. MONTEREY, Calif. (September 20, 2002) - The Mazda Miata Challenge event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, part of the Monterey Sports Car Championships, got underway Friday. Barry Hartzel, of...

Hartzel leads Miata Challenge practice at Laguna.

MONTEREY, Calif. (September 20, 2002) - The Mazda Miata Challenge event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, part of the Monterey Sports Car Championships, got underway Friday. Barry Hartzel, of Monterey, Calif., Andrew Fernandez, of San Demas, Calif., and Jonathan Bomarito, of Salinas, Calif., completed the top three in practice for Saturday's race, the first of two this weekend.

With sanctioning from SCCA Pro Racing, 41 identical cars took the challenging 2.238-mile road course, under clear skies in the early morning. A number of drivers used the 45-minute practice to work on race setups and driving in traffic. Given that the tires reach their racing prime after five to six heats cycles, times got steadily better as the session progressed, and are expected to get quicker every session. At the conclusion of the practice, Hartzel, in the No. 92 Hartzel Automotive Mazda Miata, had posted the fastest lap, 1:50.729 (68.060 mph). Hartzel, a local driver, has been involved in spec Miata since its inception.

"I'm just thrilled to be racing at Laguna Seca on the ALMS weekend," said Hartzel, whose teammate was third quickest. "I expect the cars to get quicker every session and it will be a great race."

Qualifying for Race One of The Mazda Miata Challenge will commence at 9:35 a.m. Saturday. For complete results, visit the Pro Miata Challenge website www.sccapro.com/miata

-scca pro racing-

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Series SCCA
Drivers Jonathan Bomarito