Combs Tops Morning MX-5 Practice in Portland PORTLAND, Ore. (June 8, 2007) - Jesse Combs, of Houston, Texas, paced morning practice at a cold Portland International Raceway for Round Four of the SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup, part of...
Combs Tops Morning MX-5 Practice in Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (June 8, 2007) - Jesse Combs, of Houston, Texas, paced morning practice at a cold Portland International Raceway for Round Four of the SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup, part of the Mazda Grand Prix of Portland Present by Joe's. Ara Malkhassina, of Sonoma, Calif., and Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, were second and third quick, respectively.
Under an overcast sky with temperatures in the low 50's, Combs had no problem finding the grip and speed in his No. 7 Coolgas Ltd./Alara Racing Mazda MX-5 to clock a time of 1:27.626 (80.811 mph) around the 1.9670-mile permanent road course. Combs' time was 0.264-second quicker than the current series qualifying lap record at Portland International Raceway.
"The car was great," Combs said. "We came out here and tested last week and then we put the Kumhos on this weekend and immediately you can tell there's a lot more grip. The MX-5 is a great car and if anything, what helped me the most was enlarging the Coolgas Ltd. penguin on the hood of my car. I think that's where the time was at."
Driving the No. 11 Alara Racing MX-5, Malkhassian also entered a fast time under the current series qualifying record. A lap of 1:27.805 (80.646 mph) put Malkhassian second in the morning session.
Current point leader Saini finished the session third on the time sheets with a fast lap of 1:27.872 (80.585 mph) in his No. 28 Autobarn Mazda/SafeRacer.com MX-5.
Barry Fromberg turned a time 1:28.103 (80.374 mph) in his No. 43 Alara Racing/FBG Racing Mazda MX-5 to end the session fourth quick. Brad McAllister completed the top five in his No. 39 ACE Surgical Supply/H&M Motorsports MX-5 with a time of 1:28.108 (80.369 mph).
Matt Cross, Pratt Cole, Andrew Caddell, Bob Michaelian, and Patrick Barrett completed the top ten.
There are two more MX-5 Cup practice sessions on Friday afternoon at 3:20 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. (PDT). Qualifying for Round Four of the MX-5 Cup is scheduled for Saturday, June 9 at 3:15 p.m. (PDT).
For more information including live timing and lap notes visit www.mx-5cup.com.
-credit: scca pro racing