MX-5: Road America practice one notes

Schimsk a Quick Study at Road America, Tops First MX-5 Cup Practice ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 7, 2008) -- Ryan Schimsk, of Austin, Texas, paced Thursday's SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup practice at the Road Race Showcase in his ...

Schimsk a Quick Study at Road America, Tops First MX-5 Cup Practice

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 7, 2008) -- Ryan Schimsk, of Austin, Texas, paced Thursday's SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup practice at the Road Race Showcase in his first-ever visit to Road America. Elivan Goulart, of Shelton, Conn., and Christian Franck, of Simi Valley, Calif., completed the top three.

The first MX-5 Cup practice session of the weekend was quickly brought to a halt when the No. 29 TeamMER/AutismSpeaks.org/ClimaPur MX-5 of Phillipe Hanna, from Montreal, Quebec, made heavy contact with the wall at the course's famed Kink. Hanna walked away from accident, but the damage to the car was extensive.

When the session resumed, Schimsk quickly climbed to the top of the timing screens in the No. 81 Team MER/Airco Mechanical MX-5, eventually posting the fastest time of the session, a 2:39.104 (91.593 mph). He credited his teammates with helping him come up to speed so quickly at a track he'd never been to.

"We've been working with Rob [Huffmaster] whose been here before," Schimsk said. "He went out in the first [test] session yesterday and showed us around, showed us the braking points. We really worked hard getting the car set up. Basically, we were fast right out of the box with our Portland set up, so it's been pretty easy thus far and I've been working with Eric [Foss] and Rob to get the car up to speed.

"I think this is probably my favorite track that I've been to. It's hard to compare it to big sweeping turns like Mosport, but other than that, this is definitely my favorite track in America so far."

Driving the No. 70 GRE/Squier Design/Redline/SCDA1.com MX-5, Goulart followed Schimsk on the time sheets with a 2:39.198 (91.538 mph). Franck was third fastest in the session, turning a 2:39.257 (91.505 mph) in the No. 16 Alara Racing/Select Painting MX-5.

Current point leader Eric Foss, of Fort Worth, Texas, ended the session in fourth. Foss entered a lap of 2:39.375 (91.437 mph) in the No. 28 Team MER/Autobarn Mazda MX-5.

Todd Buras, of Melbourne, Fla., completed the top five in the No. 56 Hooverspeed/Pancreaticcure.org MX-5 with a time of 2:40.432 (90.834 mph).

Wisconsin driver Steve Welk was sixth fastest in the No. 57 UMW Motorwerks/Welk's Auto MX-5. Ara Malkhassian, Brad Rampelberg, Robert Huffmaster and Mike Jenkins completed the top 10.

The second MX-5 Cup practice session will take place at 8 a.m. (CDT) on Friday, Aug. 8, as the MX-5 field runs simultaneously with the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Cars. Live timing and lap notes are available all weekend at www.mx-5cup.com.

-credit: scca pro racing

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Steve Welk , Brad Rampelberg , Ara Malkhassian , Todd Buras , Christian Franck , Eric Foss
Teams HART , Alara Racing