MX-5: Road Atlanta practice one notes

Foss Paces First MX-5 Cup Practice of 2008 at Road Atlanta BRASELTON, Ga. (May 1, 2008) -- Last year's Road Atlanta polesitter, Eric Foss, of Fort Worth, Texas, was the fastest car in morning practice for Round One of the SCCA Pro Racing ...

Foss Paces First MX-5 Cup Practice of 2008 at Road Atlanta

BRASELTON, Ga. (May 1, 2008) -- Last year's Road Atlanta polesitter, Eric Foss, of Fort Worth, Texas, was the fastest car in morning practice for Round One of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, part of the Classic Motorsports Magazine Mitty Challenge at Road Atlanta. Robert Huffmaster, of Clarkston, Mich., and Anders Hainer, of Woodland Hills, Calif., were second and third fastest, respectively.

Capturing pole for this race last year with a 1:41.461 (90.123 mph), Foss is already en route to shattering his own qualifying lap record, by turning a 1:40.443 (91.036 mph) in the first practice session.

"I didn't expect to be faster [than last year]," Foss said. "We're still dialing the cars in. We came with a pretty good set up, but we've got a lot of things to look over and work on. We've got a really strong team with a lot of cars at the top of the charts and I think we're going to see some improvement. We're about to go look at some data and see if we can do better. I've got to thank Team MER for giving me this awesome opportunity, along with Autobarn, Steve Fischer, Brad Adams and Susan Krohn who are both helping me out."

Driving the No. 28 Autobarn/Team MER Mazda MX-5, Foss sat in the top three for the majority of the 30-minute practice session, but entered his fastest lap on his final circuit of the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course.

"I haven't been on the track for six months. I know for a lot of people that doesn't sound like very long, but for me, it's been a long time. There've been some changes, visually, here, so I've had to relearn some points of reference, but we tested a lot this winter and it's going to help at every track we go to."

Reigning SCCA Touring 3 National Champion Huffmaster led most of the session with a 1:40.805 (90.709 mph) before being bumped by Foss and ending the session in second with his No. 27 Team MER/Huffmaster Co. Mazda MX-5.

After a year's absence from the series, Hainer showed he had no rust to shake off by putting his No. 13 Team MER/Under Armour Mazda MX-5 third on the time sheets with a time of 1:40.838 (90.680 mph).

Newcomer Ryan Schmisk, of Austin, Texas, gave Team MER a sweep of the top four spots by turning a 1:41.049 (90.490 mph) in the No. 81 Team MER/Airco Mechanical Mazda MX-5.

MX-5 Cup shootout winner and newest member of the Mazdaspeed Driver Development Ladder, Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif., completed the top five in his No. 14 Hooverspeed Mazda MX-5 by turning a 1:41.071 (90.471 mph).

Todd Buras, Neal Sapp, Ara Malkhassian, Brett Smrz and Brad McAllister completed the top ten.

The MX-5 Cup cars have one more practice session today at 1:50 p.m. (EDT). Qualifying will take place Friday, May 2, at 12:30 p.m. The race is schedule for Saturday, May 3, at 1:30 p.m. (EDT). Results, live timing and lap notes are available at www.mx-5cup.com

-credit: scca pro racing

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Brad Rampelberg , Ara Malkhassian , Anders Hainer , Todd Buras , Eric Foss , Brett Smrz , Brad Adams