MX-5: Series Autobahn practice one notes

Piscitell Quick In Morning MX-5 Cup Practice at Autobahn JOLIET, Ill. (July 30, 2010) -- Justin Piscitell, of Weston, Conn., topped Friday morning's SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup practice at Autobahn Country Club in the opening session...

Piscitell Quick In Morning MX-5 Cup Practice at Autobahn

JOLIET, Ill. (July 30, 2010) -- Justin Piscitell, of Weston, Conn., topped Friday morning's SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup practice at Autobahn Country Club in the opening session of the Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda weekend, with a blistering lap that falls unofficially under the MX-5 Cup track record.

Piscitell turned a best lap of 2:44.512 (77.903 mph) in the No. 89 Team MER/DAMG Worldwide Mazda MX-5 in the 30-minute session. The time is quicker than the qualifying record of 2:46.142 (77.138 mph) set by Todd Lamb a season ago in the Series' only other visit to the 19-turn, 3.56-mile road course in Joliet, Ill., just outside of Chicago.

The lap was 0.822-second faster than the next quickest in the session, Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif. Rampelberg, in the No. 4 AMG Racing/Mazda/Cobalt Brakes Mazda MX-5, posted a best time of 2:45.334 (77.515 mph).

A Team MER teammate of Piscitell, Nick Evans, of Powell, Ohio, ran third in the session in the No. 28 Team MER/Mazda/Sparco MX-5. Evans posted a quick lap of 2:45.555 (77.412 mph).

A second AMG car reached the top four when Michael Cooper posted a lap of 2:45.610 (77.386 mph), drafting with Rampelberg down the circuit's straightaways. Cooper earned his first professional win in the most recent race, Round Six at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Each of the top four were under the track record, which must be set in qualifying before it becomes official.

ALARA Racing's Ara Malkhassian completed the top five, piloting the No. 11 ALARA Racing/Bulldog Productions machine to a best lap of 2:46.215 (77.105 mph).

The SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup practices again Friday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. (CDT) in preparation for this weekend's doubleheader, with qualifying for Saturday's race at 5:15 p.m. Friday night. To follow each session's notes and timing, please visit www.mx-5cup.com.

J -source: scca pro racing

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Series SCCA
Drivers Nick Evans , Brad Rampelberg , Ara Malkhassian , Justin Piscitell , Michael Cooper