MX-5: Series Millville practice one notes

Miller Leads Morning MX-5 Cup Practice in New Jersey MILLVILLE, N.J. (June 12, 2009) -- Marc Miller, of Holland, Mich., led opening practice for Rounds Three and Four of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, part of Mazda Formula X at New...

Miller Leads Morning MX-5 Cup Practice in New Jersey

MILLVILLE, N.J. (June 12, 2009) -- Marc Miller, of Holland, Mich., led opening practice for Rounds Three and Four of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, part of Mazda Formula X at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Chris Rhoades, of Dallas, Texas, and Brett Smrz, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, completed the top three.

After some morning rain, the MX-5 Cup cars took to a slightly damp course for the first of two 30-minute practice sessions. Driving the No. 28 MOCA/RaceNowforAutism/Sparco MX-5, Miller had no trouble finding enough grip to set a quick out-lap and continued to improve throughout the session. The current Championship point leader finally settled on a 1:35.330 (84.968 mph) to top the time sheets.

"I think the Atlantic cars (the session previous to MX-5 Cup practice) dried the track pretty good," Miller said. "We were chattering on the radio at the beginning of the session and thought the track was pretty good. [A wet track] was something we were worried about earlier today, because we worked all day yesterday trying to develop a better balance for the car. We've got a really good, driveable car now. The things we did last night for this morning helped, so we're just going to keep going in that direction."

In his first visit to New Jersey Motorsports Park as a driver, Miller has found the MX-5 Cup cars to be a great fit for the 2.25-mile track.

"I love this facility," Miller added. "It's a challenging course. It's got a little bit of elevation and a lot of corners that you can pull big speed through. The MX-5's forte is corner speed and you can really exploit that at a track like this. It's really fun and challenging."

Miller was followed on the time sheets by his own teammate, Rhoades. Driving the No. 33 Team MER/Zebra Air/Sparco MX-5, Rhoades clocked a fast lap of 1:35.330 (84.968 mph).

Smrz in the No. 6 AMG/InTouchPhysicalTherapy MX-5 was third fastest in the session. The former New Jersey resident entered a 1:35.832 (84.523 mph).

The most recent MX-5 Cup race winner, Todd Lamb, of Atlanta, Ga., was fourth quickest. Piloting the No. 84 AMG Racing/Traqmate/Luna-C Racing MX-5, Lamb clocked a 1:35.970 (84.401 mph).

Justin Piscitell, of Patterson, N.Y., completed the top five in the No. 89 ALARA Racing/DAMG Racing MAZDASPEED MX-5. Piscitell recorded a 1:36.058 (84.324 mph).

Mike Jenkins, Zach Ply, Lyonel Kent, Nick Mancuso and Ara Malkhassian completed the top 10.

The second MX-5 Cup practice session at New Jersey Motorsports Park is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. (EDT) today. Live timing and lap notes are available on the series' web site. Saturday's Round Three and Sunday's Round Four race will both be broadcast live on HDNet at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). For the latest news and results, visit www.mx-5cup.com.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series SCCA
Drivers Ara Malkhassian , Todd Lamb , Nick Mancuso , Brett Smrz , Justin Piscitell , Lyonel Kent , Marc Miller