MX-5: Series practice two notes

Lamb Leads Another MX-5 Cup Practice at Miller Motorsports Park TOOELE, Utah (Sept. 18, 2009) -- In what has become a familiar site in the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, Todd Lamb, of Atlanta, Ga., topped all practice times at Miller ...

Lamb Leads Another MX-5 Cup Practice at Miller Motorsports Park

TOOELE, Utah (Sept. 18, 2009) -- In what has become a familiar site in the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, Todd Lamb, of Atlanta, Ga., topped all practice times at Miller Motorsports Park in preparation for Saturday's Round Eight race. Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif., was second. Marc Miller, of Holland, Mich., was third.

Though he was unable to match the quick lap he turned in Thursday's practice session at the 23-turn, 4.486-mile track, Lamb continued to lead the field in practice two at Miller Motorsports Park. Driving the No. 84 AMG/Traqmate/Luna-C Racing MX-5, Lamb turned a 3:21.273 (80.237 mph) in the hot afternoon sun for the final practice session of the weekend. The time was 1.316 seconds slower than the 3:19.912 (80.783 mph) lap he turned in the cooler Thursday session on fresh tires.

"We didn't make any major changes in the car," Lamb said. "We just made a couple minor tweaks and it's just as good as it was yesterday. I've got to thank AMG for putting a great car under me."

Currently leading the Championship, Lamb is looking for his seventh-straight win this weekend at Miller Motorsports Park. With three races remaining in the season, Lamb is adamant that he and the Atlanta Motorsports Group team remain just as motivated as they were when they took their first win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May.

"I would have liked to have gotten complacent, but honestly, we're here to win a Championship and we know we have to maximize points every weekend," Lamb explained. "Even with the drop and even with [Marc Miller's] penalty at Road America, points are still at a premium. Until we can go to the last race, take the green flag and clinch the Championship, we're not resting. The team is always pushing themselves to make sure we're running fast and up front. That's our goal; to make the car as fast as possible, that way we don't have to push it to the limits. We can drive without having to take chances and make mistakes."

Giving Lamb an added boost this weekend is the addition of defending race winner Rampelberg to the team roster.

"It's nice having Brad on board this weekend," Lamb said. "We're out there, bouncing ideas off of each other and working together on the data to find ways to go faster. It's good having someone there to push me a bit. The last couple of races, we've had the luxury of having the lead and not having to push. I haven't had to force things. This weekend is going to be pretty tough with Brad out there. He's going to push me to my limits this weekend and we're going to have a blast."

Rampelberg too, was unable to improve on his Thursday time of 3:20.531 (80.534 mph). Instead, Rampelberg entered a 3:21.295 (80.228 mph) in the No. 14 AMG MX-5 for the final practice session of the weekend.

Third in both practice sessions, Miller also turned his quickest time on Thursday, a 3:21.313 (80.221 mph). Driving the No. 28 Team MER/MOCA/Race Now for Autism/MMP MX-5, Miller's best effort in Friday's session was a 3:21.904 (79.986 mph).

Charles Espenlaub, of Lutz, Fla., ended both Thursday and Friday's practice sessions in fourth. Like the three drivers ahead of him, Espenlaub's fastest lap, a 3:21.389 (80.191 mph), came in Thursday's cooler session. A 3.21.956 (79.966 mph) was the quickest the No. 73 Hale Motorsports/Patron Tequila MX-5 could do on Friday.

The only driver in the top five to improve his time in Friday's 30-minute session was Max Riddle, of Vancouver, B.C., who finished fifth with a 3:22.589 (79.716 mph) in the No. 6 AMG MX-5. Riddle's previous best, a 3:23.486 (79.364 mph), had him 10th in Thursday's practice order.

Nick Mancuso, Justin Piscitell, Stan Wilson, Mark Jenkins and Ara Malkhassian completed the top 10 of all MX-5 Cup practice times at Miller Motorsports Park.

Qualifying for Round Eight of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup is slated for 9:50 a.m. (MDT) on Saturday, Sept. 19, followed by a 45-minute race at 12:30 p.m. (MDT). Live timing and notes are available at www.mx-5cup.com.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series SCCA
Drivers Charles Espenlaub , Stan Wilson , Brad Rampelberg , Todd Lamb , Nick Mancuso , Justin Piscitell , Marc Miller , Max Riddle