MX-5: Series VIR Friday practice notes

Lamb Leads MX-5 Cup Practice at VIR ALTON, Va. (Oct. 2, 2009) -- SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship leader Todd Lamb, of Atlanta, Ga., topped practice for the 2009 season finale at VIRginia International Raceway. Justin ...

Lamb Leads MX-5 Cup Practice at VIR

ALTON, Va. (Oct. 2, 2009) -- SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship leader Todd Lamb, of Atlanta, Ga., topped practice for the 2009 season finale at VIRginia International Raceway. Justin Piscitell, of Patterson, N.Y., and Ara Malkhassian, of Sonoma, Calif., completed the top three in practice for Saturday's Round Nine and Sunday's Round 10 race, part of the Bosch Engineering Oktoberfest weekend.

The MX-5 Cup finale weekend began with two hour-long practice sessions at the 17-turn, 3.27-mile road course. Lamb, the point leader heading into the final two rounds of the season, topped both sessions. Driving the No. 84 AMG Racing/Traqmate/Luna-C Racing MX-5, Lamb's best time of the day was a 2:12.619 (88.765 mph), set in the first session.

Lamb will once again be pulling double duty this weekend, competing in both MX-5 Cup and the KONI Challenge series.

"The car is really good," Lamb said. "We had a lot of track time including yesterday [promoter test day]. I think we had six hours of track time yesterday and today I'll have five, if you include the KONI Challenge stuff. It's kind of overkill on the track time. We're just sort of feeling the car out and not doing too much. We're trying to get the teammates up to speed and, so far, they're doing really good. I'm really excited to have a full house this weekend at AMG and to see everyone running up front."

With only 40 minutes between practice sessions, the Atlanta Motorsports Group didn't have much time to work on Lamb's car. His best time in the second session, a 2:13.953 (87.881 mph), could not match the pace of the first session.

"I don't think the track changed too much [from the first session to the second session]," Lamb recalled. "It did get a little bit greasy toward the end of the second session, but I think that was just from dirt and rubber getting built up off line.

"We made a few changes in the second session. We didn't really like them, so we went back the other way. The car seems really consistent, so I think we'll have a really good race pace and I think we'll have a good qualifying run as well."

Driving the No. 89 ALARA Racing/DAMG Racing/MAZDASPEED MX-5, Piscitell was second fastest in practice. Piscitell's fastest time on the day was a 2:13.012 (88.503 mph).

Malkhassian completed the top three in practice. The No. 11 ALARA Racing MX-5 driver's best time was a 2:13.654 (88.078 mph).

A third ALARA Racing car, the No. 13 ALARA Racing/eData Solutions MX-5 of Lyonel Kent, from Powell, Tenn., was fourth on the practice time sheets. Kent's quickest lap, a 2:13.674 (88.065 mph), was just a hair off of his team owner's time.

Marc Miller, of Holland, Mich., completed the top five in his No. 28 Team MER/MOCA/Race Now for Autism/MMP MX-5. Miller, who is the nearest challenger to Lamb in the point standings, clocked a fast lap of 2:13.922 (87.902 mph).

Returning to the series for the first time since the 2008 season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Todd Buras was sixth in the practice order.

Mark Jenkins, Jeff Mosing, Zach Ply and Tim Probert completed the top 10. Of the top 10, only Jenkins and Mosing set their fastest laps in the second session.

The 2009 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup season concludes with a doubleheader at VIR. Round Nine will take place Saturday, Oct. 3, with qualifying at 9:25 a.m. (EDT) and racing at 3:50 p.m. Round 10 is set for Sunday, Oct. 4, with qualifying at 9:35 a.m. and racing at 4:15 p.m. Live timing, lap notes, news and results are available all weekend at www.mx-5cup.com. MX-5 Cup is also on Twitter @MazdaMX5Cup.

-credit: scca pro racing

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Tim Probert , Todd Lamb , Todd Buras , Justin Piscitell , Jeff Mosing , Lyonel Kent , Marc Miller