MX-5: Utah practice one notes

Rampelberg Leads Morning MX-5 Cup Practice in Utah TOOELE, Utah (Sept. 19, 2008) -- Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif., led the first of two practice sessions for Round Six of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, part of the ...

Rampelberg Leads Morning MX-5 Cup Practice in Utah

TOOELE, Utah (Sept. 19, 2008) -- Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif., led the first of two practice sessions for Round Six of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, part of the SunRichGourmet.com 1000 Presented by the Grand and Little America Hotels at Miller Motorsports Park. Ryan Schimsk, of Austin, Texas, and Robert Huffmaster, of Clarkston, Mich., were second and third fastest, respectively.

Currently third in the MX-5 Cup Championship, Rampelberg clocked a 3:20s.812 (80.421 mph) around the 24-turn, 4.486-mile course. Driving the No. 14 Hooverspeed/Mazda/Patron Tequila MX-5, Rampelberg's time came late in the 25-minute session at North America's longest permanent road course.

Shortly after Rampelberg entered his fast lap, Schimsk responded with a 3:21.029 (80.334 mph), pushing the Road America race winner to second on the time sheets in the No. 81 Team MER/Airco Mechanical MX-5.

After leading most of the session, Huffmaster was bumped down the order by Rampelberg and then Schimsk just before the checkered flag. The No. 27 Team MER/Huffmaster Co. MX-5 driver would have to settle for third with a lap of 3:21.043 (80.329 mph).

Current point leader and winner of the most recent race at Trois-Rivières, Eric Foss, of Fort Worth, Texas, ended the session in fourth. Foss' quickest lap in the No. 28 Team MER/Autobarn Mazda MX-5 was a 3:21.209 (80.262 mph).

After missing Round Five at Trois-Rivières, Mike Jenkins, of Fairview, Texas, has returned in the No. 47 Team MER/Jenkins Bros/Traxxas MX-5. Jenkins entered a fast lap of 3:22.309 (79.826 mph).

Coming off a strong third-place finish at Trois-Rivières, Ara Malkhassian was sixth fastest in the session. Robert Michaelian, a podium finisher at Miller Motorsports Park last year, was seventh. Todd Buras, who is currently chasing Foss in the Drivers' Championship was eighth, followed by Deborah Loth and Mark Jenkins.

The second MX-5 Cup practice session at Miller Motorsports Park will take place at 2:55 p.m. (MDT) today. Qualifying for Saturday's race will follow shortly there after, at 5 p.m. Live timing and lap notes are available at www.mx-5cup.com.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series SCCA
Drivers Deborah Loth , Brad Rampelberg , Ara Malkhassian , Todd Buras , Eric Foss