MEGENBIER TOPS THE VOLKSWAGEN JETTA TDI CUP PRACTICE CHARTS AT ROAD AMERICA Race begins Saturday at 7 pm CT Elkhart Lake, WI (August 14, 2009) -- Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin is one of the most legendary road courses in all of ...
MEGENBIER TOPS THE VOLKSWAGEN JETTA TDI CUP PRACTICE CHARTS AT ROAD
Race begins Saturday at 7 pm CT
Elkhart Lake, WI (August 14, 2009) -- Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin is one of the most legendary road courses in all of U.S. racing. However, up until today the SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup had never visited the challenging 14-turn, 4.048-mile road course.
When the green flag flew signaling the start of today's lone 30-minute practice session, the drivers didn't waste any time getting up to speed on a track where many of them had no prior experience. At the end of the day, it was series points leader and Melrose Park, Illinois native, Timmy Megenbier who topped the speed charts with a time of 2:40.219 (90.955 mph). Andy Lee (2:40.607) and Derek Jones (2:40.736) rounded out the top three positions. The lap times in practice were very close for the top third of the field with only a second separating the top nine drivers.
"It's great to be back here at Road America," Megenbier said. "Even though we raced earlier this year at Autobahn Country Club, I've always thought of this as my home track. I think the experience that I gained in the past racing in Skip Barber helped me have a bit of an advantage on the track today, and it showed on the speed charts. I feel like I've been able to put together some good runs in our past few races, so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to carry that momentum into the race tomorrow."
Today's action also marked the first track time for John Prather, the top North American road racing competitor from the popular racing simulation site, iRacing.com. Despite years of experience in the simulation environment, Prather's only experience in a real racecar was a few weeks ago when he participated in a racing school at Laguna Seca. It took Prather a few laps to get a feel for the racecar, but towards the end of the session, he began to steadily improve his times.
"Getting out on the track today in the Jetta TDI Cup car was a lot of fun," Prather said. "Obviously, there's a bit of a learning curve for me, but I feel that racing simulations really prepared me as much as possible to hit the track here this weekend. Right now, it's just a matter of me getting a feel for the limit of the car. Obviously, I was concerned about keeping the car on the track, so I didn't push it too hard where I would possibly jeopardize my ability to compete tomorrow. I'm looking forward to getting some more seat time in hopes of putting together a solid run during the race."
Two other guest drivers have joined the series for this weekend's race, including professional snocross racer and freestyle snowmobile rider, Levi Lavallee and Jaime Vondruska, the founder of the VWvortex.com, an online community devoted to Volkswagen owners and enthusiasts. The pair finished 26th and 24th respectively in the practice session.
The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series returns to action at Road America, Saturday at 8 am CT and 7 pm CT for qualifying and Round 6 of the season. Live timing and scoring is available at www.livetiming.net/SCCA/VW/livetiming.asp.