THE FIVES AND THE FIVE NOTS -- FAST GUYS FORM AN EXCLUSIVE CLUB IN STAR MAZDA FRIDAY MORNING PRACTICE AT ROAD AMERICA On as perfect a morning for motor racing as you'll ever see at Road America, a trio of fast guys traded top laps throughout the...
THE FIVES AND THE FIVE NOTS -- FAST GUYS FORM AN EXCLUSIVE CLUB IN STAR MAZDA FRIDAY MORNING PRACTICE AT ROAD AMERICA
On as perfect a morning for motor racing as you'll ever see at Road America, a trio of fast guys traded top laps throughout the Friday morning Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear practice session. Two red flags for trips into the gravel were the only, and relatively minor, incidents, and when the tire smoke cleared, it was John Edwards in the #7 AIM Autosport Mazda who pulled out a few extra tenths to set the fastest lap on the final lap of the session, a 2:05.275 (116.326 mph) around the 4.048-mile natural-terrain road circuit through the forests of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Edwards is the only double-race winner so far this season, with victories (from the pole) in his debut race at Miller Motorsports Park and again in Race 2/Round 5 at the Mazda Grand Prix of Portland.
Setting the second-fastest time in the session, just 0.253 back, was Charles Hall, who won Round Three at Watkins Glen. Racing the #77 #77 Andersen Racing / Blimpie / AccentBanking.com/ Allied Building Products Mazda, he turned a time of 2:05.528 ( 116.092 mph). Rounding out the top-3 was 17 year-old Tom Gladdis, winner of Race 1/Round 4 at Portland. He turned a lap of 2:05.739 (115.897 mph) in the #5 Andersen Racing / Marrache & Co. / Allied Building Products Mazda. Also in the top-5 -- but not members of the '05' club -- were Alex Ardoin, who won the final race of the 2007 Star Mazda Championship season. His lap of 2:06.085 (115.579 mph) was good for 4th on the time sheet, while MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder scholarship winner Joel Miller (who also won the season opener at Sebring and is the current championship points leader) was 5th with a 2:06.161 (115.510 mph) in the #20 JDC Motorsports / Mazda / K&N Air Filters Mazda
The fastest Expert Series driver was Chris Cumming, who has four class wins so far and leads the Expert Series championship. His lap of 2:07.501 (114.296) #16 World Speed Motorsports / Inviro Medical Mazda was good for 12th-fast overall. The quickest Expert Series driver was Gerry Kraut, with a 15th-quick overall lap of 2:08.127 (113.737 mph) in the #55 JDC Motorsports / Dougherty & Co. / Dougherty Funding LLC Mazda.
Qualifying for the race takes place from 4:05 to 4:50 pm, Friday, August 8 with the 45-minute Star Mazda championship event scheduled to take the green flag at 2:25 pm Saturday, August 8. The race will be broadcast on SPEED TV on August 23 at 12:00 pm (ET).