Local drivers lead Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires qualifying at Portland PORTLAND, Ore. (June 21, 2003) -- Jon Davies, of Hood River, Ore., captured the pole position for Sunday's Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook...
Local drivers lead Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires qualifying at Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (June 21, 2003) -- Jon Davies, of Hood River, Ore., captured the pole position for Sunday's Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires race at Portland International Raceway, part of the G.I. Joe's 200 Champ Car weekend. Along with Davies, local drivers Ken Sutherland, of Beaverton, Ore., and Portland residents Todd Harris and Gary Bockman swept the first four positions in qualifying.
With sporadic rain showers falling throughout the afternoon, drivers were faced with the difficult challenge of picking the car set-up that would best match the track conditions. With the skies clearing prior to the start of the session, the 31-car field took to a quickly drying circuit.
Utilizing his thorough knowledge of the nine-turn, 1.969-mile course, Davies put in a best time of 1:34.148 [75.290 mph] in the No. 67 Windsurfing Hawaii.com Miata, with his best time coming halfway through the 45-minute qualifying session.
"The Oregon drivers went into qualifying with a plan," said Davies, who sits third in the Pacific Tour point standings. "We worked together during the early laps but it wasn't until I fell back from the pack that I was able to put in my quick time. Local knowledge of the track was definitely a key today."
Series point leader Bobby Carter, of Stockton, Calif., recorded a best time of 1:34.766 [74.799 mph], good enough for ninth on the grid and only 0.618-second off of pole. Sunday's race marks the first Pacific Tour event this season that Carter has not captured the pole position in qualifying.
"The local drivers know this track very well and worked together out there," said Carter, who currently has a 19 point lead in the Pacific Tour standings. "I had a hard time finding a drafting partner but I'm not going to use that as an excuse. The tires were awesome and I should have been able to put the Larry Oka Racing Miata on the pole. I'll definitely have something for those guys tomorrow in the race."
All four of the Oregon drivers put in comparable times, with the top four positions separated by only a 0.276-second margin. Mike Halpin, of Scottsdale, Ariz., completed the top five.
For more information on the Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires, please visit www.sccapro.com/miata.
-scca pro racing-