MX-5 Cup: Road Atlanta qualifying notes

Foss On MX-5 Cup Pole at Road Atlanta BRASELTON, Ga. (April 27, 2007) -- Setting the pole time on his first lap, Eric Foss, of Braselton, Ga., captured pole for tomorrow's SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup race at Road ...

Foss On MX-5 Cup Pole at Road Atlanta

BRASELTON, Ga. (April 27, 2007) -- Setting the pole time on his first lap, Eric Foss, of Braselton, Ga., captured pole for tomorrow's SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup race at Road Atlanta, part of the 30th Anniversary Walter Mitty Challenge. Round One winner Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, will start second.

Road Atlanta driving instructor Foss wasted no time in MX-5 Cup qualifying, setting a lap of 1:41.461 (90.123 mph) in his first hot lap around the 2.54-mile scenic road course. It was a time Foss himself spent the rest of the session chasing in his No. 25 Team MER/Saferacer.com Mazda MX-5.

"I have a lot of laps here," Foss said. "I work at the [Panoz Driving] school. Problem is, I sometimes do a good lap and then I try too hard to beat it and it's always slower. The car felt really good. Team MER has done a good job and I'm really happy with where we're going. Top five would have made me happy, but pole makes me ecstatic.

"The cars are a blast to drive. It's a little different than Spec Miatas. I'm having a little trouble on the brakes and I did have a spin in the session, which I'm not too proud of. But we're gonna get it right, make some more changes for the race and see how it goes."

Winner a week ago at Houston, Saini put his No. 28 Autobarn Mazda/Saferacer.com Mazda MX-5 outside the front row with a time of 1:41.892 (89.742 mph). Saini spent most of the session in the 1:42 range, but was able to find enough speed in the closing laps to move ahead of teammate Andrew Caddell on the grid.

Driving the No. 30 Team MER/AimSport/Pinnacle Mazda MX-5, Caddell, of Graham, Wash., will start third for tomorrow's 45-minute race. Caddell sat in second for the majority of the qualifying session with a time of 1:42.049 (89.604 mph), but for the second race in-a-row will start third on the grid.

Ara Malkhassian, of Sonoma, Calif., will start fourth in his No. 11 Alara Racing Mazda MX-5, after turning in a lap of 1:42.142 (89.522 mph) on his final flyer. Second fastest in yesterday's practice, Mark Pombo, of Duluth, Ga., will take the fifth-place spot on the grid in the No. 19 Fresh From Florida/Traqmate Mazda MX-5 with a time of 1:42.263 (89.417 mph).

Runner-up at Houston, Jesse Combs, slots into sixth on the grid. He is followed by 17-year-old MX-5 Cup newcomer Andrew Carbonell. Pratt Cole, John C. Kuitwaard and Randy Hale III complete the top ten.

Tomorrow's race at Road Atlanta for Round Two of the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup is scheduled to go green at 12:00 p.m. (EDT). For event news and results, including live timing and lap notes, visit www.mx-5cup.com.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series SCCA
Drivers Pratt Cole , Randy Hale , Ara Malkhassian , Andrew Carbonell , Jason Saini , Mark Pombo , Andrew Caddell , Eric Foss , Jesse Combs