MX-5: Series Autobahn round six preview

Lamb Prepares to Re-Write the MX-5 Record Books at Autobahn JOLIET, Ill. (July 22, 2009) -- As the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup heads to Autobahn Country Club for Round Six, the question on everyone's mind is: Can anybody stop Todd ...

Lamb Prepares to Re-Write the MX-5 Record Books at Autobahn

JOLIET, Ill. (July 22, 2009) -- As the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup heads to Autobahn Country Club for Round Six, the question on everyone's mind is: Can anybody stop Todd Lamb?

The driver of the No. 84 AMG/Traqmate/Luna-C Racing MX-5 has won each of the last four races from the pole and his margin of victory seems to be growing with each checkered flag he takes. Even with his stranglehold on the MX-5 Cup winner's circle, Lamb still does not lead the Championship points. Since Lamb missed the opening round at Road Atlanta, that honor goes to Marc Miller in the No. 28 Team MER/MOCA/RaceNowforAutism/MMP MX-5. Luckily for Lamb, each driver will get to drop their lowest scoring race from his or her point total. This will allow Lamb to drop the zero points scored at Road Atlanta, while Miller will likely have to drop some solid points. If one were to factor total points with drops today, Miller would actually be trailing Lamb by 35 points.

This weekend is the perfect time for Miller to break out of his runner-up rut. Following Round Five at Barber Motorsports Park, Miller conceded that it would be silly to be upset with four second-place finishes in-a-row, but the fact that they've all been to the same person have left him frustrated. While Lamb may have had a slight edge at Barber Motorsports Park last weekend with his previous race experience there, Team MER and Miller may have some home field advantage this time around, as two of the team's drivers are from the Chicago area, and team co-owner Jason Saini has had plenty of practice around the 18-turn, 3.56-mile course.

Team MER driver Zach Ply calls Joliet, Ill., home and even works at Autobahn Country Club. The driver of the No. 27 Team MER/Insight Beverage Co. MX-5 continues to put in solid performances, most recently a fifth-place finish at Barber Motorsports Park. Considering drivers new to this course will have a short period of time to learn its 18 corners, Ply could be looking at his first MX-5 Cup podium of the season this weekend.

Ply's teammate Nick Mancuso is from nearby Mettawa, Ill., and is coming on strong in the second half of the season. The No. 29 TeamMER/LakeForestSportsCars/TireLyna MX-5 driver has now collected back-to-back fourth-place finishes and is rapidly climbing the point standings.

Currently second in the Championship, Justin Piscitell knows exactly how Miller feels about Lamb, because it's the same way he feels about Miller. Piscitell has finished third, behind Miller, for the last three races in the No. 89 DAMGRacing/MAZDASPEED/ALARA MX-5. Though it may be frustrating, it's still very impressive for a driver who had next to zero racing experience before entering MX-5 Cup. Piscitell is also leading the charge for the ALARA Racing team. After a solid weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park, team principal Ara Malkhassian had a rough go of it at Barber Motorsports Park. The driver of the No. 11 ALARA Racing MX-5 was struck by another car early in the race, then exited the contest early with mechanical trouble. He now finds himself ninth in the point standings, just a few clicks behind teammate Lyonel Kent in the No. 13 ALARA Racing/eData Solutions MX-5, who's yet to regain the form he showed in the opening round at Road Atlanta.

Stan Wilson is also looking to refresh his performance. The No. 92 Patron/NetEvidence/Alliance1 MX-5 Cup driver scored Hale Motorsports' first-ever MX-5 Cup podium in Round Two at Mazda Raceway, but has since struggled to keep the car inside the top 10. It's too bad the Carbotech Hard Charger award is based on where you line up on the grid, because Wilson put on quite a show at Barber; after contact on the opening lap sent Wilson from 11th to the back of the field (24th), the 2007 World Challenge Touring Car Rookie of the year spent the rest of the race clawing his way back to 13th.

Just like Round Three and Four at New Jersey Motorsports Park, all the action from Round Six at Autobahn Country Club will be broadcast live on HDNet, Sunday, July 26 at 12:05 p.m. (CDT). For those who don't get HDNet or need their fix before the race even goes green, live timing and lap notes will be available all weekend, plus the new MX-5 Cup Twitter account (twitter.com/MazdaMX5Cup) will be busy with updates. Keep checking www.mx-5cup.com throughout the weekend for the latest MX-5 Cup news and results.

-credit: scca pro racing

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Stan Wilson , Todd Lamb , Jason Saini , Nick Mancuso , Justin Piscitell , Lyonel Kent , Marc Miller