Star Mazda Practice 1 Mazda Raceway‏

SURPRISE NEW NAME AT THE TOP OF THE TIME SHEETS IN FIRST STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP PRACTICE SESSION AT MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA

After most of a season of seeing the same half-dozen names at the top of the time sheets in practice, and race results, a new name has popped up – Richard Kent, an English karting champion with a background in the European Formula Palmer Audi series.  Driving the #77 Andersen Racing / Traka Mazda, Kent – in his first time at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and his first outing in a Star Mazda race car – set a fast lap of 1:12.074. 

This is almost 3/10ths of a second clear of the best lap set by championship points leader, and four-time race winner, American John Edwards.  He turned a 1:21.373 in The #7 AIM Autosport/ Mobil 1 Mazda.  In third was another 4-race winner, Irishman Peter Dempsey, currently third in the championship battle.  He turned a lap of 1:21.615 in the #21 Andersen Racing/LotusWorks/ Center Jewellers.ie/Quayside.ie/ Allied Building Products Mazda.

In fourth was another American, Joel Miller, with a lap of 1:22.090 in the ##20 JDC Motorsports / Mazda / K&N Air Filters Mazda.  Miller is the 2007 Skip Barber Pro Series Champion and is racing in the 2008 Star Mazda Championship courtesy of the MAZDASPEED Motorsport Driver Development Ladder scholarship.  Rounding out the top-5 was another unfamiliar name, an occasional competitor who usually runs in the Star Mazda West Coast regional series, Patrick O'Neill.  Driving the #64 Worldspeed  Motorsports / O’Neill Construction/ Molecule Mazda, he set a time of 1:22.179.

Pos/ No./ Name /Best Tm /In Lap /Diff/ Gap/ Points1 77 Richard Kent 1:21.074 18   02 7 John Edwards 1:21.373 12 0.299 0.299 03 21 Peter Dempsey 1:21.615 11 0.541 0.242 04 20 Joel Miller 1:22.090 18 1.016 0.475 05 64 Patrick ONeil 1:22.179 16 1.105 0.089 06 51 Alex Ardoin 1:22.390 10 1.316 0.211 07 30 Rick Rosin 1:22.721 12 1.647 0.331 08 15 Taylor Hacquard 1:22.790 8 1.716 0.069 09 17 Scott Rettich 1:22.816 11 1.742 0.026 010 22 Rusty Mitchell 1:22.906 10 1.832 0.090 011 5 Jonny Baker 1:23.120 13 2.046 0.214 012 29 Phil Fogg Jr. 1:23.332 14 2.258 0.212 013 19 Caio Lara 1:23.494 13 2.420 0.162 014 52 Dave Mundy 1:24.060 17 2.986 0.566 015 12 Chuck Hulse 1:24.109 15 3.035 0.049 016 16 Chris Cumming 1:24.139 12 3.065 0.030 017 48 Kristy Kester 1:24.154 12 3.080 0.015 018 24 J.C. Kester 1:24.601 9 3.527 0.447 019 86 Dave House 1:24.750 13 3.676 0.149 020 65 J.W. Roberts 1:24.950 18 3.876 0.200 021 14 Frank McCormick 1:25.502 15 4.428 0.552 022 91 Michael Guasch 1:25.751 10 4.677 0.248 023 4 Chris Hundley 1:26.459 15 5.385 0.708 024 55 Gerry Kraut 1:26.661 17 5.587 0.201 025 82 Billy Goshen 1:26.771 3 5.697 0.110 026 57 Pedro Serramalera 1:34.983 9 13.909 8.212 0

Round 12 of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship will take place at during the American Le Mans season finale, the Monterey Sports Car Championships, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, October 16 – 18.  On track action begins with a promoter's test day Thursday, Oct. 16.  Official practice consists of two sessions, 8:00 – 8:40 am and 1:04 – 1:45 pm, Friday, Oct. 17.  Qualifying for the race takes place from 9:00 to 9:45 am Saturday, Oct. 18, with the green flag scheduled to wave for the final 45-minute round of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship season at 12:15 pm.  The race will be broadcast on SPEED TV Saturday, November 8 at 1:30 pm (ET).