Star Mazda Practice 2 Mazda Raceway

AFTER A 'TWILIGHT ZONE' SESSION IN THE MORNING STAR MAZDA PRACTICE, THE NORMAL ORDER OF THINGS RE-ASSERTS ITSELF – PRETTY MUCH – IN THE AFTERNOON

With the first practice session of the morning delivering a shock to the system for everyone on the grid in the form of a total newcomer setting fast time his first time in the car -- Richard Kent, an English karting champion with a background in the European Formula Palmer Audi series drove the #77 Andersen Racing / Traka / Allied Building Supplies Mazda to a fast lap of 1:21.074.

In the warmth of a hazy, somewhat humid afternoon, however, the normal order of things re-asserted itself – more or less – with American Joel Miller turning the best time, a 1:21.661  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.

"This morning was a mess with red flags, yellow flags, slow cars putting around, and that pretty much accounted for the way the times worked out," said Miller.  "The track was slower this afternoon, but we got some good runs and showed our true colors.  The track is a bit strange; every corner feels different and it isn't really 'rubbering up' from the ALMS cars.  Its just a matter of feeling our way around, finding out what the car wants and not throwing it off trying too hard."

Setting second-fast time, less than a tick behind, was championship points leader, and four-time race winner, American John Edwards.  He turned a 1:21.676 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 1:21.761 in the #21 Andersen Racing/LotusWorks/ Center Jewellers.ie/Quayside.ie/ Allied Building Products Mazda.

Down in fourth, still a stellar effort from a first-time Star Mazda driver, was the morning's quick guy, Richard Kent with a lap of 1:21.964.  Rounding out the top-5 was last year's winner of this race, Louisiana racer Alex Ardoin, who turned a 1:22.109 in the #51 Mundill Racing / Oral & Facial Surgery Center / Twister Trailer Mazda

Pos/ No./ Name/ Best Tm/ In Lap/ Diff/ Gap/ Points1 20 Joel Miller 1:21.661 16   02 7 John Edwards 1:21.676 14 0.015 0.015 03 21 Peter Dempsey 1:21.761 14 0.100 0.085 04 77 Richard Kent 1:21.964 10 0.303 0.203 05 51 Alex Ardoin 1:22.109 10 0.448 0.145 06 5 Jonny Baker 1:22.260 12 0.599 0.151 07 64 Patrick ONeil 1:22.794 13 1.133 0.534 08 15 Taylor Hacquard 1:22.968 14 1.307 0.174 09 17 Scott Rettich 1:22.970 15 1.309 0.002 010 24 J.C. Kester 1:23.201 15 1.540 0.231 011 30 Rick Rosin 1:23.311 14 1.650 0.110 012 19 Caio Lara 1:23.335 12 1.674 0.024 013 16 Chris Cumming 1:23.414 10 1.753 0.079 014 82 Billy Goshen 1:23.590 8 1.929 0.176 015 22 Rusty Mitchell 1:23.994 16 2.333 0.404 016 52 Dave Mundy 1:24.185 12 2.524 0.191 017 48 Kristy Kester 1:24.245 15 2.584 0.060 018 12 Chuck Hulse 1:24.281 13 2.620 0.036 019 91 Michael Guasch 1:24.385 12 2.724 0.104 020 65 J.W. Roberts 1:24.453 15 2.792 0.068 021 29 Phil Fogg Jr. 1:24.874 4 3.213 0.421 022 55 Gerry Kraut 1:25.046 10 3.385 0.172 023 4 Chris Hundley 1:26.242 17 4.581 1.196 024 14 Frank McCormick 1:26.348 13 4.687 0.106 025 86 Dave House 1:27.879 6 6.218 1.531 026 57 Pedro Serramalera 1:28.084 8 6.423 0.205 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.  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). 


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