Pirelli World Challenge/Mazda Road to Indy: Day One

Mazda and SPCA at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The Pirelli World Challenge/Mazda Road to Indy weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca officially got underway at the iconic 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course for practice, qualifying and even the first race. Qualifying and racing resumes today 8 a.m. and is nearly non-stop until the last checkered flag waves at 4:30 p.m.

Mazda Foundation Supports the SPCA for Monterey County

The Mazda Foundation presented the local, independent SPCA for Monterey County with a generous $50,000 donation today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to support the SPCA’s Take the Lead Program and to help injured, orphaned, or neglected animals in need. With the SPCA for Monterey County and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca located just across Highway 68 from each other, Mazda and its employees have been longtime supporters of the SPCA.

Among those on hand for the presentation were John Doonan, Director of Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), Susan Koza of the SPCA Monterey, Gill Campbell, CEO/General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and directors of the Sports Car Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP).

Since 2007, Mazda Motorsports and SCRAMP have worked hand-in-paw with the SPCA to promote shelter adoptions at select race weekends.  Promotions have ranged from having MUTTS Comics stars Mooch and Earl at the track, naming animals after Mazda racers, special guest drivers like Indy 500 winner Danny Sullivan, and a Bunnies helping bunnies promotion with Playboy.

Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTA/GT Cup Practice Results

Alessandro PierGuidi drove the No. 30 Momo/NGT Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia to the top of the board in today’s practice session for Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTA /GT Cup. The Italian native ran a best lap of 1:24.681 minutes at an average speed of 95.143 mph. Ryan Dalziel (No. 31 EFFORT Racing/World PMO/Porsche 911 GT3R) was second with a lap of 1:25.045/94.735 and championship contender Olivier Beretta (No. 61 Ferrari Ontario/Toronto/Alberta Ferrari 458 GT Italia was third (1:25.079/94.697). Championship point leader Johnny O’Connell (No. 3 Cadillac Racing/Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3) could only manage 11th with a best lap of 1:25.919/93.772. The seven quickest cars in the session all eclipsed the existing track record.

Pirelli World Challenge GTS Practice Results

Martin Fuentes (No. 07 Scuderia Corsa/Hublot/Samsung Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia) was quickest in GTA, and sixth overall, with a lap of 1:25.447 minutes at 94.290 mph. The GTC leader was Colin Thompson in the No. 11 Porsche Bucks County/Penn Valley Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with a lap of 1:29.804 minutes at 89.715 mph.

The No. 36 DonorsChoose.org Kia Optima and driver Ben Clucas top the practice chart in Pirelli World Challenge GTS with a quick lap of 1:32.958 minutes at 86.671 mph. Kris Wilson (No. 07 Royal Purple/Orion/LaSalle/Pass Aston Martin Vantage GT4) was second (1:33.008/86.624) and Andrew Aquilante (No. 32 Calvert Dynamics/Phoenix Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302) was third (1:33.362/86.296). 

Pirelli World Challenge TC-TCA-TCB Race No. 1

Adam Poland, of Mount Vernon, Texas, scored the Round 16 TC win at the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca presented by Cadillac. Jason Wolfe, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, scored the win in TCA, while Joey Jordan won in TCB. For Poland, it was his first win of the season, while Wolfe scored his seventh win of 2015. Poland secured the win over Fred Emich, of Denver, Colo., in the No. 87 Emich Volkswagen VW Jetta GLI, and Alex Welch, of Englewood, Colo, in the No. 16 HPA Motorsports VW Jetta GLI. It was his second win of the season in exciting fashion coming all the way from the back of the grid for the win. Wolfe took the TCA win ahead of Patrick Seguin, of Ottawa, Ont., in the No. 39 helpkevinproject.com Honda Civic Si while Tony Rivera, of Vista, Calif., in the No. 86 Tiburon Motorsports Scion FR-S rounded out the podium. At the end of the TCB race, it was Jordan who would capture the checkered, followed by Glenn Nixon, of Mission, B.C., in the No. 58 LaptopScreen.com/ClubRacing.com/Nixon Prosports/HP Honda Fit  and Tom O’Gorman, of Mason, Ohio, in the No. 94 Full Throttle Indoor Karting Honda Fit. 

Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Combined Practice Results

Max Chilton (No. 14 Carlin) topped today’s Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires combined practice results with a fast lap of 1:15.8720 minutes at 106.189 mph in the day’s second session. Carlin teammate Ed Jones (No. 11), currently third in the point standings, was second (1:16.0448/105.948), followed by Los Gatos resident and Juncos Racing’s Kyle Kaiser (1:16.0457/105.947), No. 8 8Star Motorsports’ Sean Rayhall (1:16.4074/105.445) and No. 12 Juncos Racing’s Spencer Pigot (1:16.4632/105.368), who sits second in the point standings. Point leader Jack Harvey was ninth (1:16.9848/104.654) in the No. 42 SPM with Curb-Agajanian.

Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires Combined Practice Results

Will Owen (No. 23 AMR/Juncos Racing) was quickest in the combined results of today’s two sessions of practice for the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires. Owen’s best lap of 1:23.4241 minutes at an average speed of 96.576 mph was run in the day’s second session. Pato O’Ward (No. 82 Octane Energy Drink/Team Pelfrey) was second with a lap of 1:23.4449/96.552 from the first session and Raoul Owens (No. 80 Brightspark Ventures/Team Pelfrey) was third with a lap of 1:23.6716/96.291, which was also run in the first session.  Los Gatos resident Neil Alberico (No. 3 Rising Star Racing/Mobe/Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) was ninth (1:24.5983/95.236). 

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda Qualifying

Nico Jamin will start from pole in tomorrow morning’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda after setting the fastest lap in this afternoon’s qualifying session. The current series point leader wheeled the No. 2 Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing entry to a lap of 1:25.7347 minutes at an average speed of 93.974 mph. Cape Motorsports teammate Aaron Telitz, currently third in the point standings, will line up second after a qualifying run of 1:25.8982/93.795 and Jake Edison, second in points, qualified third with a lap of 1:26.2076/93.458. Anthony Martin, fourth in points, will line up the No. 33 John Cummiskey Racing entry fourth (1:26.2923/93.366) and Luke Gabin, sixth in points, qualified fifth (1:26.7544/92.869) in the No. 82 Team Pelfrey entry. Green flag for tomorrow’s 40-minute race is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time.