Lots Of Action At Road America On Friday

Friday, August 20, Elkhart Lake, Wis. – It was a busy day at Road America even though there were no races on the schedule.

It was a full day of practice and qualifying as seven different series were on the track.

The day was scheduled to begin at 7:20 a.m. With a practice session for the TDI Cup and to conclude at 6:00 p.m. With a TDI Cup qualifying session.

There was limited track action during the first two scheduled session as a heavy fog covered the track.

The fog was lifting as the Star Mazda Championship series took to the track for the first of two 30-minute practice sessions today. The series also held two practice sessions on Thursday.

On Thursday, Anders Kohn was fastest in the first session, while Conor Daly was quickest in the second session. Today was a virtual repeat with Kohn and Daly fastest in the first and second sessions, respectively.

The series will qualify on Saturday morning and race Saturday afternoon.

The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship series, a support series for the American LeMans Series also had two practice sessions today. Lucas Downs was the fastest driver in the first practice session for the series, which is an entry-level series to prototype racing. Fastest in the second session was Antonio Downs.

The series will qualify on Saturday and run one race on Saturday, with another race on Sunday.

The Patron GT3 Challenge Series is also an American LeMans Series support series. The cars are all Porsche 911’s. Platinum Cup class cars are 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars with a 3.8-liter, six-cylinder engine, producing 450 hp and a maximum of 8500 rpm, while Gold Cup cars are 2005-1/2 through 2009 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars with a 3.6-liter, six-cylinder engine producing 420 hp with a maximum of 8400 rpm. The engines and transmissions on all cars are sealed by Porsche-North America.

The GT3 series held two practice sessions today with Ross Smith fastest in the first session and Michael Schein quickest in the second. They also will qualify and race on Saturday and will have a second race on Sunday.

The USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda series, the first step on the Mazda driver development program, had two practice sessions scheduled but only the first was run as heavy rain moved in and cancelled the second session.

Sage Karam was fastest in the only session for the series, which will qualify and race tomorrow and have a second race on Sunday.

One of the more serious incidents of the day occurred during the USF2000 practice session when Columbian driver Martin Sala spun going into Turn 13 and hit the outside wall head-on and spun back onto the track. The car was heavily damaged. Sala was slow to get out of the car but eventually got out and sat on the pit wall with no apparent injuries, however no report was given on his condition.

The SCCA Volkwagen TDI Cup cars lost their morning practice session to the fog, but qualified later in the day. The spec car is powered by a 2.0 liter, 170hp, four-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine mated to a six-speed double-clutch, automatic DSG transmission. The car is only slighted modified from stock with racing tires and racing safety requirements.

Drivers in the series are from 16-26 years old (with the exception of guest drivers,) and are selected after a driver assessment program and qualification training, and receive on-going instruction during the season.

Fastest qualifier for the Saturday race was rookie driver Chris Wehrheim. However, one of the two guest drivers of the week garnered the lion’s share of PA time. Long-time TV racing commentator and current SPEED stalwart, Ralph Sheheen, was a guest driver. He will run in Saturday’s race, but will not compete in the race on Sunday as he will be in Charlotte, N.C. For Sunday’s SPEED TV’s Speed Report.

The Skip Barber National series fast qualifier was Spencer Pigot. The series will race on Saturday and Sunday.

Last, but definitely not least, the American LeMans Series took to the track for three test sessions, one for GT/GTC series, one for LMP/LMPC and a session for all four classes.

The LMP series car of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith was fastest overall, while Kyle Marcelli and Chapman Ducote were quick in LMPC.

The fastest GT car of the day was that of Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin, while Bryce Miller and Luke Hines had the day’s fastest time in GTC.

The action at Road America will be hot and heavy on Saturday as there will be a number of practice and qualifying sessions as well as six races.

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