Szymczak Controls MX-5 Cup Show

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Christian Szymczak drives to victory during round three of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., Friday. (Robert Heathcote Photo)
Christian Szymczak drives to victory during round three of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., Friday. (Robert Heathcote Photo)

MONTEREY, Calif. – Christian Szymczak won round three of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup doubleheader at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Friday.

Elliott Skeer crossed the line in second, followed by John Dean in third.

Szymczak, in the No. 34 ALARA Racing MX-5, set himself up for a clean sweep at the 11-Turn, 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway, with a 9.5-second gap. Szymczak was the fastest in qualifying and each of the practice sessions this weekend preceding the win in the 58.118-mile race with an average speed of 78.220 mph.

Regardless of how easy he makes is look, though, Szymczak is quick to say that being fast at Mazda Raceway is not easy.

“This is a pretty tough track,” Szymczak said. “It’s very demanding, and you can’t relax very much. There’s no straightaways, there’s not a whole lot of drafting going on. The lack of drafting allows you to sometimes check out from the front, which is what I was able to do today. It was a good result for me and the team, so I’m pretty happy.

“The only focus we have now is to get through the race tomorrow cleanly. That’s our main focus, to get as many points as we can if it’s not possible to win, but hopefully we can.”

Skeer, driving the No. 17 Pelican Replacement Windows/ZoomZoomNation.com/Alpinestars MX-5, had a good points day, finishing on the second step of the podium. Skeer was happy with the finish, but is looking forward to the getting back out for Saturday’s race.

“It was a good run,” Skeer said. “The car felt good for most of it. I was able to hang with Christian for the first few laps, and then the front tires started to go away. I picked up a little bit of understeer and he just slowly drove away.