BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Christian Szymczak snatched the pole position for Round Seven of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup on Friday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Elliott Skeer will start second, followed by John Dean in third.
While Szymczak winning the pole in the No. 32 ALARA Racing MX-5 is nothing new, the way in which he captured the spot is noteworthy. Szymczak has now captured pole position in each of the season’s seven rounds, and his typical pole run, thus far, consisted of setting a few blazing laps in the opening minutes of the session then waiting for time to expire. This time, Szymczak was the pursuer.
In the closing minutes of the 30-minute session, Szymczak found the 0.015-second needed to take the position away from Skeer, who was on the provisional pole for a majority of the session. Szymczak’s clutch performance was realized on lap 11 of the 12 he turned during the session, stopping the clock at 1:36.425 (91.780 mph) at the 10-turn, 2.459-mile road course.
“It was, obviously, a very close qualifying session out there, closer than it’s been all year,” Szymczak said. “Six guys were battling it out for a few tenths. I’m ecstatic to get the pole.
“As for the race tomorrow, I think it’s going to be a very hard-fought battle. Different tactics will unfold as we get out there for the race, making it very hard to predict what will happen. One thing you can be certain of is that it will be a very tough fight.”
Skeer set the early pace driving the No. 17 Pelican Replacement Windows/ZoomZoomNation.com/Alpinestars MX-5, putting down a time of 1:36.467 (91.766 mph) on his second lap.
“We made some progress with the car, and we feel like it’s there,” Skeer said. “We did a mock race run earlier in the day, just to feel it out. This is the first time we really went for it. We didn’t pick up as much time on the sticker tires as I was hoping, but it seems like everyone else was in the same boat.
“To lead qualifying early like that, and have Christian [Szymczak] take it away by such a miniscule amount, is a little heartbreaking. But, we know that the big points day is tomorrow. It will be a close battle, because it looks like five or six guys could win it.”