LEXINGTON, Ohio – Christian Szymczak led round five of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup flag-to-flag Saturday, bringing home win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Elliott Skeer finished second ahead of Dean Copeland.
Szymczak set sail in the No. 34 ALARA Racing MX-5 from the moment the lights went off, driving to an eventual 6.741-second victory over Skeer. The caution-free 26-lap race averaged 81.562 mph around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course. Szymczak lowered the record for the fastest race lap to 1:39.223 (81.924 mph) on his way to the win, breaking the old record of 1:39.268 (81.887 mph) set last year by Stevan McAleer during his championship run.
“Everything went perfectly,” Szymczak said. “We got a perfect start and I was able to pull a bit of a gap in lap one. That was beneficial because I was able to decrease the effectiveness of the draft behind me. From there I just ran clean, consistent laps as well as I could. In the end it all worked out.
“It’s looking good for tomorrow. Hopefully the conditions will hold out and we’ll be able to do a lot of the same.”
Skeer, in the No. 17 Pelican Replacement Windows/ZoomZoomNation.com/Alpinestars MX-5, got a good jump from his front row starting spot but was under duress for most of the race. He stayed just ahead of Copeland, who spent most of the race trying to take second place.
“Off the start I fell back a little bit,” Skeer said. “We ran with Dean [Copeland] and we were really running well. We had a couple good battles, but just couldn’t catch Christian [Szymczak]. We had a great last-lap battle [with Copeland], and brought it home second.
“The point lead was severely cut today, but the goal is to keep improving. Tomorrow’s a new day, so we’ll just have to go get them tomorrow.”