Car #: 01
Year : '90 & '99 Posts: 535
Mark did awesome out there. There were guys from all over the world with tons of karting and formula car experience (F2000 and Formula BMW, etc.) Very competitive field. Mark was selected from an online application forum that was lead by Alan McNish for a total of ~45 finalists.
They had two days of karting, Mitsubishi Lancer Solo trials, and several on track sessions in the Jim Russell Formula cars. They also did some mock interviews to see how the applicants handled themselves. Mark did really well for having no Karting experience or open wheel experience. He made the first cut down to the top 20.
Yesterday saw the top 20 duking it out on the Kart track in 125cc Karts, solo trials, and in the open wheels in the rain. Mark got it handed to him in the karting session and said he thought he could hold his own in karting, but 15/20 finalists were factory sponsored karters, and he quickly realized how tough it is.
However, the solo part was next and Mark was fastest on the solo track in the Mitsubishi which was a attribute to his sedan experience.
Finally, there were two sessions in the Formula cars at Infineon Raceway. The first one was a wet session and Mark was third fastest in his group 0.5sec off. The afternoon session was damp, but drying and Mark was 2 sec off the fastest car at around 5th fastest in his group (These cars were 3 sec off the IRL track record and would haul the mail!)
Needless to say, Mark was close but did not make the last cut to the top 6 and all of the instructors seemed impressed with his drive, but suggested he take the Jim Russell school in the open wheel car and gain some more open wheel experience. They think he could win it next year. Isn't that always the case.....next year. Anyway, thanks for all the support from the SM community on this effort and it is cool to see that these little momentum cars can prepare you for some pretty cool things.
Car #: 12
Year : 99 Posts: 267
Mat - does Mark have prior experience at Infineon? Driving there in the wet is a hairy experience and having that kind of pace in an unfamiliar car is impressive! The elevation change lends itself to lots of streams and moving water that can be unpredictable. Great drive!
Region: Blue Ridge Region (103), SEDiv
Car #: 52
Year : 94 Posts: 314
Spec Miata has sent great drivers to several pro series. The Pombo's demonstrate the best of SCCA racing in car preparation, driving, and sportsmanship. Mark is taking this to a new level and we are all proud.