Pombo Captures First-Career MX-5 Cup Win At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

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Pombo leads Rampelberg and Malkhassian en route to his first-career MX-5 Cup win.

MONTEREY, Calif. – Mat Pombo, of Atlanta, earned a well-fought, first-career win in Sunday’s SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup Round Three race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, part of the American Le Mans Series Monterey Weekend. Ara Malkhassian, of Houston, Texas, finished second.

Pombo started from the pole in the No. 01 PFM Pombo Racing/Range of Motion ATL/Carbotech MX-5. He led the first two laps of the 26-lap race before Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif., took the lead on lap three in the No. 4. AMG/Mazda/Colbalt Brakes MX-5.

From this point, it was a back-and-forth battle between Pombo and Rampelberg. They swapped the top spot six times throughout the race. In fact, on lap 22, Rampelberg had a narrow 0.001-second lead over Pombo – a virtual dead-even race at the start finish line.

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Pombo Grabs MX-5 Cup Pole At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

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Pombo, two-time MX-5 Cup pole-winner, seeks first win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend.

MONTEREY, Calif. – Mat Pombo, of Atlanta, continued to show just how fast he is when he put No. 01 PFM Pombo Racing/Range of Motion ATL/Carbotech MX-5 on the pole for Sunday’s SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup Round Three race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, part of the American Le Mans Series Monterey Weekend. Lyonel Kent, of Knoxville, Tenn., will start second.

Pombo set his pole-winning time of 1:41.476 (79.396 mph) on his fifth circuit around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile track. While this was Pombo’s second consecutive pole, he looks to get his first MX-5 Cup win this weekend after attempting a pass for the lead on the final lap during Round Two in his home race at Road Atlanta. Continue reading “Pombo Grabs MX-5 Cup Pole At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca”

MX-5 Cup Racers Head West To Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

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Brad Rampelberg leads the MX-5 Cup Championship entering Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

MONTEREY, Calif. – The SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup returns to action this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the only facility to host a round of the championship every season since its inception in 2006.

It’s a “home” event for Mazda, and three drivers who are part of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder would enjoy nothing more than a win to represent the manufacturer.

One of those drivers, championship points leader Brad Rampelberg, has additional motivation in the No. 4 AMG Racing/Mazda/Cobalt Brakes Mazda MX-5. The San Jose, Calif.-racer is running at his home track, in front of family and friends, and with a scant 16 point lead after two of 11 rounds. Rampelberg won the Mazda shootout to earn a paid MX-5 Cup ride in 2008, and is back full-time in 2010 to battle for the title. Continue reading “MX-5 Cup Racers Head West To Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca”

Lyonel Kent Earns Thrilling Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Win At Road Atlanta

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Lyonel Kent captured his first win of the season at Road Atlanta.

BRASELTON, Ga. – Lyonel Kent, of Knoxville, Tenn., earned his second career SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup victory with a win Saturday at Road Atlanta, part of the Classic Motorsports Mitty presented by Mazda. Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif., made a last lap pass to finish second, ahead of Atlanta’s Mat Pombo.

Driving the No. 13 ALARA Racing/Bulldog Productions Mazda MX-5, Kent held off the other two podium finishes on the final lap of the 27-lap, 68.58-mile race. Pombo, looking for a hometown win in the No. 01 PFM Pombo Racing/Range of Motion ATL/Carbotech Mazda MX-5, jumped to the inside of Kent in turn seven and forced the pair two wide. Rampelberg, who won one week ago at Virginia International Raceway, took advantage of the battle to pull to the bumper of Kent and get past Pombo.
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