Franzoni remains fast at Mazda Raceway, earns Race 1 pole


MONTEREY, Calif. – Victor Franzoni has been the fastest driver in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda since the series arrived at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Soul Red Finale.

Franzoni remained at the top of the time sheets Saturday morning, scoring the pole for the first of two weekend races at the 11-turn 2.238-mile road course.

The Brazilian set a fast lap of the session, 1 minute, 26.3066 in the opening 10 minutes of session, then sat on pit road for the next 15 minutes waiting for someone to top the time.

No one did, handing Franzoni and Arms Up Motorsports its second pole of the season and second career pole for Franzoni.

“We’re were waiting because we didn’t want to use the other set of new tires,” said Franzoni, who came into the weekend as one of three drivers eligible to win the series title and the Mazda scholarship to move up to the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires in 2017.. “When I got back out on the track, the track was worse, that’s why nobody improved. We had a good stategy and it’s been a good weekend until now.”

Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammates Anthony Martin and Parker Thompson, the only other drivers besides Franzoni who can still win the championship, qualified second and third, respectively. Martin, the points leader, recorded a lap of 1:26.6471 to lock up a front row spot.

“This the first weekend we’ve really started dominating,” Franzoni added. “Arms Up has made a great car, I’m just driving around the track fast. We came here to get 66 points, and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re going to fight until the end and see what happens.”

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