Copeland Sweeps At Road America
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Dean Copeland doubled down at Road America by winning Round 10 of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires, part of the Road Race Showcase.
Kenton Koch and Nathanial Sparks completed the podium.
Copeland followed his win from Saturday with another, in his No. 7 Copeland Motorsports/Sync Speed Inc. MX-5. This race, which averaged 64.768 mph at the 14-turn, 4.048-mile permanent road course, was slowed by one full-course caution period that lasted one lap. The flag was flown after Ara Malkhassian collided with a track barrier between Turns One and Two. The driver was unhurt in the incident.
The battle at the front of the field was another close affair, like Saturday’s race. For much of the time, Copeland was part of a five-car scrum for the lead that included Koch, Sparks, John Dean and Sebastian Landy. On Lap 8, Landy ran off course on the outside of Turn Six, but was able to get back underway after going a couple laps down to the leaders. Dean then dropped from the lead battle after his car suffered a broken suspension component, forcing an early retirement from the race on Lap 10.
“I’m on top of the world,” Copeland said. “It’s almost like it was meant to be. We didn’t make the previous rounds this year because we had some other things going on at home. For me, it can’t get any better. This is my favorite track and I won both races. I don’t even know what to say, it’s awesome.
“The race actually got a little hairy. Going through Canada Corner, I went over the curb and bent something. My steering wheel was off about 70 degrees. I radioed my dad and told him that something was wrong. He told me that it didn’t matter, to just go and win.”
The opening laps of Koch’s race closely mirrored that of his run on Saturday. In the No. 12 ALRARA Racing/Mazda Motorsports/BFGoodrich Tires MX-5, he was quick off the start. Koch was the leader at the strip for the first eight laps of the race. Unlike Saturday’s race, Koch was able to keep himself in contention for the win until the checkered flag flew.
“I’m feeling really good, that’s for sure,” Koch said. “Dean Copeland was able to work with me the entire time, and we were able to make our way up to the front. I’m happy with how we finished. It was a really good points day.
“Yesterday, I didn’t have anyone to work with. I was trying to work with Dean Copeland, but with the way things worked out, it was hard for us to work together.
Until Dean’s mechanical failure, Sparks worked closely with his teammate. Racing with help from the draft, Sparks was able to get his No. 8 OOTSK Performance/Bimmerworld MX-5 to the front of the line and was scored as the leader on laps nine and 10. Following Dean’s retirement, it was an everyone-for-themselves battle for the win.