2009 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda
MX-5 Cup Season Opener
Braselton, GA (May 2, 2009) - Following their limited participation in the previous two seasons of MX-5 Cup competition, The Jenkins Brothers launched a podium assault to begin the highly contested 2009 season of competition. The Jenkins Brothers put on an impressive show of driving mettle at Road Atlanta in the opening race of the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup series. Both Mike and Mark Jenkins scored MX-5 career-high finishes in the race, with Mark taking second place to earn his first series podium finish, while brother Mike took fourth place after starting tenth and running as high as second place in the 22-car field. Mike Jenkins’ determined driving earned him the Carbotech Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions in the field.
In addition to posting his best-yet finish in MX-5 Cup competition, Mark Jenkins showed he has the stuff for the top step of the podium by leading the most green flag laps of the 56-mile race, running seven of 22 laps at the front of the pack and putting down the fastest lap of the race (1:42.517, 89.195 mph) in the process. Mark battled for the lead with Justin Piscitell and fellow Team MER racer and eventual race winner Marc Miller throughout the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course. Said Mark of the final run to the finish, “When I was up front for a good part of the race, I was trying to break free from the draft of the guys behind me. I was working the car pretty hard and I needed to back off of it a little bit, but I backed off too much and was right back in shark-infested waters. Someone caught me from behind at 10A and sent me for a ride, which put me back, but I was able to work back up to second. The draft here is huge, so it was like a merry-go-round of a race, there was a lot of give-and-take for position. But, with five minutes to go, you take the gloves off and you just lay it down, go for it and give it what you got.”
Both Mike and Mark praised the new BFGoodrich g-Force R-1 tires, which contributed to the close racing with their predictable grip and consistent feel. Mike said of the BFGoodrich tires, “It was great to have BFG at the track supporting their product. The lead designer and engineer for the R-1 as well as three other engineers from BFG were on hand to provide technical information as well as to receive feedback in an effort to continue improving the tires. The BFG R-1s performed well, lap after lap. The tires were very consistent. BFG delivered solid grip with good feel that endured the race!”
The Jenkins Brothers thank Team MER for their support, and acknowledges team sponsors Traxxas, AMSOIL, Simpson, and PCI Radios for their contributions to the excellent finishes for both drivers