Team MER - MX-5 Cup LAGUNA Report
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Team MER continues to prove why they placed three drivers in last year's Sirius Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship with another solid weekend at Round #3 of the 2007 championship at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway this past weekend. Jason Saini led every lap en-route to a victory while Team MER teammate, Andrew Caddell worked his way to 5th place at the end.

Saini took the lead on the opening lap as the leader slid wide entering the corkscrew. From there he stretched the lead, turning consistent fast laps to pull off an over 5-second victory, his second of three races in 2007.

Wow, what a hard fought weekend, said Saini Team MER is awesome. We came off the truck this weekend a little behind the curve, but we kept making changes to the car. We discovered a set-up that worked for all of our team cars.

Caddell (Pinnacle Mazda / Team MER / AIM) overcame a blown motor in practice on Friday to rebound with a 5th place finish, moving up from his 12th place starting position. The 18-year-old driver now sits in 5th place in the championship hunt.

Both Rick Bellew (B&W Supply / Team MER) and Forest Barber (Team MER / Feeds the Need Racing) had an up and down race, as at one time they were both in the top-10 until Barber was clipped from behind and sent spinning, leaving several cars, including Bellew scattering. The drivers recovered from several incidents to finish in 17th and 19th respectfully. Donnie Barners (Team MER), who joined the team for this weekend and will also compete at Portland, finished 22nd in the 29-car field.

Patrick Barrett (Alpinestars / AustismSpeaks / Team MER) took to his first event quickly and was in the top portion of the grid in every session, eventually qualifying 9th. A bad start pushed him back to 16th early on but the driver fought his way back up to 7th before his engine expired with eight laps to go.

This was a rough weekend in terms of results, other than Jason and Andrew, said Shannon McMasters, Team MER owner. The good news is that all the drivers had fast and consistent race cars, just on-track incidents kept more of them out of the top 10. Portland will hopefully be a great weekend for us.

Team MER is currently preparing for the next SCCA Sirius Satellite Mazda MX-5 Cup Round #4 at Portland Int'l Raceway on June 9-10 in support of the Champ Car World Series.

Team MER drivers point standings: Saini (1st - 96 pts), Caddell (5th - 50), Smrz (12th - 35 pts), Bellew (13th - 34), Barber (17th - 29) Foss (18th - 28)
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