LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 7, 2009) – Brandon Davis, of Huntington Beach, Calif., captured his third SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT pole position of 2009 today for Sunday’s Toyo Tires World Challenge Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Presented by Dish Network at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., completed the front row.
Driving the No. 10 Applied Computer Solutions/Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang Cobra, Davis turned a fastest time of 1:26.497 (93.977 mph) around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile circuit. It is Davis’ sixth-career pole and his third of 2009, after Mosport International Raceway and Watkins Glen International.
“We ran three hot laps,” Davis said. “The first one was quick, but the second one was faster and then on the third one, the car started to go away, so we pulled in and let it cool off. I don’t think we could have gone faster, but we were prepared to defend, just in case.
“The car was awesome. I think, when it starts to get slippery, our car gets quick, so the cloud cover helped us out a lot and didn’t put as much wear on the tires. But we’ll see during the race, because we’ve had a lot of issues with tire wear, especially compared to some of the lighter cars and the all-wheel drive cars. It should be an interesting race. For example, at Watkins Glen, we thought we’d be fastest in the race and then we were the fourth or fifth quickest car. Hopefully, the pace will translate into the race and we can come away with a win.”
While Davis has been the fastest qualifier at two previous events, he was relegated to the fifth starting position on the grid, after losing the post-qualifying coin-toss, which then inverted the five fastest qualifiers. For the third time, the coin came up heads, but this time, the 23-year old called it correctly, keeping the first starting spot.
“I finally got that monkey off my back!” Davis added. “It’s been tough, qualifying on the pole and not being able to start there, so it feels good to be able to qualify in front and actually start in front.”
Now the point leader by 49 points, Davis still seeks his first win of the season, looking to become the seventh different winner in as many races.
Like Davis, Pilgrim registered a fast lap on his second time around the track in the No. 8 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 to put him second on the time charts and the only other car under a 1:27. After taking a five minute break mid-session, Pilgrim went out for one last attempt and improved to a 1:26.601 (93.865 mph), just 0.104-second off the pole.
“I don’t think we could have gone any faster,” Davis said of Pilgrim’s second run. “He really had us covered. It’s frightening actually, that our car was good for the first two laps and then fell off, and Andy went out past that and he was only a tenth off. He could very well be quicker than us in the race.”
Polesitter at Autobahn Country Club two weeks ago, James Sofronas, of Newport Beach, Calif., put the No. 14 Global Motorsports Group Porsche 911 GT3 third on the grid, with a 1:27.042 (93.389 mph) to lead a Porsche trio that completed the top five.
Tony Rivera, of Missouri City, Texas, was fourth quickest in his No. 97 Tax Masters/Brass Monkey Racing Porsche 911 GT3, with a 1:27.113 (93.313 mph). Dino Crescentini, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., was fifth in the No. 4 Stoptech/GMG Porsche 911 GT3 with a lap of 1:27.409 (92.997 mph).
After changing an engine and missing all of practice, 2007 Mid-Ohio winner Eric Curran qualified sixth in his No. 30 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette. Ritch Marziale (Dodge Viper), Charles Putman (Dodge Viper), Bill Ziegler (Porsche 911 GT3) and Jeff Courtney (Dodge Viper) completed the top 10.
Two-time defending series Champion, and the series’ most recent winner in Joliet, Ill. two weeks ago, Randy Pobst failed to turn a time in his Volvo after a persistent gearbox problem ended his session on its first lap.
The series takes Saturday off before the lights go out on the standing start Sunday at 11:30 a.m. (EDT). To follow live lap notes, timing and streaming audio, visit www.world-challenge.com. Sunday’s race will be broadcast on Sept. 1 at 2 p.m. (EDT) on SPEED.
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