LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 13, 2007) – Defending race winner Ron Fellows, of Mississauga, Ontario, paced the opening practice for Sunday’s SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Round Two race, part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Michael Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio, and Lou Gigliotti, of Dallas, Texas, completed the top three.-30-
Driving the No. 16 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose Cadillac CTS-V, Fellows turned a fastest lap of 1:26.670 (81.745 mph) on his fifth lap around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street circuit. The lap was 0.324-second shy of Tommy Archer’s 2006 qualifying mark of 1:26.346.
“I enjoy the street circuits,” said Fellows. “Especially from the Trans-Am stuff I’ve done in the past. It’s fun be aggressive on the streets with lined concrete walls, but staying out of trouble is key. On a street circuit, even making a small mistake, you could hit a concrete wall and that makes it tough. You need to be aggressive and very precise at the same time.
“The nice thing is the Cadillac is similar to the Trans-Am cars and similar to the Showroom Stock Camaro I raced in Canada. It feels pretty comfortable out here.”
Making his second appearance in the No. 23 K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 and his first laps around the Long Beach circuit, five-time series Champion Galati turned a fastest lap of 1:27.035 (81.402 mph) midway through the 25-minute session.
Gigliotti, who led the first seven laps of the 2006 race, was third in his No. 28 LG Pro Long Tube Headers Chevrolet Corvette with a fast time of 1:27.187 (81.260 mph).
Fellows’ teammate Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., was fourth quick in the No. 8 Cadillac with a fast time of 1:27.302. Sonny Whelen, of Old Saybrook, Conn., completed the top five in his No. 31 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette with a time of 1:27.664.
In all, 32 cars turned a time in the session. The series hits the track for the only time Saturday at 9:35 a.m. (Pacific). To follow the session via live timing and scoring as well as live notes, please visit the SCCA Pit Board through www.world-challenge.com.
Link to story: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=783