LEXINGTON, Ohio (May 20, 2006) - Lou Gigliotti, of Dallas, captured his second SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship pole of 2006, and will lead the 31-car field to the standing start of today's race, presented by Trenton Forging Quality Formed Solutions, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Lawson Aschenbach, of Gaithersburg, Md., will complete the front row.-30-
Driving the No. 28 LG Pro Long Tube Headers Chevrolet Corvette C6, Gigliotti turned a fastest time of 1:26.973 (93.463 mph) around the 2.258-mile circuit to take the pole by 0.873-second. Gigliotti"s lap was just off the track record of 1:26.820 (93.628 mph) set by Wolf Henzler in 2005.
Gigliotti starts from the front row for the third time in four attempts this season. He has led all three previous races, and has the most laps led this season, but has yet to visit victory circle. The three-time series Champion has previously won at Mid-Ohio, in 1994.
"The tires are so good on the first two laps that you’ve got to have a special ability to squeeze everything you can out of them,” Gigliotti said. “I’ve gotten pretty good at it. This is my 25th pole.
“The other cars have more performance at the end of the race if we go green [the whole race]. For whatever reason, engineering, chassis design, whatever reason, if we don’t get a yellow, our car deteriorates. Even though we go faster in the race, their cars lose less. But if we get a yellow, we’re golden.”
Aschenbach turned a fastest time of 1:27.846 (92.534 mph) in the No. 66 AXA Financial Porsche 911 GT3 to earn his first-career front-row starting position. He was one spot better than N. Canton, Ohio’s Michael McCann, who turned a 1:27.969 (92.405 mph) in his No. 82 McCann Plastics/K&N Filters Dodge Viper. With Aschenbach earning four points for his qualifying effort and McCann earning three, the two are now tied atop the series point standings, with 77.
Michael Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio, qualified fourth in his first series appearance of 2006 with a time of 1:28.002 (92.370 mph) in the No. 24 At Speed Motorsports Volvo S60R. Galati is the only three-time series winner at Mid-Ohio and is the series’ only five-time Champion.
Johnny O’Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga., will start fifth in the No. 16 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/On Star Cadillac CTS-V, with a fast time of 1:28.008 (92.364 mph).
Today’s Round Four race will make its standing start at 6:05 p.m. (EDT). Live Timing and Scoring Presented by SRT, as well as live lap notes, can be accessed via the SCCA Pit Board at www.world-challenge.com. Today’s race will be broadcast on SPEED Channel next Saturday, May 27 at 9 p.m.
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