TOOELE, Utah (July 13, 2006) – SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT point leader Lawson Aschenbach, of Gaithersburg, Md., topped the field in each of today’s practice sessions at Miller Motorsports Park in preparation for Saturday’s Larry H. Miller Dealers Utah Grand Prix. Aschenbach’s Jon Groom Racing Porsche teammate Ricardo Imery, of Caracas, Venezuela, was second.
Driving the No. 66 AXA Financial Porsche 911 GT3, the rookie point leader turned a fastest time of 2:57.261 (91.106 mph) in the first of two sessions to lead all others around the 4.486-mile circuit.
“Today, we really focused on qualifying [set up] because we have been struggling on that all season,” Aschenbach said of his fast practice time. “We really wanted to make sure we had a good set up for tomorrow’s qualifying session. The pace we were running is not really sustainable, we really can’t keep it going. But, the car is great. It is surprising that this is actually a pretty good Porsche track.”
Imery, the series’ most recent winner, drove his No. 64 AXA Financial/Cavenas Elevators Porsche to second quick with a lap of 2:57.681 (90.891 mph) in the second session. Imery did not receive a time in the opening session due to a timing transponder failure on his car.
Defending series Champion Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., was third quick on the day, turning a fast time of 2:57.800 (90.830 mph) in the first session driving the No. 1 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/On Star Cadillac CTS-V.
Lou Gigliotti, who has more wins than anyone in the series in the inaugural visit to a race track (10), slotted into fourth on the day in his No. 28 LG Pro Long Tube Headers Chevrolet Corvette with a fast time of 2:57.928 (90.764 mph). Pilgrim’s teammate, Canadian Ron Fellows, was fifth, with a time of 2:57.958 (90.749 mph).
Friday’s qualifying session for Saturday’s race is scheduled for 12:50 p.m. (MDT). To follow all the action with live notes and Live Timing and Scoring Presented by SRT, please visit the event homepage via www.world-challenge.com and select the SCCA Pit Board.