CANADA (July 7, 2007) – Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., captured his first SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship pole of the season today for Sunday’s Round Six race at the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto. Pobst’s K-PAX Racing Porsche teammate Michael Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio, will start second.
Driving the No. 22 K-PAX Racing/Jim Haughey Porsche 911 GT3, Pobst turned a fast time of 1:15.261 (83.947 mph) around the 11-turn 1.755-mile street circuit at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. The lap was just 0.130-second faster than that of teammate Galati, who earned the pole at Charlotte.
“I think the Porsches are well suited to this Toronto course,” Pobst said. “We’re one of the lightest cars in the class and we have the smallest engine. In this series, those two go hand-in-hand. This is a Porsche type of track. It’s going to be really hard on brakes. I’m hoping that there will be a lot of green flag racing, but I also think that a lot of green flag racing is not likely. The Toronto Grand Prix circuit is very challenging and in many corners, the slightest mistake is met with a concrete wall.”
With only one practice session on Friday prior to qualifying, Pobst was glad he had additional seat time on the weekend by driving in SCCA SPEED Touring Car as well.
“Driving both series for me is an advantage because I get more track time,” he said. “Teams have to react quickly here in terms of setup. My practice times weren’t good because I kept coming into the pits to make adjustments. I could see that this track requires something really different from what we ran at Watkins Glen and earlier in the season.”
Galati, who led practice Friday in his No. 23 K-PAX Racing/Jim Haughey Porsche 911 GT3, came up just short of his second pole of the season, but made it an all-Porsche front row with a time of 1:15.391 (83.803 mph).
Local favorite Ron Fellows, of nearby Mississauga, Ontario, led an all-Team Cadillac second row with a fastest time of 1:15.403 (83.789 mph) in his No. 16 XM/Mobil 1 Motorola/Bose Cadillac CTS-V. Point leader Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., will start fourth in his No. 8 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose Cadillac CTS-V with a time of 1:16.096 (83.026 mph).
Utah winner Tommy Archer, of Duluth, Minn., will start fifth in his No. 5 Mopar/Autohaus Motorsport Dodge Viper after setting a fast time of 1:16.184 (82.930 mph).
The session was stopped before all drivers were able to get in their first flying lap when Lou Gigliotti brushed the wall and his Chevrolet Corvette became disabled in Turn Three.The top four drivers all turned their fastest times before the red flag period, while Archer’s time came later in the session.
Rookie Brian Kubinski (Chevrolet Corvette), Eric Curran (Chevrolet Corvette), Lawson Aschenbach (Cadillac CTS-V), Doug Peterson (Chevrolet Corvette) and James Sofronas (Porsche 911 GT3) completed the top 10.
Pobst, as well as Galati and Sofronas, will all be coming off an SCCA SPEED Touring Car race prior to the SCCA SPEED GT race. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-90s (35°C), with humidity pushing the heat index over 100°F (40°C).
Sunday’s race is scheduled to begin at 5:25 p.m. (EDT).
Live timing and lap notes are available via the SCCA Pit Board at world-challenge.com. The race will be broadcast Sat., July 14 at 12 p.m. (EDT) on SPEED.