LEXINGTON, Ohio (May 21, 2005) – Randy Pobst earned his second Air Force Reserve Pole Position of the season Saturday morning, taking the top spot into Sunday’s SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Presented by Trenton Forging Quality Formed Solutions race after posting a qualifying record time of 1:33.463 (86.973 mph) at the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. -30-
Pobst took control early in his No. 73 Mazdaspeed/Tri-Point Motorsports Mazda 6, sliding into the top spot after the first few laps with a 1:33.735, breaking the record of 1:34.160 set by Matt Plumb in an Acura TSX in 2004. Moments later, he improved that time to set the 1:33.463 mark.
“Qualifying is for taking risks,” Pobst said. “The second lap is where I took a risk. Turn 11 is really cool because you accelerate over a blind crest. When I entered that corner, I got power really early and I knew it was going to be borderline, so I just kept my foot down.
“The Mazda came over the hill, spun the Toyos a little bit, got wide and I banked it off the curb on the exit of eleven, which is like the ultimate, last-minute, turn-a-hot-lap line. And it worked.”
Bob Stretch also topped Plumb’s mark and will start second Sunday morning in the No. 98 Wheels America/O’Kell’s Fireplace BMW 325Ci (1:34.015, 86.462 mph).
The RealTime Racing TSXs, which won in the hands of Plumb in 2004, showed very well Saturday, taking the next three spots on the grid. Team and series point leader Peter Cunningham, in the No. 42 A-SPEC/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, paced his stable of drivers with a 1:34.133 (86.354 mph), followed by Pierre Kleinubing in the No. 43 TSX (1:34.215, 86.279 mph) and rookie Brandon Davis, who set a new career-best by qualifying fifth in the similar No. 44 car (1:34.254, 86.243 mph).
Dino Crescentini matched Davis’ qualifying time in the No. 74 Mazdaspeed/Centric/Tri-Point Motorsport Mazda 6 but will start sixth because Davis posted a better second-fastest lap time.
The SPEED Touring Car race is scheduled for Sunday morning at 9:20 am (EDT). To follow the race via live timing and scoring, and for all other information including results and recaps, visit www.world-challenge.com. Sunday’s race will be broadcast on SPEED Channel Saturday, May 28 at 3:00 p.m.
To visit the SPEED World Challenge Mid-Ohio event homepage, use this link: http://www.world-challenge.com/2005/events/moh/