MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 21, 2006) – Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka, Minn., captured his second SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT pole of the season today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and will lead the field for Sunday’s season finale, part of the Monterey Sports Car Championships. Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., will complete the front row.-30-
Driving the No. 6 Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette C6, Reese turned a fastest lap of 1:28.463 (91.075 mph) around the undulating 2.238-mile circuit to score the fourth pole position of his career, book-ending the 2006 season after recording pole at the season-opening round at Sebring in March.
“I’m thrilled, and here’s the funny thing. I made two little mistakes on my first lap. On the second lap, I made no mistakes, yet it was eight-tenths slower,” Reese said. “The tires are great tires and they stay under you, but you get one extraordinary lap and if you can work the traffic and not make any mistakes, it’s really to your advantage.
I’m not sure how good of a car we have for a long run, but certainly for a short run in qualifying, it’s pretty good. We were in the top five the whole weekend. There has been remarkable parity, especially in positions three through seven here in the GT field. We just got a good lap in.
I’ve been having a tough time with the starts in World Challenge so I better rectify that situation by tomorrow. If we can get a clean start, we can go out there and fight for the win.”
Pobst, who was brought in to assist Porsche’s effort in securing the Manufacturers’ Championship Presented by RACER Magazine, kept turning laps in an attempt to secure the pole in his No. 23 At Speed Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3, but could only get to within 0.077-second of Reese, with a 1:28.540 (90.996 mph).
Monaco’s Max Angelelli, who was also brought in for this race in an attempt to help in the Manufacturers’ Championship, but for Cadillac, will start Sunday’s race third in his No. 12 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/On Star Cadillac CTS-V after turning a lap of 1:29.110 (90.414 mph). James Sofronas, of Huntington Beach, Calif., will start fourth in his No. 14 Global Motorsports Group Porsche 911 GT3 and Ricardo Imery, of Caracas, Ven., completed the top five in the qualifying session in his No. 64 AXA Financial/Cavenas Elevators Porsche 911 GT3.
Dodge enters the race with a five-point advantage over both Cadillac and Porsche in the fight for the Manufacturers’ title. However, the best Dodge in qualifying was Michael McCann, of N. Canton, Ohio, in seventh, behind the three Porsches and the Cadillacs of Angelelli and O’Connell (sixth). Tommy Archer (Dodge Viper) will start eighth, followed by Andy Pilgrim (Cadillac) and Lawson Aschenbach (Porsche).
Aschenbach leads the Drivers’ Championship standings by seven over Pilgrim. Lou Gigliotti, who qualified 14th in his Corvette, is third, eight out of the lead. Imery (24 back) and Archer (28 back) are also still mathematically eligible for the Drivers’ Championship, with 32 points remaining in Sunday’s race.
Sunday’s race, which makes its standing start at 2 p.m. (Pacific), will be broadcast Saturday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. (Eastern). Live Timing & Scoring presented by SRT and live race notes are available on the SCCA Pit Board through www.world-challenge.com. Click on the event link from the series’ home page.
Link to story: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=714