James Sofronas and Andy Lee claimed Motul Pole Awards in GT and GTS, resectivley, and will start on the inside of row one in each class for Round Seven of the Pirelli World Challenge for the Cadillac V-Series Challenge, part of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
Sofronas threw down the fastest lap in the closing minutes of the 20-minute qualifying session. Following a mid-session adjustment to his No. 14 GMG/Mobil 1 Audi R8, Sofronas ripped off a lap of 1:33.059 (90.910 mph) around the reconfigured 2.35-mile, 13-turn street course. The time was quicker than the pole speed for Saturday's race.
“It's all about giving feedback to my engineer, Jim Bell,” Sofronas said. “I told him I had some mid-corner understeer and he called me into the pits. We made the change, and my car chief said ‘Go get it done.' I felt like I came within inches of the wall in five different corners. I've never, actually, driven that hard on a qualifying lap, but I knew how important these points are. We definitely have a lot of points to make up, especially after yesterday, and we're trying to capture as many points as possible. Now, I just need to capitalize in the race.”
Randy Pobst held the provisional pole for most of the qualifying session in his No. 6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60. However, with a time of 1:33.154 (90.817 mph), Pobst, as he did for Saturday's race, will start second on Sunday.
Johnny O'Connell will take to the lights, in today's standing start, in the third position with a time of 1:33.368 (90.609 mph), in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R. While the time was better than his pole-winning pace for Round Six, O'Connell will need to develop strategy to pass Sofronas and Pobst if he wishes to complete the Detroit sweep.
O'Connell's teammate, Andy Pilgrim completes the all-Cadillac row two, starting in fourth. The No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R registered a time of 1:33.989 (90.010 mph).
Duncan Ende has showed good pace in qualifying, notching his third top-five qualifying effort in Pirelli World Challenge competition. Ende, driving the No 24 STANDD.org/Merchant Services Audi R8, put in a time of 1:34.798 (89.242 mph) for fifth on the grid.
Lee collected his fourth GTS pole this year behind the wheel of the No. 20 Best IT/Bondurant/Crown Seven Chevrolet Camaro. Like the GT polesitter, Lee's time of 1:40.238 (84.399 mph) set the new high-water mark for the new Belle Isle circuit layout.
“We learned a lot of the race and qualifying yesterday,” Lee said. “We sat down, looked at a lot of data and we almost did a complete 180 on the car setup. It's been working really well and we're looking to keep it up front.
“It seems like déjà vu with Jack Baldwin. He was really pressuring me last year [at Detroit], and I feel like it will come down to whoever can keep their tires freshest for the end. That Porsche does really good on tires, so I think that's my biggest objective, to save the car as much as I can. It just depends on how much pressure Jack puts on me.”
Baldwin will start on the outside pole for the GTS field for today's race. In the No. 73 Motul/StopTech/Foametix Porsche Cayman, Baldwin stopped the watch at 1:40.376 (84.281 mph).
The No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro, with Lawson Aschenbach behind the wheel, will start in third with a time of 1:41.248 (83.557 mph).Peter Cunningham will take the lights from the fourth position on the grid with a lap of 1:41.656 (83.221 mph), in the No. 42 Acura/HPD/RealTime Racing Acura TSX. Dane Moxlow will start in the fifth position in the No. 7 Trenton Forging/Eaton Steel/Huntington Bank Ford Mustang Boss 302, with a time of 1:42.250 (82.738 mph).
1, GT, (14), James Sofronas, Villa Park, Calif., Audi R8 LMS, 1:33.059, 90.910.
2, GT, (6), Randy Pobst, Gainesville, Ga., Volvo S60, 1:33.154, 90.817.
3, GT, (3), Johnny O'Connell, Flowery Branch, Ga., Cadillac CTS-V.R, 1:33.368, 90.609.
4, GT, (8), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Cadillac CTS-V.R, 1:33.989, 90.010.
5, GT, (24), Duncan Ende, Los Angeles, Calif., Audi R8 LMS, 1:34.798, 89.242.
6, GT, (9), Alex Figge, Denver, Colo., Volvo S60, 1:35.289, 88.782.
7, GT, (46), Tomy Drissi, Los Angeles, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 1:35.559, 88.531.
8, GT, (12), Mike Skeen, Charlotte, N.C., Nissan GTR, 1:36.146, 87.991.
9, GT, (54), Tim Pappas, Boston, Mass., Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3, 1:36.656, 87.526.
1, GTS, (20), Andy Lee, Colorado Springs, Colo., Chevrolet Camaro, 1:40.238, 84.399.
2, GTS, (73), Jack Baldwin, Marietta, Ga., Porsche Cayman S, 1:40.378, 84.281.
3, GTS, (10), Lawson Aschenbach, Jupiter, Fla., Chevrolet Camaro, 1:41.248, 83.557.
4, GTS, (42), Peter Cunningham, Milwaukee, Wis., Acura TSX, 1:41.656, 83.221.
5, GTS, (7), Dane Moxlow, Grosse Ile, Mich., Ford Mustang Boss 302S, 1:42.250, 82.738.
6, GTS, (38), Mark Wilkins, Toronto, Ontario, Kia Optima, 1:42.388, 82.626.
7, GTS, (34), Nick Esayian, San Diego, Calif., Acura TSX, 1:42.935, 82.187.
8, GTS, (50), Dean Martin, Westland, Mich., Ford Mustang Boss 302S, 1:43.013, 82.125.
9, GTS, (17), Alec Udell, The Woodlands, Texas, Ford Mustang Boss 302R, 1:43.360, 81.849.
10, GTS, (69), Craig Capaldi(R), Richmond, Mich., Ford Mustang Boss 302, 1:44.902, 80.646.
11, GTS, (11), Tony Gaples, Libertyville, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 1:44.946, 80.612.
12, GTS, (55), Richard Golinello, Tampa, Fla., Ford Mustang 302S, 1:44.982, 80.585.
13, GTS, (96), Brad Adams, New Orleans, La., Ford Mustang Boss 302S, 1:45.191, 80.425.
14, GTS, (61), Jim Taggart(R), Raleigh, N.C., Lotus Exige, 1:45.437, 80.237.
15, GTS, (51), Ric Bushey, Virginia Beach, Va., Nissan 370 Z, 1:45.554, 80.148.
16, GTS, (23), Roger Miller, Salt Lake City, Utah, Ford Mustang Boss 302S, 1:45.880, 79.901.
17, GTS, (07), Brian Kleeman, Towson, Md., Nissan 370 Z, 1:46.329, 79.564.
18, GTS, (21), Ardee Toppe, The Woodlands, Texas, Ford Mustang Boss 302, 1:47.718, 78.538.
19, GTS, (39), Todd Napieralski, Chelsea, Mich., Chevrolet Camaro, 1:47.753, 78.512.
20, GTS, (29), Harry Curtin, Buffalo, N.Y., Chevrolet Camaro, 1:47.958, 78.363.
21, GTS, (52), Roger Rodas(R), El Salvador, Ford Boss 302S, 1:48.895, 77.689.
22, GTS, (75), Erik Davis(R), Burbank, Calif., Ford Mustang Boss 302S, 1:49.638, 77.163.
23, GTS, (72), Buz McCall, Boca Raton, Fla., Porsche Cayman S, 1:49.812, 77.040.
24, GTS, (95), Bill Ziegler, Ponte Verde Beach, Fla., Pontiac Solstice, 1:58.246, 71.545.
25, GTS, (36), Nic Jonsson, Sweden, Kia Optima, no time.