BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 27, 2006) – James Sofronas, of Newport Beach, Calif., rose to the top in the afternoon practice at Road Atlanta to tie down fastest time of the day for Round Nine of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED GT Championship. Sofronas was followed closely by Bob Woodhouse, of Blair, Neb., and Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla.-30-
Piloting the No. 14 Global Motorsports Group Porsche 911 GT3, Sofronas put together a lap of 1:27.314 (104.725 mph) around the 12-turn, 2.54-mile course.
“It feels good to be on the top of the time sheets, but we had not run on good tires all weekend,” Sofronas said. “Talking to my crew chief Todd I said ‘let’s try to get a good qualifying set up and lets run the whole session to see how the car reacts after you put five or six laps on it at this time of the day, since this is when we’re gonna race,’ to get a good race set-up.”
Despite being fastest in combined practice, Sofronas wasn’t all smiles as he left the pit lane.
“I came in on Turn 10b a little too tight and went on some of the higher curbing,” reported Sofronas. “I think it knocked the tow out and maybe the tie rod’s a little loose. It’s kind of a bummer because the setup and the chassis was perfect so Todd’s going to throw it on the scale and make sure we didn’t damage anything significant. I have confidence in Todd that he’ll fix it and make it just as good if not better than it was before.”
Woodhouse was second fastest on the day in the No. 13 Woodhouse Auto Family Dodge Viper with a time of 1:27.347 (104.686 mph). Woodhouse was followed by defending SPEED GT Champion Pilgrim in the No. 1 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/On Star/Cadillac CTS-V with a 1:27.648 (104.326 mph) to complete the top three.
Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka, Minn., improved from his morning session with a 1:27.887 (104.042 mph) behind the wheel of the No. 6 Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette C6. Max Angelelli of Monte Carlo, Monaco, completed the top five in his No. 12 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/On Star Cadillac CTS-V with a 1:28.065 (103.832 mph).
Early in the session, the No. 24 At Speed Motorsports Volvo S60R of Michael Galati caught fire on the back stretch. Galati reported flames from the exhaust ignited the driver-side door, which prompted the driver to pull off-course. Galati exited the car safely and the team hopes to have the car ready for qualifying tomorrow.
SPEED Touring Car qualifying at Road Atlanta takes place at 1:10 p.m. (EDT) Thursday, Sept. 28. To follow along on Live Timing & Scoring presented by SRT and live laps notes, log onto the SCCA Pit Board at www.world-challenge.com
Link to story: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=664