LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 1, 2005) – Bill Auberlen, of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., had not competed in any of the last four SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car rounds, but there were no hints of rust on driver or car as the blue and yellow No. 1 Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs BMW 325i cruised around the 1.53-mile course at Lime Rock Park to win the Air Force Reserve Pole for Saturday’s Round Six race with a lap time of 57.844 seconds (95.223 mph).-30-
Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., will start on the front row with Auberlen in the No. 73 Mazdaspeed/Tri-Point Motorsports Mazda 6, and rookie Brandon Davis, of Huntington Beach, Calif., who earned the best qualifying spot in his career in the No. 44 A-SPEC/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, will start third.
Although it appeared Auberlen had little trouble in making his way to the front of the line, the driver said that getting there took a slightly different path from other poles he had won.
“This one’s a little bit different than what I’m used to,” Auberlen said of his 12th-career World Challenge pole. “Normally, we’re out in the top 10 [on the grid based on points]. This time I started the session dead last out of pit lane, so I had a very, very narrow window to hit a lap.
“I made it just in one lap and I even caught traffic on that lap. After that, I was pretty much stuck in traffic, so we just pulled it in and crossed our fingers.”Auberlen said that while having the pole was good, he was going to keep his digits locked because of his past race history at Lime Rock.
“The only advantage we have is maybe at the start where the rear wheel drive will sneak away—hopefully, if I can make it through turn one. I’ve not made it through turn one here twice—I got spun out twice. Hopefully, we can just get away clean at the start.
“It’s going to be a very tough race. The Acuras are carrying a lot of weight and it looks like they’ll fall off after time. I don’t know about [Eric] Curran, Randy [Pobst] and [Jeff] Altenburg though.”
Davis’ RealTime teammates Eric Curran, of South Deerfield, Mass. (No. 44 A-SPECRealTime Racing Acura RSX), and point leader Peter Cunningham, of West Bend, Wis. (No. 42 A-SPEC/RealTime Racing Acura TSX), will start fourth and fifth, respectively.
The race is set for 4:10 p.m. and will be broadcast on SPEED Channel on Sunday, July 3, at 4 p.m. All times are Eastern.
To follow Saturday’s race via live timing and scoring, visit www.world-challenge.com.
To visit the Lime Rock Park event page, use this link: http://www.world-challenge.com/2005/events/lrp