Lonnie Pechnik Scores First Career Pole in Flying Lizard Porsche; Alex Job Porsches Second,Third With Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 4th --All the Porsche ALMS GT teams in the championship points battle are in the hunt for Sunday's Toronto...
Lonnie Pechnik Scores First Career Pole in Flying Lizard Porsche; Alex Job Porsches Second,Third With Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 4th
--All the Porsche ALMS GT teams in the championship points battle are in the hunt for Sunday's Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport, including the points-leading Darren Law/Johannes van Overbeek Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, which qualified fifth; Alex Job's 22-race qualifying streak ends-
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada - August 7, 2004 - Lonnie Pechnik, from Pacific Grove, Calif., and a race car driving instructor, earned his first professional racing pole by qualifying first on the GT grid and setting a GT qualifying record in his # 44 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Pechnik, who will be co-driving with Seth Neiman, from Hillsborough, Calif., has qualified well the last several events, but didn't think his time of 1:18.365 would hold up for the pole position.
"I was sure the Alex Job or White Lightning Porsche would get into the 17s, but the two-lap qualifying format doesn't allow for much flexibility, so I guess they couldn't get that perfect lap. We've tested here, and our crew did a great job setting the Porsche up for this circuit," said Pechnik.
The GT class qualifying record at Mosport had been held by German driver Dirk Mueller, set in a BMW M3 V8 in 2001. Alex Job Racing had won the pole position in 22 straight events dating back to May, 2002 (when Kevin Buckler of The Racer's Group grabbed the pole in his Porsche 911 GT3 RS).
The other Flying Lizard Porsche, the # 45 entry driven by GT points leaders Darren Law and Johannes van Overbeek, Mid-Ohio winners, qualified fifth, but right in front of them are the drivers chasing the Lizards for the drivers championship.
Second on the grid is the # 23 Alex Job Racing McKenna mail2web.com Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister and Timo Bernhard, Sebring and Infineon Raceay winners, while third is the other Alex Job Porsche of Romain Dumas/Marc Lieb, winners at
the last event at at Portland. Fourth is the David Murry/Craig Stranton Petersen/White Lightning Porsche - third place finishers two weeks ago in Portland.
The first non-Porsche on the grid is the Panoz Esperante of Gunner Jeannette/David Saelens, while defending GT champion Sascha Maassen, driving the BAM! YES Network Porsche is seventh after a transmission problem during morning practice.
The Ferrari of Kelleners/Lazarro is eight, with the J3 Racing Porsche of Justin Jackson/Tim Sugden ninth and the PK Sport Porsche of Tony Burgess/Piers Masarati tenth.
The two The Racer's Group Porsches both ran into bad luck on Saturday, with the # 67 Jim Matthews/Pierre Ehret Porsche withdrawn from the event after Matthews hit the wall at turn # 1 during morning practice. The # 66 The Racer's Group Porsche, driven by Patrick Long and Cort Wagner, will start from the back of the pack on Sunday after Patrick crashed at turn two during the final warm- up session before qualifying. Long was taken to the track medical center after the incident as a precaution, and was released shortly thereafter. Long and the doctor will decide in the morning whether Patrick will race in tomrrow's event.
The Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport will be televised live on CBS-TV starting at 1:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Sunday, August 8 (the race starts at noon - the network will join the event at 1:00 PM and "edit-on-the-fly" to bring the viewship an action-packed, two-hour show).