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Mosport: Series Touring Car qualifying report

Herr Takes Mosport Pole for SPEED Touring Car CANADA (Aug. 23, 2008) -- Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., captured his third pole of the season in preparation for Sunday's SPEED Touring Car Presented by Toyo Tires race. Teammate Michal Galati, of ...

Herr Takes Mosport Pole for SPEED Touring Car

CANADA (Aug. 23, 2008) -- Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., captured his third pole of the season in preparation for Sunday's SPEED Touring Car Presented by Toyo Tires race. Teammate Michal Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio, made it an all-Tindol Motorsports front row for Round Nine of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship, part of the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport at Mosport International Raceway.

Herr wasted no time around the 2.459-mile, 10-turn course in Bomanville, Ontario, clicking off a fast lap of 1:29.736 (98.649 mph) on his first flying lap of the 20-minute session. This is the third-consecutive year Herr will start on the front row at Mosport, but the first year he'll do it in the No. 97 Mazdaspeed/Tindol Motorsports MAZDA6.

"I think [my success at Mosport] goes back to racing Spec Miata and what a momentum track this is," Herr said. "I did really well with the Audi too, but it rained on those races, which helped a lot. Tindol Motorsports have been giving me the best car all year. This is the best it's felt, because I've been learning all year, and this is all new to me. Michael Galati's been a great mentor. To run within less than 0.1-second of each other all weekend and now have a Tindol Motorsports front row is amazing. I feel really good about the car. It's been a great weekend, and I've got to thank my crew Barry [Trivette], Paul [Lefever], Chris Tindol and Dave Wood Mazda. It really is a team effort."

With a qualifying lap of 1:29.836 (98.539 mph), Galati will start his No. 95 Mazda North America/Tindol MAZDA6 alongside his teammate. Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, will start his No. 74 Mazdaspeed/Stoptech/Racinghart MAZDA6 third after entering a 1:30.124 (98.224 mph) in qualifying. Saini only needs to start Sunday's race to clinch the Rookie of the Year title in SPEED Touring Car.

Herr was not only excited to be starting next to his teammate, but to have three Mazdas at the front of the grid as well.

"This is huge," Herr said. "I don't know how it's going to pan out. It'd be great if I could keep the lead and Galati would hang in there behind me and make his car wide. We have a Mazda one-two-three on the grid right now and it would be great if we could hang onto that to show Mazda how hard we've worked. Acura's pretty much wrapped up the Manufacturers' Championship, so it makes it difficult to put a dent in that, but it looks good at the end of the year and going into 2009."

Road America race winner James Clay, of Blacksburg, Va., will start his No. 36 BimmerWorld BMW 325i fourth. Clay turned a 1:30.337 (97.993 mph) in qualifying.

Currently third in the point standings, Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., qualified the No. 43 Acura/RealTime/Eibach/Red Line Oil Acura TSX in fifth with a 1:30.360 (97.968 mph).

Clay's BimmerWorld teammate, Seth Thomas (BMW 325i), will start sixth, followed by rookie Jim Daniels (MAZDA6).

Point leader Kuno Wittmer (Acura TSX) qualified a disappointing eighth, but the man chasing him in the points, Peter Cunningham (Acura TSX), will start one spot behind in ninth. Charlie Putman (MAZDA6) completes the top 10 on the grid.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Pierre Kleinubing , Michael Galati , Peter Cunningham , James Clay , Kuno Wittmer , Chip Herr , Chris Tindol , Seth Thomas , Charlie Putman , Jim Daniels , Jason Saini