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Road Atlanta: Ian Baas qualifying report

Baas Makes Think First Appearance; Qualifies Seventh For Friday's SPEED World Challenge TC Race BRASELTON, Ga., Oct. 4 - Ian Baas of Noblesville, Ind., qualified seventh Thursday afternoon at Road Atlanta for Friday morning's SPEED World ...

Baas Makes Think First Appearance; Qualifies Seventh For Friday's SPEED World Challenge TC Race

BRASELTON, Ga., Oct. 4 - Ian Baas of Noblesville, Ind., qualified seventh Thursday afternoon at Road Atlanta for Friday morning's SPEED World Challenge Touring Car race.

Baas's fastest lap in the STaSIS Motorsport Audi A4 No. 18 was timed in 1:33.661 for an average speed of 97.628 miles per hour for the 2.54-mile road course. The top 11 drivers were within one second of the new track record set by the driver who won the pole, Michael Galati, with a 1:32.956 (98.369 mph). The top five drivers all broke the previous mark.

"I knew we didn't have a pole car - we've been chasing the set-up here - but we have a good car for the race," Baas said. "The field is really close.

"We've stayed consistent all week," he added. "I was seventh and fifth yesterday. We've nailed down a good set-up. We don't have enough time to really develop it more, so we'll take what we have and see how we can do tomorrow."

Baas' Audi advertises Team Janica Racing, silvertrek.com, STaSIS, Clear Capital, Nally Audi and a charity that Baas helps, the Think First National Injury Foundation.

On Monday Baas represented Think First during a visit to the Shepherd Center, a catastrophic care hospital located at 2020 Peachtree Road NW in Atlanta.

"It's a really neat place; they have all sorts of equipment to help people who are paralyzed," Baas said. "They even have special rigging that can simulate walking for someone who is paralyzed.

"My visit was very informal, but it was good for both them and me because they're really cool guys," Baas continued. "One of them is a big SPEED World Challenge fan. He watches all the races on SPEED and really follows the series. One guy who works there is going to come to our race tomorrow too. There was a Formula 1 boat racer there, and just a lot of interesting people. They have a murder ball team; that's a lot like rugby for people in wheelchairs. It's really rough, which is how it got its name.

"Hopefully my visit helped brighten one afternoon for them, anyway," he added.

Friday's race will be broadcast at 2 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, Oct. 13 on SPEED. Live timing and scoring of the 50-minute race will be available at 10:45 a.m. Eastern tomorrow on the series' Web site at world-challenge.com. Fans can keep up to date on Baas's schedule throughout the year on his Web site at ianbaasracing.com. Information on STaSIS can be found at stasisengineering.com.

The season finale is Oct. 19-21 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.

-credit: restart communications

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Series PWC
Drivers Michael Galati , Ian Baas