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Road Atlanta: K-PAX Racing qualifying report

Randy Pobst and K-PAX Volvo capture SPEED GT Pole Position at Road Atlanta Andy Pilgrim qualifies his Volvo S60 second Braselton Georgia, Wisconsin (September 24, 2009): Randy Pobst and Andy Pilgrim qualified their K-PAX/3R Racing Volvo S60's...

Randy Pobst and K-PAX Volvo capture SPEED GT Pole Position at Road Atlanta
Andy Pilgrim qualifies his Volvo S60 second

Braselton Georgia, Wisconsin (September 24, 2009): Randy Pobst and Andy Pilgrim qualified their K-PAX/3R Racing Volvo S60's first and second at Road Atlanta for Friday's Toyo Tires Road Atlanta Grand Prix Presented by Dish Network, Round 9 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships.

Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, drove his #1 K-PAX Volvo S60 around the serpentine 2.54 mile Road Atlanta track in 1:26.521 for an average speed of 105.685 MPH to win the pole position for Friday's SPEED GT race.

"My sister Judy is here," said a jubilant Randy Pobst after winning the pole. "She does not get to come to too many races. She helped and crewed for me early in my career. I just want to say I got this pole for my sister Judy Pobst."

"I wasn't terribly happy with the handling of my car, from one to ten in happiness I was about a five, but my K-PAX Volvo was better than yesterday afternoon," said Randy Pobst. "Will Moody read the track very well and I think we got the most out of our Toyo tires of anyone today.

"I think grip was down at Road Atlanta today but my K-PAX S60 handled in a very stable fashion and I could really trust my Volvo and that is very important at Road Atlanta. I have never driven a car harder into turn 12 than I did today in the K-PAX Volvo and I know that is where our speed is coming from."

The morning overcast gave away to the hot Georgia sun which baked the track and seemed to catch some of the teams out, but not the K-PAX team as Pobst and Pilgrim were but a very few of the drivers that seemed able to match their practice times from Wednesday.

"It is the hottest it has been all week and our Toyo tires usually slow down when the temperatures come up on the track," said Pobst. "We weren't expecting amazing times out of the #1 K-PAX Volvo but we used a setup that we thought would work."

Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton Florida, recorded a best lap of 1:27.052 (105.040 MPH) which slotted the #8 K-PAX Volvo S60 into P2 which made it an all Volvo front row. Pilgrim credited his crew for working into the night to get the #8 Volvo ready for today's qualifying.

"There was no comparison to the car I had yesterday," said Andy Pilgrim. "The crew changed the center differential yesterday and my car is almost back to what would be considered normal take up and release and the car wasn't wandering all over the race track. I am very happy with the change."

Andy Pilgrim said that he made two small errors that cost him some time but as the session shook down the mistakes probably didn't matter.

"I made two small mistakes, going into turn 10A and in turn 12 and you just can't do that on your hot lap if you expect to qualify well," Pilgrim said of his early session hot lap. "When I heard the time I thought, 'That isn't any good' but surprisingly only Randy was able to go quicker. I am not sure if I could have caught Randy anyway.

"Our Volvos are running great and the 3R guys did a great job today but I'm surprised the other guys weren't quicker. There is no reason why they wouldn't be as quick as last year. We are on the same tires and the track is in excellent condition. I am running slower than I did last year, but they were running even slower."

It was Pobst's 2nd Pole win of the 2009 season and the 3rd of the season for the K-PAX Volvos with Andy Pilgrim winning the New Jersey race from the pole earlier in the season.

As was the case with Randy's pole win at Long Beach earlier in the season Pobst lost the coin toss which inverted the top five qualifiers. This will force Pilgrim and Pobst to start in 4th and 5th positions respectively.

"Unfortunately we have to start 5th and I am really disappointed for Jim Haughey and Volvo but it all part of the show and World Challenge is a great show. I am going to come back up through the pack with Andy and win this race tomorrow!"

Pobst and Pilgrim will take the traditional World Challenge standing start in their the K-PAX/3R Racing Volvo S60s for Round Nine of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships at 4:15 PM Eastern Time on Friday September 25th for the Toyo Tires Grand Prix Presented by Dish Networks at Road Atlanta in Braselton Georgia.

-credit: k-pax/3r racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Randy Pobst