Fellows and Pilgrim Occupy the Second Row for the Toronto SPEED World Challenge GT Race Aschenbach Qualifies Third Cadillac CTS-V Race Car Eighth on Grid TORONTO, Ontario, July 7, 2007 - Ron Fellows continued his recent transcontinental racing...
Fellows and Pilgrim Occupy the Second Row for the Toronto SPEED World
Challenge GT Race
Aschenbach Qualifies Third Cadillac CTS-V Race Car Eighth on Grid
TORONTO, Ontario, July 7, 2007 - Ron Fellows continued his recent transcontinental racing duties in varied machinery today by qualifying his No. 16 Cadillac CTS- V race car third for Sunday's SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT race in Toronto, Ontario. Full-time Cadillac driver and current drivers championship points leader Andy Pilgrim pushed his No. 8 CTS- V race car to the limit on his first hot lap and will start in the second row alongside Fellows. In his first qualifying session on the tight 1.75-mile street circuit, with only several laps of practice under his belt, the No. 1 CTS- V driven by reigning SPEED GT champion Lawson Aschenbach progressed through the session to ultimately fill the eighth spot on the grid.
Meanwhile, the two K-Pax Racing Porsche 911 GT3s driven by teammates Randy Pobst and Michael Galati took the front row of the grid, qualifying first and second respectively as both achieved their quickest laps in their first hot lap around the circuit.
After the first hot lap, the front of the grid was virtually set with Pobst at 1:15:261, Galati at 1:15:391, Fellows at 1:15:580 and Pilgrim at 1:16:096. Shortly after those fast laps were posted, Lou Gigliotti spun and stalled his Chevrolet Corvette. When Gigliotti couldn't restart his car, the session was red flagged for several minutes while the race car was loaded and taken away on a flatbed.
After time to cool the tires, the remaining competitors were ready to take another shot at improving their times. Fellows was first to do so with a 1:15:486 on his first hot lap after qualifying resumed. The Canadian then posted his fastest lap at 1:15:403.
"I'm a little disappointed I couldn't wring another few tenths of a second out of the car to take the pole," commented Fellows. "I'm really proud of the team and happy with the car. After just the one short practice session yesterday, they gave me an improved car for the qualifying session. It will likely be much hotter for the race tomorrow so we'll make the necessary adjustments and I know we'll have a good car for the race."
Pilgrim's fastest lap was his first hot lap of the session before the red flag. "Before the session I figured I'd be pretty happy if we were able to qualify in the top five," noted Pilgrim. "Of course, we'd much rather be up on the front row, but I'll take fourth and I'm happy to share the second row with my teammate Ron. I hoped I'd improve my position after the red-flag delay, but I experienced an unusual brake lockup early in one of the braking zones that wore my right front tire down to the cords, so I just didn't have the tires needed to move up the grid."
While Fellows and Pilgrim were busy trying to drive their way onto the front row, Aschenbach was busy coming to terms with this new (for him) Toronto street circuit. After posting a 1:16:929 on his first hot lap of the session, Aschenbach came back out strong after the red flag and dropped a few tenths to his ultimate best lap of 1:16:655.
"It's tough to get the setup on the car right after so few practice laps here yesterday and it wasn't quite what I hoped it would be," Aschenbach explained. "We learned more throughout the session, and I know we'll have a car I'm more comfortable with for the race tomorrow."
The sixth round of the SPEED GT is scheduled to start at 5:25 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 8. The race will be televised tape-delayed on Saturday, July 14, at 12 p.m. EDT on the SPEED Channel.
-credit: gm racing/tc