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Utah: GT qualifying report

Archer Snares SPEED GT Pole in Final Minute At Miller TOOELE, Utah (May 17, 2008) -- Defending race winner Tommy Archer, of Duluth, Minn., scored his seventh career SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT pole position today for Sunday's...

Archer Snares SPEED GT Pole in Final Minute At Miller

TOOELE, Utah (May 17, 2008) -- Defending race winner Tommy Archer, of Duluth, Minn., scored his seventh career SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT pole position today for Sunday's Round Three race at Miller Motorsports Park, part of the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Grand Prix of Utah Presented by the Grand and Little America Hotels. Ritch Marziale, of Tempe, Ariz., will start a career-best second.

With series-spec Toyo Tires Proxes R888 tires generally being their very best on the first flying lap, Archer's effort was particularly noteworthy in the No. 13 Foametix/Woodhouse Performance Dodge Viper. Just as the checkered flag came out, Archer flashed to the top of the screen with a time of 1:56.380 (94.284 mph) on his fourth flying lap.

"We got held up in traffic and I tried to gap myself back, but there were four guys behind me on the warm-up lap and I couldn't get back any further," Archer said about his first attempt. "The two guys in front of me were slower and I tried to time it so I wouldn't catch them before the start finish line. I caught them before we got to the esses at the top of the hill and right where I usually go full throttle, they were hitting the brakes so it messed up my lap. I came in and adjusted the tire pressure and they told me I was off by three tenths. I thought that was for the position in front of me, I didn't realize it was for the pole. I was trying to gain position, to be on the inside instead of the outside.

"On my fast lap, I was out of control going into the esses, I was going the wrong direction on that lap. I was aiming to the right, and I should have been going to the left. It worked. My helmet tube fell off the top and was in my eyes on right hand turns, so I was flipping that out of the way. But sometimes, you just keep your concentration, and that's what it takes.

"The track is really slippery right now, there's not a lot of grip out there. I came in and said it wasn't very pretty, but it was fast."

Archer noted that the team he won with in 2007 had a much larger budget than the Woodhouse Performance team. It is the first pole for the Woodhouse team.

Marziale, who was fastest in Friday's practice, looked to be en route to his first career pole position with a fast time of 1:56.519 (94.171 mph) in the No. 56 All-Cut Concrete Cutting Dodge Viper. It is Marziale's best qualifying effort, eclipsing a fifth-place starting spot at Long Beach.

Cindi Lux became the highest qualifying woman in SCCA SPEED World Challenge competition since Shauna Marinus won the SPEED Touring Car pole at Puerto Rico in 2003, and will start her No. 2 Corsa/Forgeline/Momo/Lux Performance Dodge Viper third with a lap of 1:56.616 (94.093 mph).

Eric Curran is the best of the non-Vipers and will start fourth in the No. 30 Whelen Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette with a lap time of 1:56.761 (93.976 mph). Long Beach winner Brandon Davis will start fifth in the No. 10 ACS/Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang Cobra after turning a lap of 1:57.108 (93.698 mph).

Andy Pilgrim (Cadillac CTS-V), James Sofronas (Porsche 911 GT3), Jason Foster (Dodge Viper), Michael Galati (Porsche 911 GT3) and Sonny Whelen (Chevrolet Corvette) completed the top 10.

Point leader Randy Pobst will start 11th in his Porsche 911 GT3. Pobst admitted a mistake on his first flying lap, and that the team had made some changes in the wrong direction prior to qualifying. His lap of 1:57.843 (93.113 mph) came on his second attempt.

Sunday's race makes its standing start at 4:30 p.m. (MDT). To watch the race with live timing and scoring and lap notes via the SCCA Pit Board, please visit www.world-challenge.com. Sunday's race will be broadcast Wednesday, May 28 at 1 p.m. (EDT), 11 a.m. (MDT) locally.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Tommy Archer , Randy Pobst , Michael Galati , Eric Curran , James Sofronas , Brandon Davis , Sonny Whelen , Cindi Lux