Wilden Quickest on First Day of Practice at Mosport; Lopez Leads Afternoon Session BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (May 22, 2010) -- Local driver Kenny Wilden needed just one practice session to top the combined time charts on Saturday's SCCA Pro...
Wilden Quickest on First Day of Practice at Mosport; Lopez Leads Afternoon Session
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (May 22, 2010) -- Local driver Kenny Wilden needed just one practice session to top the combined time charts on Saturday's SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series practice day for the Victoria Day Speedfest at Mosport International Raceway.
Wilden, of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, carried the day based on a best lap at 1:17.410 (114.357 mph) from the first of the day's two practice sessions this morning in the No. 99 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. Wilden's lap was quicker than the existing Trans-Am track record of 1:17.744 (113.866 mph) set by Butch Leitzinger back in 2002. Wilden did not partake of the afternoon practice session.
"It just made a lot of sense to run Kenny here this weekend," said Derhaag Motorsports owner Jim Derhaag. "It might have been a surprise to some other people, but I certainly wasn't surprised that he would be fast here, because he's run a lot of laps here and he's really fast in anything he drives anywhere. The only surprise to me was that he was that fast so early in the weekend. We'll see what happens from here, but we're obviously off to a great start."
Second quickest on the day was RJ Lopez, of Bal Harbour, Fla., by virtue of his best lap at 1:18.474 (112.206 mph) in the No. 6 WabashPower.com/Mobil 1/Goodyear Chevrolet Corvette. Lopez did not run the morning practice session and he heads into Sunday's qualifying and race day looking for his first career pole position and race victory in Trans-Am competition.
"Luckily, we've got a good grip on the track," said Lopez. "I seemed to learn it pretty quick. That was actually my third session ever here at this track. We did two sessions yesterday and then I kind of had a little problem with the engine. I kind of over-revved it so we actually ended up switching engines this morning, so I missed the last two sessions yesterday and I missed this morning's session. I just went out now and did literally one flying lap. It was raining a little bit, so it seemed like the track was getting a little slippery, so I just brought it in. I could have stayed out and maybe could have lowered the time a little bit, but it's better to save the car."
Lopez was more than three tenths of a second quicker than Tomy Drissi, of Hollywood, Calif., in the No. 5 THE A-TEAM: THERE IS NO PLAN B Jaguar XKR. Drissi logged a best lap at 1:18.906 (112.189 mph) in the morning session, and he could find no more speed this afternoon. The defending series champion is looking for his second straight Trans-Am race win tomorrow after taking the season opener at New Jersey Motorsports Park two weeks ago.
"Coming to Canada is just really awesome," Drissi said. "The fans are so great. Mosport, what a great track! I love all the tracks in Canada because I love all the fans in Canada. I'm just excited to be back here. We've got some stiff competition this weekend (Tony) Ave fast, Lopez is fast, and we've got Kenny Wilden here. He's a shoe anywhere, but he knows this track like the back of his hand, so everybody is going to have to be on it this race. It's a big horsepower track. I'm just trying to do the best I can in the corners and really carry speed.
"I'm a little frustrated right now, because we're a little bit more behind than we should be by this time. We tried another setup and we're still not quite there. We've got two or three setups that are a good racecar, but they seem to keep being the same time. We're looking for another second for qualifying, so we can be on the front row or try to get the pole. I think we're going to do one of those things where we make a change and see how it works in qualifying, unfortunately."
Turning in the fourth-quickest lap of the day was another local racer, Blaise Csida, of Stouffville, Ontario. Csida posted a best lap at 1:20.919 (109.398 mph) in the No. 07 Gateway Racing Inc. Chevrolet Corvette. Daniel Ramoutarsingh, of Trinidad, rounded out the top five in the No. 8 Trinrico Steel & Wire Products Jaguar XKR at 1:24.586 (104.655 mph).
-source: scca pro racing