SCHRAENEN WINS THE FIRST 2005 HONDA MICHELIN SERIES POLE AT MOSPORT Bowmanville, ON, Saturday, May 21, 2005 - In the first day of the opening round of the Honda Michelin Challenge Series season held Saturday at Mosport International Raceway, ...
SCHRAENEN WINS THE FIRST 2005 HONDA MICHELIN SERIES POLE AT MOSPORT
Bowmanville, ON, Saturday, May 21, 2005 - In the first day of the opening round of the Honda Michelin Challenge Series season held Saturday at Mosport International Raceway, Didier Schraenen was quickest of the 19 drivers entered to earn the first pole of the 2005 season. The Energie/NAPA/RDS driver will share the front row for Sunday's race with Robert Boyer of Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs (QC), who was quickest in the final session, but his time was not enough for the pole. As for Schraenen, he posted his best lap in the first session driving around the 3.957-kilometre track in 1 minute 42.447 seconds for an average speed of 139.049 km/h. He edged the Team Lombardi Honda of Boyer (1:42.520) by seven hundredths of a second. With the new performance enhancements on the Honda Civics DX Coupes, the top 13 drivers broke the qualifying lap record.
The De Sigi Honda Autosport of Montrealer Nick Wittmer (1:42.813) and defending champion Steven Laporte (1:42.967) will fill Row two. Alex Penfold of Georgetown, Ontario, who posted his fastest lap in the first session with a lap time of 1 minute 43.044 seconds, finished fifth overall. The Pfaff Leasing/Lakeshore Honda driver will start next to Normand Boyer of Sainte-Agathe (QC).
''I will definitively feel the heat from the Lombardi team drivers (they sit second, fourth and sixth on the grid),'' said Schraenen. Once they band together, they are a hard bunch to stop. But they say it might rain for Sunday's race and as far as I know nobody has any race experience in the wets with the new suspension. We just hope that if it rains, it will start early so that we can set the car up during the warm-up session.''
''This is a not a bad way to start the season,'' Penfold said. I've started from farther back before and moved up to finish on the podium. I went out and did a few flyers in the second session and it started to drizzle a little bit so I was slower this session. We could not improve so we went out to burn off fuel to see how the car will handle as the race progresses. I had no drafting partner and still did good laps all day, so I'm confident that I can move up the field.''
Honda Michelin Series' drivers return to the track on Sunday morning for a 15-minute warm-up session followed by a 40-minute race scheduled to start at 2:50 p.m.