Rookie Givogue Earns Initial KONI Challenge Series Street Tuner Pole After Record Qualifying Lap at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 23, 2007) -- Rookie driver Tyler Givogue mustered his first career Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series Street ...
Rookie Givogue Earns Initial KONI Challenge Series Street Tuner Pole After Record Qualifying Lap at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 23, 2007) -- Rookie driver Tyler Givogue mustered his first career Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series Street Tuner (ST) pole Saturday, as he bested 32 other drivers in his No. 53 Predator Auto Sport Chevrolet Cobalt in preparation for Sunday's race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Givogue -- co-driving with fellow Canadian Kuno Wittmer -- lapped the 2.258-mile, 13-turn track in a record time 1:37.456 (83.410 mph), nearly a second-and-a-half faster than the previous record. He will share the front row with Aaron Povoledo and the No. 75 Kensai Racing Compass360.com/Skunk2/Hawk Brakes Acura TSX, which set a time of 1:37.821 (83.099 mph). Overall, Canadians grabbed the top three starting positions for Sunday's two-and-a-half hour event.
"This is my first pole; it's my first year in the series," Givogue said. "Everything is going amazing this weekend. We've been in the top five in all of the practice sessions. We were fastest in the last practice, with Kuno Wittmer driving. Then today I put it on the pole. Both Kuno and I raced together in the Honda Michelin series, and being teamed up together this weekend is great."
While Givogue is in his rookie campaign, Povoledo is a returning veteran to the Kensai Racing team. A team car to one of the series' frontrunning teams in points, Povoledo hopes the car can be successful despite not testing in Thursday's promoter practice day.
"I'm very happy to be back in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge," Povoledo said. "This is my first race of the season, and it feels great. I'm back with my home team, Kensai Racing. We didn't test on Thursday, so we came here behind the 8-ball. But, as usual, Kensai did a great job to nail it for qualifying. It's huge for me to be back in this paddock. Right now, I'm the happiest man on the planet."
Holtom and Curran entered the weekend having taken two of the last three series pole positions. However, Holtom's best lap of 1:37.960 (82.981 mph) landed him third in the No. 01 Georgian Bay Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt. Starting next to Holtom is No. 111 ICY/Phoenix Racing Subaru/Rotary Subaru Legacy driver Chuck Hemmingson, co-winner of the race at Lime Rock Park with Kristian Skavnes. The pair returns after sitting out the last round at Mosport International Raceway.
Povoledo's teammate, Karl Thomson, held on for sixth fastest in the No. 76 Kensai Racing Compass360.com/Skunk2/Hawk Brakes Acura TSX, and will start next to points co-leader Trevor Hopwood in the third row. Hopwood, co-driving the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW with Adam Burrows, holds a one-point lead over Thomson and Billy Johnson. Thomson and Johnson own a series-high three victories in 2007, while Hopwood and Burrows are still looking for their first.
The top 11 cars are separated by less than a second, and the top 17 drivers broke the previous track record of 1:39.034 (82.081 mph) set two seasons ago by Will Turner.