David Russell Claims Grand-Am KONI Challenge Grand Sport Pole at Miller Motorsports Park TOOELE, Utah (September 13, 2007) -- Automatic Racing's David Russell captured the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series Grand Sport (GS) pole position during ...
David Russell Claims Grand-Am KONI Challenge Grand Sport Pole at Miller Motorsports Park
TOOELE, Utah (September 13, 2007) -- Automatic Racing's David Russell captured the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series Grand Sport (GS) pole position during Thursday afternoon's 15-minute qualifying session for Friday's 45-lap, two-and-a-half hour race at Miller Motorsports Park.
Russell turned a fast lap of 3:11.821 (84.191 mph) around the 24-turn, 4.486-mile track in the No. 99 Automatic Racing Fresh From Florida/Imported Car Store/Engine Studios BMW M3. Russell, driving Friday with Tom Long, scored the team's second pole of the year.
"We got the pole at Iowa but were disqualified for a broken exhaust," an excited Russell said. "We were real disappointed, but the rules are the rules and I'm totally with that. This time we got the pole and hopefully we'll have no issues in impound. I'm real happy. The guys have worked real hard. The car was really marginal at best in the last session before qualifying. I was real unhappy, so we took every spring and sway bar off that thing and changed the entire setup. And, the guys nailed it. The Fresh From Florida team is anxious to get our first win. We're going to go after it tomorrow -- 100 percent. Tom (Long) and I have got a nothing to lose attitude, since we're not in it to win the points championship we're going to go for it tomorrow."
Qualifying alongside Russell in the front row is Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 49 Marcus Motorsports MAH 720 Property Management Porsche 997, lapping the longest circuit in the U.S. in a time of 3:12.064 (84.084 mph). Pumpelly will drive with Darren Law and Jim Lowe in Friday's race.
"That was a good job by Marcus Motorsports," Pumpelly said. "Everyone put together a real good car. We struggled a little in practice, and now we've got it all together. I've got a good co-driver who's going to back me up (Darren Law), so as soon as I get out I give it over to one of the best. Hopefully, he and I can win. We'll need two stops tomorrow, but the second will be very short. We're not counting on yellows; we're counting on a green race. Any second we give up on the track or in the pits we're going to have to get back the hard way."
Nick Longhi placed his No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 in third with a time of 3:12.836 (83.748 mph). Longhi will start Friday's race before turning the car over to co-drivers Steve Jenkins and Nick Ham.
Two additional Automatic Racing entries cracked the top five in KONI GS qualifying. Serge Glazunov, co-driving with Jon Miller, qualified fourth in the No. 90 Weeden Consultants/Fresh from Florida BMW M3 with a time of 3:12.915 (83.714 mph). Championship series points co-leader Jep Thornton rounds out the top five, turning a lap of 3:12.920 (83.711 mph) in the No. 09 Fresh From Florida/Imported Car Store BMW M3. Thornton and co-driver Jeff Segal need only to finish 22nd in Friday's race to clinch the GS Championship with one race to go.
Lock Claims ST Pole at Miller Motorsports Park in Second Career KONI Race
In only his second KONI Challenge Series Street Tuner (ST) race of 2007, Brian Lock scored his first pole with a time of 3:16.541 (82.169 mph) and will lead the 29-car field to the green flag.
Lock co-drives the No. 93 GOTO Racing Cobb Tuning/Calculated Risk Subaru Legacy with brother Mike Lock, starting for the first time since Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May. The team suffered a heavy accident in that race and as not competed since.
Brian Lock said the goal was to win the pole. The car is so good, he said, he doesn't expect many changes to be made in Friday's race.
"The car was just amazing," Brian Lock said. "We finally hit the setup right on the nose on the new KONI shocks. The power was awesome and everything was working. I got some clean track in the beginning, and then managed to get another clean lap and take some more tenths off. Unfortunately, we don't get the greatest fuel economy with the turbocharged engine. Our plan was to start from the pole and try to pull out a gap, and hopefully, that gap will be big enough that when we make our second fuel stop, we're still in the lead when we come out of the pits.
"Tire wear is not an issue at all. We've got the balance so perfect on this car right now, with all-wheel drive we wear the fronts and the rears perfectly evenly. We don't even plan on changing tires."
Series championship points co-leader Adam Burrows saved his fastest lap for his last of the session, and the strategy paid off as he qualified the No. 95 Turner Motorsport 330i second fastest. Burrows, co-driving with Trevor Hopwood, set a time of 3:18.662 (81.292 mph), which in part came due trickery by car owner Will Turner.
"He told me I was only half a second off the pole, which was not the case," Burrows said. "I put my head down that last lap and tried to do everything perfectly, and pulled off a winner. There's quite a big gap between us and the pole, which is unusual. We'll see what happens. We'll see how the yellows fall tomorrow. Hopefully, we can do it with one stop."
Barber Motorsports Park winner Jamie Holtom was third in the No. 01 SCADAPack Chevrolet Cobalt, while Aaron Povoledo scored fourth in the No. 75 Kensai Racing Compass360.com/Skunk2/Hawk Brakes Acura TSX. Karl Thomson, who trails Burrows in the standings by four points (260-256), was fifth in the No. 76 Kensai Racing Compass360.com/Skunk2/Hawk Brakes Acura TSX.
The 45-lap, two-and-a-half hour race is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Friday.