Alton, VA- The American GT Challenge series qualified at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday as part of the Stockcar Spectacular by Hardees. The AGT field was led by veteran driver John Finger [number 14 John Finger Mazda]. Finger...
Alton, VA- The American GT Challenge series qualified at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday as part of the Stockcar Spectacular by Hardees. The AGT field was led by veteran driver John Finger [number 14 John Finger Mazda].
Finger qualified on the pole for Sunday's fifty minute event with a fast lap of 1:54.267. Finger saved most of his track for the qualifying session. "We saved the car for qualifying since we operate on such a small budget," commented Finger. "We ran a couple for hundredths slower than I would have liked. But it is a long race so we will be fine."
"The Goodyear Racing radials did their job. They really stay consistent. We'll have that Ford Mustang up front," said Finger.
"This series is wonderful to be involved in. We intend to make more races in the future if I can get away from that day job thing,' quipped Finger.
Edison Lluch comes to VIR looking to take the points lead back home to Ponce, Puerto Rico. Lluch driving the number 73 Eltuque Corvette completed his qualifying session with a best lap of 1:54.480. Lluch has found the VIR circuit to his liking.
"The track is very technical as well as fast and fun," noted Lluch. "The number two qualifier spot is not bad. We just got delivery of this new Corvette and as of qualifying I was only able to do twenty one laps."
Lluch feels at race time, the results will be in his favor. Offered Edison, "John [Finger], you will have a run tomorrow. See you at the podium, of course you will be in second position."
For Charlie Webster [number 95 C.J. Webster of Canada Corvette] found his qualifying efforts top be bitter sweet with a fast time of 1:56.428. "We were slower than the earlier sessions we ran," stated Webster. "The car is running fine so we will work on a rear end set up change. I think we need to be able to get the power down a little better. We showed up to race the car, not drive the car."
Other AGT drivers in the starting grid all look for a promising day of racing. Joe Hooker set a personal goal coming into the weekend to better his previous lap time. "The car ran well. I had hoped for a '59, we were close at two minutes," said Hooker.
"VIR is a real drivers track. The elevation changes make it a lot of fun. And I have to say, the AGT series is great! Low key pro racing at its best," Hooker replied.
Coach Glenn Andrew made his AGT at VIR this weekend. Coach commented, "VIR is a very challenging track and we are starting to become more familiar with the track every time out. Our track times have dropped every session and we hope to post a time below 2 minutes in tomorrows race. We have set high goals for Tri-American Motorsports and American GT is a great place to accomplish these goals."
Andrew hwo spent time in other series, finds the AGT to his liking. "We are looking for a series that we can run full time in the future that does not extend our budget. If things continue the way they have this weekend American GT may become our home."
AGT series owner Woodson Duncan arrived at VIR with a rebuilt car following a testing incident weeks earlier. The trip to VIR is Duncan fisrt exposure to the facility.
"This is a terrific venue," said Woodson. "The track is a pleasure to work with. With the series being in its infancy, combined with the history of VIR is exhilarating."
The Sky Blue Racin team spent countless hours repairing the damaged number 29 Garden Iron Mustang. Said Duncan of his team's efforts, "We have pieced together an enthusiastic crew who worked timelessly to repair the car. It's coming along nicely, it will be 100% for the Ponce Grand Prix."
The American GT Challenge series will race at 12:45EST at VIR for a fifty minute event.
<pre> Qualifying Results: 1 14 John Finger John Finger Mazda Ford Mustang 1:54:267 2 73 Edison Lluch Don Q/ Eltuque Hotel and Resort Chevrolet Corvette 1:54:480 3 74 Don Soenen Ford Mustang 1:56:269 4 95 Charlie Webster C.J. Webster of Canada Chevrolet Corvette 1:56:428 5 4 Bob Humphries Delta Apparel Chevrolet Camaro 1:58:390 6 8 Joe Hooker Turn One Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo 2:0:962 7 19 Glen Andrew Terre Haute 1st National Bank Chevrolet Camaro 2:3:574 8 29 Woodson Duncan Garden Iron Ford Mustang 2:3:855 9 74O Charles Vaughn Hip National Bank Ford Taurus 2:6:463