Watkins Glen Friday qualifying report

BALDI SETS NEW MARK IN QUALIFYING FOR IMSA GLEN CONTINENTAL XII AT WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL Italian Mauro Baldi bested South African Wayne Taylor by a few hundredths of a second, but that was all he needed for the IMSA Glen Continental XII...


Italian Mauro Baldi bested South African Wayne Taylor by a few hundredths of a second, but that was all he needed for the IMSA Glen Continental XII pole. Baldi, for his third pole of the year, set a record speed of 120.86 mph. Taylor, who is teamed with defending race winner Gianpiero Moretti, missed the point by two-hundredths of a mile per hour. Both Exxon World Sports Car-class Ferrari 333SP cars will head the field to a two o'clock Saturday green flag.

"I'm so very happy for this pole. I know that I made it just by a few hundredths. It was lucky for me and even more so for the team," explained Baldi, who will team with Fermin Velez for Saturday's three hour race. "I'm very happy because the last time it was Wayne beating me by a little bit and this time it is my turn."

The second row will be an all-American powered lineup, as the Ford Riley & Scott MK-3, driven by James Weaver, Butch Leitzinger, Rob Dyson and Andy Wallace, posted the third best speed of 119.91. Frederik Ekblom and Price Cobb, subbing for the injured Jeremy Dale in an Oldsmobile Spice BDG 02, will be starting next to the Road Atlanta winners.

Irv Hoerr grabbed his fourth GTS-1 pole of the year, in his Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. The Peoria, Ill.-driver set a new track class record for the 3.4-mile long course. Bill Auberlen nailed down another GTS-2 pole in his Mazda RX-7, also setting a new class track record.

Former Formula One and Can-Am driver Patrick Tambay, with Gildo Pallanca-Pastor, rolled out the Bugatti EB110 SC for its North American debut. The GTS-1 class racer was 24th fastest overall, 10th in class.

"Coach" TV-series actor Craig T. Nelson failed to post a qualifying time for the $139,750 IMSA event, when the engine failed in his Lexus Spice.

Swedish driver Fredrik Larsson led fourteen drivers under the lap record in first round Barber Dodge Pro Series qualifying. Larsson, a protege of Indy Car driver Stefan Johansson, posted a speed of 107.02 mph. Series co-points leader Geoff Boss was third fastest, and other co-leader Barry Waddell failed to post a time in the early morning session. The final qualifying session will be Saturday morning, with the thirty minute scheduled for Sunday at 11:45 am.

George Robinson continued his season-long sweep of Class B poles for the IMSA Ferrari Challenge. The Houston, Texas-driver established a record speed 93.681 mph for the debut of the new series at the historic Finger Lakes road course. Joining Robinson on the front row will be Derek John Hill, the son of the 1961 World Driving Champion Phil Hill. They will pace the fifteen car field to a noon green flag on Saturday. All entries are Ferrari 348.


1. Mauro Baldi/Fermin Velez   Ferrari 333SP   120.86mph
2. Wayne Taylor/Gianpiero Moretti  Ferrari 333SP   120.84
3. James Weaver/Andy Wallace  Ford Riley & Scott MK-3 119.91
4. Fredrik Ekblom/Price Cobb  Oldsmobile Spice BDG 02 118.38
5. Butch Leitzinger/Rob Dyson  Ford Riley & Scott MK-3 117.39
6. Leigh Miller/Jim Pace   Chevrolet Kudzu DL-4 114.06
7. Irv Hoerr     Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme  111.53*
8. Henry Camferdam/Roger Mandeville Mazda Hawk MD3R  111.40
9. Bobby Brown/Brian DeVries  Oldsmobile Spice HC94 110.28

* - GTS-1 car

Top GTS-1 Qualifiers

1. (7) Irv Hoerr Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 111.53 2. (10) Darin Brassfield Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 110.28 3. (11) Johnny O'Connell Nissan 300ZX 109.44 4. (13) Tommy Riggins/Eduardo Dibos Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 108.19 5. (14) Rob Morgan/Charles Morgan Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 107.64

Top GTS-2 Qualifiers

1. (20) Bill Auberlen/Henry Taleb  Mazda RX-7   103.01
2. (21) Larry Schumacher/Andy Pilgrim Porsche 911   102.43
3. (23) David Donohue/Pete Halsmer BMW M3   100.96
4. (25) Charles Slater/Jack Lewis  Porsche 911   99.744
5. (26) John Paul, Jr./Dieter Quester  BMW M3   99.743

Barber-Dodge Pro Series first round qualifying (Top Five)

1.  Fredrik Larsson (S) 1:54.372 107.02 mph
2.  Jaki Scheckter (ZA) 1:54.535 106.87 mph 
3.  Geoff Boss (USA) 1:55.050 106.39 mph
4.  Chris Menninga (USA) 1:55.078 106.36 mph
5.   Jeff Bucknum (USA) 1:55.205 106.25 mph

(All drivers are entered in identically-prepared Dodge-powered Mondiale)

IMSA presents the Ferrari Challenge

1. George Robinson Ferrari 348tb 2:10.656 93.681 mph 2. Derek John Hill Ferrari 348tb 2:11.863 92.823 mph 3. Jim Kenton Ferrari 348tb 2:11.895 92.801 4. Steve Earle Ferrari 348ts 2:12.638 92.281 5. Emil Assentato Ferrari 348tb 2:13.129 91.940 6. Allie Ash Ferrari 348tb 2:14.686 90.878 7. Lou Statzer Ferrari 348tb 2:15.235 90.509 8. Paul Frame Ferrari 348tb 2:15.439 90.372 9. Richard Peplin Ferrari 348ts 2:17.095 89.281 10. Trevor Hunt Ferrari 348tb 2:18.745 88.219 11. Bruce Jamison Ferrari 348tb 2:18.853 88.150 12. Joe Safina Ferrari 348tb 2:20.886 86.878 13. Rick Jones Ferrari 348tb 2:23.035 85.573 14. Larry Wahl Ferrari 348ts 2:28.289 82.451 15. Michael Maloney Ferrari 348tb No Time

J.J. O'Malley, Director of Communications Watkins Glen International 73771,531@compuserve.com

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About this article
Series IMSA Others
Drivers Andy Wallace , Brian DeVries , Stefan Johansson , Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Johnny O'Connell , Andy Pilgrim , Wayne Taylor , Bill Auberlen , Rob Dyson , Mauro Baldi , Emil Assentato , Pete Halsmer , Chris Menninga , Phil Hill , Fredrik Ekblom , David Donohue , George Robinson , Patrick Tambay , Price Cobb , Rob Morgan , Charles Morgan , Tommy Riggins , Jeff Bucknum , Dieter Quester , Darin Brassfield , Jim Pace , Fermin Velez , Bobby Brown , Henry Camferdam , Geoff Boss , Michael Malone , Jack Lewis , Jim Kenton , John Paul Jr. , Gianpiero Moretti , Roger Mandeville , Joe Safina , Barry Waddell