Road Atlanta: Qualifying notes

Mark Wilkins captures pole position in soggy qualifying at Road Atlanta September 28, 2006. Braselton, Georgia. Taking to the Road Atlanta circuit immediately following a heavy downpour, Mark Wilkins, of Toronto, Canada, mastered the elements to...

Mark Wilkins captures pole position in soggy qualifying at Road Atlanta

September 28, 2006. Braselton, Georgia. Taking to the Road Atlanta circuit immediately following a heavy downpour, Mark Wilkins, of Toronto, Canada, mastered the elements to capture the pole position in a soggy qualifying session for Round Eleven of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. Joining Wilkins on the front row for tomorrow's race will be Ron White, of Santa Clara, California.

Driving the #3 AIM Autosport Bluetooth Mazda, Wilkins took advantage of a drying track to capture his first pole position of the season with a lap of 1:30.107 (101.479 MPH), "We knew that the track conditions were getting better as the session went on and that the driver that got a clean lap at the end of the session would probably be on top," Wilkins explained. "I was frustrated as I got stuck behind a slower car but was able to get around him and everything worked out. The crew at AIM Autosport has given me a fast car all weekend and we were looking forward to put it on pole in the dry so I think we're in great shape for the race tomorrow."

Coming off two consecutive wins in the championship, White, who posted a time of 1:30.595 (100.933 MPH) in the session, was pleased to be starting out front again. "With the drying conditions it was getting faster and faster, the lap times were dropping like two seconds a lap," the pilot of the #69 Ross Smith Racing Maxwell Paper Products Mazda explained. "My teammate Dan Dileo and I were going back and forth with the fast lap for most of the session. On my best lap at the end I had to pass another car so I lost a couple of tenths but I'm happy to be starting second, especially as some of the other drivers that were fast in the dry are starting farther down the grid."

Ross Smith Racing driver Dan Dileo, the 2004 Star Mazda Rookie-of-the-Year, will line up third on the grid as he fills in for Ross Smith in the #8 Maxwell Paper Products entry after setting a time of 1:30.713 (100.801 MPH). "It's great to be back at the top of the sheets where I think I belong," the Toronto, Canada resident revealed. "The rain is the great equalizer and it definitely helped us out this session. We still have some work to do to make sure that the car is working fine but I'm happing to be starting up front as anything can happen in the front two rows."

Joining Dileo on the second row will be Daniel Herrington, who had posted the fastest time of the weekend earlier in the day before the thunderstorms swept through. Joining Phenom Racing Group for the final two races of the season, the former championship points leader lapped the 2.54-mile circuit in a time of 1:31.032 (100.448 MPH) in the #92 Phenom Racing Group Molecule Mazda.

Round Eleven of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, the penultimate round of the 2006 season, is scheduled to get underway at 12:45 PM Eastern Time on Friday, September 29th at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.

-credit: star mazda

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Mark Wilkins , Ross Smith , Daniel Herrington , Ron White