Sofronas Leads Opening WC GT Practice in Monterey MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2009) -- James Sofronas, of Newport Beach, Calif., was fastest in the opening practice session for Sunday's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship...
Sofronas Leads Opening WC GT Practice in Monterey
MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2009) -- James Sofronas, of Newport Beach, Calif., was fastest in the opening practice session for Sunday's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Presented by Toyo Tires season finale--the Applied Computer Solutions Monterey Sports Car Championships Presented by Bondurant at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Teammate Dino Crescentini, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., and Eric Curran, of Easthampton, Mass., completed the top three.
Driving the No. 14 Global Motorsports Group Porsche 911 GT3, Sofronas turned a time of 1:29.660 (89.859 mph) around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit on his first flying lap.
"The car was pretty good for that one lap, but we quickly realized that the track changes a lot over the course of the [45-minute] session," Sofronas said. "This is historically a low-grip track, so we're fighting a rear-grip issue. We're not that optimistic though because we know the Volvos were running 29-flats yesterday without a clock on them. We know they're just messing around today.
"For the most part, the GMG Porsche is going really well. These guys are working hard doing double-duty [in ALMS and World Challenge] this weekend. We learned a lot from that session but there's a lot more we need to do to probably get the 28 that will take the pole."
Crescentini was in the top five for the entire session, but jumped to second late with a 1:29.995 (89.525 mph) in his No. 4 Stoptech/GMG Porsche 911 GT3.
"We made about five changes each," Sofronas said of he and teammate Crescentini under a late-session stoppage to remove a World Challenge Touring Car from the Turn Two gravel trap. "His car is a little bit more balanced than mine. He just didn't get his good lap in early on that set of tires, like I did, and that was the difference."
Curran was second for much of the session, also running his fastest lap of 1:30.230 (89.291 mph) later in the run in the No. 30 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette. In the final 10 minutes, he moved over to a RealTime Racing Acura TSX Touring Car of which he was named the driver this morning.
Defending race polesitter Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., was fourth fastest in his No. 1 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60, turning a 1:30.333 (89.190 mph).
Tony Rivera, of Missouri City, Texas, was fifth fastest in his No. 97 Tax Masters/Brass Monkey Racing Porsche 911 GT3, turning a best lap of 1:30.533 (88.993 mph).
Point leader Brandon Davis (Ford Mustang GT) was sixth fastest, followed by Jeff Courtney (Dodge Viper), Sonny Whelen (Chevrolet Corvette), Andy Pilgrim (Volvo S60) and Gunter Schaldach (Porsche 911 GT3).
The series has its final practice session, again in conjunction with World Challenge Touring Car, scheduled for this evening at 5:25 p.m. (PDT).
Qualifying for the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Presented by Toyo Tires is scheduled for 11:30 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday. Sunday's Applied Computer Solutions Monterey Sports Car Championships Presented by Bondurant race is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. (PDT). Follow each session with live timing and notes at www.world-challenge.com.
World Challenge is on Twitter @SPEEDWC.
J -credit: scca pro racing