Pobst Tops Evening WC GT Practice at Mazda Raceway MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2009) -- Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., turned the fastest SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Presented by Toyo Tires lap of the day Friday in the final...
Pobst Tops Evening WC GT Practice at Mazda Raceway
MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2009) -- Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., turned the fastest SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Presented by Toyo Tires lap of the day Friday in the final practice session for Sunday's Applied Computer Solutions Monterey Sports Car Championships Presented by Bondurant Round 10 race. James Sofronas, of Newport Beach, Calif., and Dino Crescentini, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., completed the top three at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Driving the No. 1 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60, Pobst turned a fastest time of 1:29.309 (90.212 mph) around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit, putting nearly a half-second on the rest of the field in his all-wheel-drive machine.
"Reliability is the biggest thing we've been working on in the K-PAX Volvos," Pobst said. "The combined practice sessions provide for a lot of track time. I am a little concerned about putting this much time on the car. I think we have the transmission gear situation under control now. Emco Gears made a whole new set of internals and it's shifting so well. The Volvo is a complex machine.
"The good news is, the K-PAX Volvo has never handled better. I've been begging my crew chief Will Moody for more front grip, and he finally put some in. The car has balance and I've never felt it this good. It's cool tonight--cold, in fact. In the heat of the day when we race, we're probably going to lose a lot of grip and I'm probably not going to be quite as thrilled. But, I'm thrilled right now!"
Pobst recognized that Mazda Raceway has traditionally been a good circuit for all-wheel-drive cars, but said that the advantage is not what it once was.
"This has historically been a low-grip track," Pobst said. "A lot of it, maybe all of it, has been re-paved, so I don't think it's a pavement issue as much as it used to be. Turns Three and Four used to be super slick, but now it's more consistent. It's still relatively low-grip because of all the sand and dirt that gets put on the track. With all-wheel-drive, we're going to be less affected by that."
Sofronas, who topped the earlier session, was second quickest in the evening with his No. 14 Global Motorsports Group Porsche 911 GT3, but a tick slower overall, turning a fast lap of 1:29.789 (89.730 mph). His teammate, Crescentini, was also just off his earlier lap time, of 1:30.054 (89.466 mph) in the No. 4 Stoptech/GMG Porsche 911 GT3.
Tony Rivera, of Missouri City, Texas, moved up the charts late in the session to finish fourth in the No. 97 Tax Masters/Brass Monkey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 with a 1:30.168 (89.353 mph).
Eric Curran, of Easthampton, Mass., was fifth fastest with a 1:30.279 (89.243 mph) before he had to park the No. 30 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette with an oil leak.
Pobst's session two time topped all on the day, followed by Sofronas' session one-leading time of 1:29.660 (89.859 mph), Crescentini's session one time of 1:29.995 (89.525 mph), Rivera's evening time and Curran's session one time of 1:30.230 (89.291 mph).
Andy Pilgrim (Volvo S60), point leader Brandon Davis (Ford Mustang GT), Jeff Courtney (Dodge Viper), Tony Gaples (Chevrolet Corvette) and Sonny Whelen (Chevrolet Corvette) completed the top 10 on the day.
Qualifying for Sunday's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Presented by Toyo Tires season finale is set for Saturday at 11:30 a.m. (PDT). Live timing and notes are available at www.world-challenge.com.
Follow World Challenge on Twitter @SPEEDWC.
-credit: scca pro racing