MONTEREY, Calif. -- Scotland's David Leslie earned his first-career SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car Superchips Pole, the first pole for Mazda this year, and will lead the 42-car field to the green light for today's Round ...
MONTEREY, Calif. -- Scotland's David Leslie earned his first-career SCCA Pro Racing Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car Superchips Pole, the first pole for Mazda this year, and will lead the 42-car field to the green light for today's Round Eight race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Roger Foo, of nearby Hayward, Calif., and Bill Auberlen, of Hermosa, Calif., completed the top-three.
Driving the No. 2 Mirko Racing Mazda 626, Leslie, a former star in the British Touring Car Championship, captured his first pole on American soil with a fastest lap of 1:44.857 (76.836 mph) around the 2.238-mile circuit. He is in position to pick up the Mazda contingency bonus, doubled for this weekend, of $12,000 for a win later today.
The session was slowed by two full course black flags, one for an incident involving the Acura of John Green and the BMW of defending race champion Alfred duPont. Both drivers were all right, but Green's car was withdrawn due to damage. duPont's team is attempting to repair the car, which will start 17th.
"With the two incidents early on in the session, we didn't have a lot of time," said Leslie. "Fortunately for us, we turned a fast lap right at the start. It seemed like we were out there for a total of three laps, but I'm pleased with the car. It's right about where we need to be for the race."
Driving the No. 88 Griffin Motorwerke Honda Civic Si, Foo's lap of 1:45.055 (76.691 mph) was good for second quick, and his first career front-row starting spot. Portland Superchips Pole winner Auberlen was third in the No. 93 H&R Springs/Turner Motorsport BMW 328i with a lap of 1:45.143 (76.627 mph), followed by Taz Harvey's Honda Civic Si and Hugh Plumb's Acura Integra Type R.
The session marked the first time four different manufacturers have been represented in the top-five for a Speedvision Touring Car race, setting up a great diverse battle for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca fans, which includes for the first time, the Hot Import Day at the Track show.