Pilgrim Leads Second SPEED GT Practice at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 7, 2009) -- Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., was fastest in the final practice session before Friday evening's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT qualifying session...
Pilgrim Leads Second SPEED GT Practice at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 7, 2009) -- Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., was fastest in the final practice session before Friday evening's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT qualifying session for the Toyo Tires World Challenge Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Presented by Dish Network. Tony Rivera, of Missouri City, Texas, and James Sofronas, of Newport Beach, Calif., completed the top three.
Driving the No. 8 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60, Pilgrim turned a fastest lap time of 1:27.599 (92.795 mph) on his first lap around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile course in a simulated qualifying run on new Toyo Proxes R888 tires. It was the fastest time of the day overall, eclipsing Sofronas' time that led the morning session.
"The car was very good," Pilgrim said. "We've got a very nice balance so far in the car. We felt, if we could keep our reliability up, that this was going to be a good track for the Volvo for sure. I'm excited that we're that quick.
"We had a bit of a handling problem this morning. We were on older tires; still good tires, but older and we had a bit of an issue, but we sorted it out. This [session] is the same time as race time on Sunday, so it was more important to be good right now than at nine."
Pilgrim only turned seven laps in the 45-minute session that also included the World Challenge Touring Cars.
"We haven't had any issues with our gearbox...so far," Pilgrim said, referring to the system that has plagued the Volvo's reliability this year. "[Teammate] Randy [Pobst] has problems with his right now. Luckily so far, we're okay. It is a problem, but I have to just drive. I can't worry about it. That's why we put limited laps in during practice. I still have my gearbox in from Autobahn."
Rivera also started the session off with a simulated qualifying run, with new tires on his No. 97 Tax Masters/Brass Monkey Racing Porsche 911 GT3, turning a fastest lap of 1:27.775 (92.609 mph).
Sofronas was third fastest in the afternoon session, turning a 1:28.211 (92.151 mph) in the No. 14 Global Motorsports Group Porsche 911 GT3. The 1:27.715 (92.672 mph) that he turned in the morning session was good for second overall on the combined time sheets entering qualifying.
Point leader Brandon Davis, of Huntington Beach, Calif., was fourth fastest in the afternoon, with a 1:28.713 (91.630 mph) in his No. 10 Applied Computer Solutions/Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang Cobra. His morning time was nearly 0.7-second faster, but still fourth overall.
Dino Crescentini, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., completed the top five in the afternoon, turning a 1:28.893 (91.444 mph). His morning time was faster, and good for fifth overall.
Mike Borkowski (Dodge Viper), Ritch Marziale (Dodge Viper), Gunter Schaldach (Dodge Viper), Sonny Whelen (Chevrolet Corvette) and Tony Gaples (Chevrolet Corvette) completed the top 10.
Neither two-time defending series Champion Pobst nor 2007 Mid-Ohio race winner Eric Curran turned a time in the afternoon session due to mechanical issues. Both drivers are expected to make qualifying, scheduled for 6 p.m. (EDT) this evening. The World Challenge GT teams take Saturday off, before starting the Toyo Tires World Challenge GT Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Presented by Dish Network Sunday at 11:30 a.m. (EDT). To follow live notes and timing for all sessions, please visit www.world-challenge.com.
-credit: scca pro racing