Aschenbach Masters Mosport with First World Challenge Pole in Rainy SPEED GT Qualifying Fellows Fourth and Pilgrim Fifth as Team Cadillac Takes Three of Top-Five Qualifying Spots BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Aug. 25, 2007 -Lawson Aschenbach captured...
Aschenbach Masters Mosport with First World Challenge Pole in Rainy SPEED
Fellows Fourth and Pilgrim Fifth as Team Cadillac Takes Three of Top-Five Qualifying Spots
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Aug. 25, 2007 -Lawson Aschenbach captured his first SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT pole today in a rainy qualifying session at Mosport International Raceway. Aschenbach, the reigning GT champion, led a trio of Team Cadillac drivers in his No. 1 Cadillac CTS- V as Ron Fellows qualified fourth and Andy Pilgrim fifth for this evening's 50-minute race.
Qualifying began on a wet track, and lap times improved throughout the 20-minute session as the racing line dried. The three Cadillacs traded places continuously with a pair of Porsches as first Fellows and then Aschenbach held the top spot. Fellows relinquished the pole when he went off course on his sixth hot lap, while Aschenbach claimed the pole on his 10th and final circuit with a time of 1:39.654 (88.831 mph).
"We like the rain and we like the dry here because Mosport is a great track for Team Cadillac," said Aschenbach. "My Cadillac CTS- V was flawless and the crew did a great job on the qualifying setup. Winning the bonus points for the pole is good for me in the drivers championship and great for Cadillac in the manufacturers championship.
"It was drying as the session went on and I knew I had to stay out because every lap was getting quicker and quicker," Aschenbach reported. "This track is tough, with standing water in places and bumps that can upset the car. It was like any rain session: You just try to stay on the road, keep driving, and you pick up every lap. On the last lap I was there to get a good one."
Aschenbach followed Fellows until the Canadian ace made a rare misstep and found the gravel trap in Turn 5. The pair had trimmed their lap times from 1:45 to 1:41 before Fellows went off. He returned to the pits under his own power, but did not make another run at the pole. When the session ended, he was fourth with a lap at 1:41.661 (87.077 mph).
"I'd been running a wet line, and I thought that getting closer to the dry line in Turn 5 would help get me stopped, but I was going a little too fast," Fellows explained. "I just messed up.
"Lawson had let me by and was staying right with me, and then I showed him what not to do," said the Canadian ace with a laugh.
Pilgrim was in contention for the pole as well. He ran 1:43.814 on his fifth timed lap and then pitted one lap later for an adjustment. He rejoined the fray and recorded a 1:41.921 (86.855 mph) just as the session ended.
"My Cadillac was getting better and better," said Pilgrim. "My last lap was my quickest, but there was a yellow flag in Turn 4 and an oil flag on the back straightaway, so I had to lift. We've got all three Cadillacs in the top five, so that's a good way to start the race."
-credit: gm racing