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Sears Point: Saturday notes

McClure, Henzler Tie in Infineon Speed GT Qualifying; Pole to Mcclure Per Rules SONOMA, Calif. (July 17, 2004) -- Phil McClure, of Floris, Iowa, earned his first SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Pole Position of 2004 in...

McClure, Henzler Tie in Infineon Speed GT Qualifying; Pole to Mcclure Per Rules

SONOMA, Calif. (July 17, 2004) -- Phil McClure, of Floris, Iowa, earned his first SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Pole Position of 2004 in most unique fashion at Infineon Raceway Saturday. McClure and German Wolf Henzler turned identical fast times in the 20-minute session, with the pole for Sunday's race going to McClure, based on his turning the time first.

Driving the No. 73 Aggregate Industries/3R-Racing Chevrolet Corvette ZO6, McClure turned a fastest time of 1:40.444 (90.677 mph) around the 2.53-mile circuit within the first five minutes, breaking Bill Auberlen's 2003 track record of 1:41.560 (89.326 mph).

A SPEED World Challenge rookie this weekend, current Porsche Supercup point leader Henzler waited in pit lane for traffic to clear early in the session. His first lap in the No. 17 Infineon/Farnbacher Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was good enough for third. His third lap equaled McClure's 1:40.444, becoming the first tie in series history for the top spot in qualifying. SCCA Pro Racing regulations state that, in the event of a tie, the driver turning their fastest lap first is rewarded with the position. However, both drivers share in the qualifying track record.

"It's a little spooky because he was building up to it," McClure said of sharing the identical qualifying time with Henzler. "But, we had to do it in our first lap. It was a good run. We knew we had to be mid- to low-1:40s to get the pole. So, we're happy. I think the car is going to be great in the race. It has been real consistent all weekend.

"We were sitting there watching him [Henzler]. He clicked off three good laps and the third one was the one he tied me. We thought we would give it another try just to see what would happen and I think I over-drove it a little too much trying to squeeze a little more out of it."

"On my first lap I made a mistake," Henzler said. "On my second lap, I hit traffic and on my third lap, I was 100 percent. And, unfortunately another driver did the same time before me, so I'm second. But, it's good for me and I am happy about the second place."

Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka, Minn., recorded his best qualifying effort in the No. 6 Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 of third with a lap of 1:40.635 (90.505 mph). Andy Pilgrim, of Delray Beach, Calif., was fourth in his Cadillac CTS-V, followed by Tommy Archer, of Duluth, Minn., in his Dodge Viper Competition Coupe.

Sunday's Round Four SCCA SPEED GT Championship race is set to take its standing start at 8:55 a.m. (PDT), with its SPEED Channel Broadcast beginning at 10:00 a.m. (PDT, 1:00 p.m. EDT). To follow the Live Timing & Scoring Presented by Cadillac, please visit www.world-challenge.com.

-scca pro racing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Tommy Archer , Leighton Reese , Phil McClure , Wolf Henzler