Cunningham, Buras Earn World Challenge Poles; GT Grid Set On Points ALTON, Va. (September 11, 2010) -- Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Todd Buras, of Daytona Beach, Fla., will start Saturday afternoon's Race Keeper VIR Grand Prix ...
Cunningham, Buras Earn World Challenge Poles; GT Grid Set On Points
ALTON, Va. (September 11, 2010) -- Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Todd Buras, of Daytona Beach, Fla., will start Saturday afternoon's Race Keeper VIR Grand Prix presented by MTM Special Ops Watch on the GTS and Touring Car poles, respectively. A red flag ended the GT qualifying session before drivers had an opportunity to post a qualifying time, setting the field on Drivers' Championship points.
In World Challenge qualifying, the GTS and Touring Car fields run a combined 20-minute qualifying session, with a 10-minute break prior to the 20-minute GT qualifying. At the end of the GTS and Touring Car session, rain started to fall in turns eight through 12 at the 17-turn, 3.27-mile Virginia International Raceway.
Patrick Lindsey, driving the No. 57 Horton/Sloan Securities Porsche 911 GT3, slid off track and into the tire barriers on the out lap after leaving pit lane. Drivers were shown the red flag and returned to pit lane without completing a full lap, and when repairs to the tire barrier exceeded the session's time limit, qualifying ended without official times. Lindsey was uninjured in the accident, but he will be out for this afternoon's race.
Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., will start on the GT and overall pole in the No. 6 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 by virtue of his Championship lead. Kuno Wittmer, in the No. 13 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Viper will start alongside Pobst in row one. Wittmer was quickest in both of Friday's practice sessions.
James Sofronas, in the No. 14 GMG Porsche 911 GT3 and Andy Pilgrim (No. 8 K-Pax Racing/Volvo S60) will start in row two. Jason Daskalos (No. 5 Daskalos Developments Dodge Viper) and Rob Morgan (No. 46 TruSpeed Motorsports/Querencia Porsche 911 GT3) comprise row three on the grid.
No qualifying points will be awarded to the GT field for this Round.
Cunningham, who was quickest in both of Friday's practice sessions in the No. 43 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, set the pole on Saturday morning with a lap of 2:06.937 (92.739 mph) before the rains came. The pole position is the 40th of Cunningham's World Challenge career, extending his Series record.
Sharing the front row with Cunningham is his teammate, Nick Esayian, of San Diego, Calif. Esayain turned a best time of 2:08.212 (91.816 mph) in the No. 34 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX.
Karl Poeltl's fast time of 2:09.194 (91.118 mph) in the No. 83 Racer's Edge/Wossner Pistons BMW 325i was quick enough for third on the GTS grid.
Ernie Jakubowski qualified with a time of 2:09.295 (91.047 mph) in the No. 91 Fuchs/CDOC/Forgeline Porsche Cayman, but was moved to the end of grid for leaving pit lane during the session without permission.
Kevin Helms (No. 04 DBA./Carbotech/AST/Exedy Acura RSX) will fill the vacant spot on row two, followed by Tommy Sadler (No. 44 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX).
Buras earned the Touring Car pole with a best time of 2:12.484 (88.856 mph) in the No. 50 Irish Mike's Racing/Krispy Kreme Volkswagen GLI. The pole position comes in his return to racing after Buras, who won the season-opening Touring Car rounds on the streets of St. Petersburg, was involved in an accident in April while racing with another series at Virginia International Raceway that left him with broken ribs and severe neck trauma.
Touring Car Championship leader Robert Stout, of Brownsburg, Ind., sat sixth on the charts after Friday's practice but turned a lap of 2:12.695 (88.714 mph) on Saturday morning to qualify second in the No. 18 DG-Spec/Scion/TRD/Lucas Oil Scion tC.
Devin Cates, of Denver, Colo., qualified third in his Touring Car debut after finishing on the podium in the GTS class at Mid-Ohio. Cates posted a qualifying time of 2:13.375 (88.262 mph) in the No. 23 Cates Engineering Volkswagen GTI.
Eric Meyer, who turned a lap of 2:13.467 behind the wheel of the No. 32 XOWii/Samaritan's Feet/Delvira Mazda RX-8, would have started alongside Cates but will now start from pit lane after making minor mechanical repairs following qualifying.
Greg Shaffer will start on row two in the No. 36 DG-Spec/Scion/TRD Scion tC. Shaffer's time of 2:13.489 (88.187 mph) was fifth quickest in Touring Car, sliding him into the position vacated by Meyer.
The World Challenge Championships GT, GTS and Touring Car classes race this afternoon at 2:35 p.m. EDT.
-source: scca pro racing