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Watkins Glen: GT qualifying report

Pilgrim Grabs SPEED GT Pole In Watkins Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 9, 2007) -- Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., won the pole in the final moments of today's qualifying session for Sunday's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge ...

Pilgrim Grabs SPEED GT Pole In Watkins Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 9, 2007) -- Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., won the pole in the final moments of today's qualifying session for Sunday's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Round Five race, part of the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen Weekend at Watkins Glen International. Eric Curran, of East Hampton, Mass., will start on the outside of the front row.

Driving the No. 8 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose Cadillac CTS-V, Pilgrim dropped nearly a second off his previous fastest time in the session with just moments remaining to trump his teammate, Lawson Aschenbach, for the pole. The lap of 1:53.998 (107.370 mph) eclipsed the former track record of 2:05.026 set by Terry Borcheller in the last series appearance here in 1998, by just over 11 seconds.

"Everyone was going very quickly, the tires were superb and the track temperature was perfect--there was no sun," Pilgrim said. "We had to compromise on the setup. The car was pushing. We've had a push since we got here, but this was the best the car's been and I just had to go out and do zero mistakes on the lap."

Pilgrim's lapped jumped over Aschenbach's 1:54.649 (106.761 mph), but he also inadvertently helped Curran split the two Cadillacs, as Curran put his No. 30 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette on Pilgrim's back bumper for the lap.

"Eric [Curran] got out of the car and he said 'I saw a 54.0 on the dash and I thought I had it until my crew said Andy went 53.9,'" Pilgrim said. "Eric said he learned something by following me so I expect him to be quick in the race."

Curran's fast lap of 1:54.095 (107.279 mph) was just 0.097-second short of the pole.

The pole is just the third for Pilgrim in SCCA SPEED World Challenge competition, but Pilgrim is beginning to find a groove, coming off a win at the series' most recent round at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Randy Pobst will start fourth, alongside Aschenbach, after turning a fast time of 1:54.939 (106.491 mph). Pobst topped the charts in his No. 22 K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 at the session's mid-point when a red flag came out to move the disabled car of James Sofronas. Following the stoppage, Pobst did not improve on his time.

Tommy Archer completed the top five in his No. 5 MOPAR/Autohaus Motorsports Dodge Viper with a time of 1:55.650 (105.846 mph).

Lou Gigliotti (Chevrolet Corvette), Sofronas (Porsche 911 GT3), Doug Peterson (Chevrolet Corvette), Michael Galati (Porsche 911 GT3) and Sonny Whelen (Chevrolet Corvette) completed the top 10.

Sunday's race will make its standing start at 9:30 a.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast June 30 on SPEED Channel.

To follow the race live online via timing and scoring and live lap notes, please visit www.world-challenge.com.

-credit: scca pro racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Tommy Archer , Randy Pobst , Terry Borcheller , Lawson Aschenbach , Michael Galati , Lou Gigliotti , Eric Curran , James Sofronas