Thursday October 10, 1996 The first session after lunch was still dry, but not any warmer! The GT5 group had 24 entrants listed, but Richard Kraus has withdrawn his car after suffering severe engine problems in practice. The remaining 23...
Thursday October 10, 1996
The first session after lunch was still dry, but not any warmer! The GT5 group had 24 entrants listed, but Richard Kraus has withdrawn his car after suffering severe engine problems in practice. The remaining 23 cars all posted times during their "dry" session. The session was quiet and Jamie Houseman got the pole in his Honda CRX with a time of 1:43.290 and a speed of 83.647 mph. David Walsh is not defending his title this year in GT5, having moved to GT4.
The 11th session for the day was a combined one for CSR and FA. All of the 21 FA cars got on track for the a dry session's qualifying time. Dan Carmichael, the defending FA champion was only able to qualify in the 9th spot. Taking the pole in FA was Robert Sollenskog in a Ralt RT-40 with a time of 1:24.327 and a speed of 102.45 mph. All of the CSR's made it to the track and posted times very much faster than in Wednesday's session. On the pole in CSR in his Tracer TR2 is Chuck Billington, a 5 time National champion, with a time of 1:27.775 and 98.433 mph - 35 seconds better than the time he set on Wednesday. Next to Chuck is Tom Foster, a 7 time National champion! Rounding out the top three in CSR is Jeff Miller, a 5 time National champion himself.
The 12th session of the day was for DSR and 21 of the 22 listed entrants were on course for the session. Jerry Bergman put his Bease B2 in the gravel pit at station 7. Charles Smith 's LeGrand MK25 was reportedly dragging his front spoiler. Nancy James spun at station 14 but was able to continue. Al Beasley, Jr. experienced mechanical problems in his Beasley B2 and pulled off at station 9. Defending DSR champion David Kaiser, who did not go out on Wednesday, took the pole in his LeGrand MK25D with a time of 1:28.710 and a speed of 97.396 mph.. David also won this class in 1994. Past champion Al Beasley, Sr. was having mechanical problems and did not make the 120% rule. He will be able to start only with the permission of the Chief Steward.
The 13th session was for SSA and all 19 of the entrants took advantage of the dry track. Terry Coates, in a VW Corrado was able to hold on to the pole position in the dry with a time of 1:49.243 and a speed of 79.089 mph , 14 seconds better than Wednesday's posted time. Second on the grid is Mark Younguist, also in a Corrado.The first Honda on the grid is the Prelude of Tony Swan, only 0.7 seconds behind Coates.
The 14th session was for FF and all 25 entrants went on course for the 16 minute session. John Horgas put his Van Diemen RF92 into the tires at station 3, but was able to continue. Terry Hohnecker stalled his Swift DB-1 in the middle of the track at station 3, but continued. Bill Goldkind put his Swift DB-1 in the gravel at station 11. Continuing around the course it was noted that Goldkind's car was missing the nose. Joe Parsons spun on course, backed into the guardrail but continued. Bill Moore slid off on drivers' left at station and ended up "high-centered" at station 10 in his Van Dieman. John Horgas captured the pole with a time of 1:32.694 and a speed of 93.209 mph - 22 seconds better than his times in the rain.
The 15th session was for the FC cars and all of the 28 cars entered went on course.Christian Coggins lost a mirror from his Van Diemen RF95 at center track near station 11. Mark Defer's Van Diemen RF93 got hung up on the "gator teeth" at station 15 and the field was black flagged to move him to a safer place. With just two minutes left in the session, the field was given a green flag. Jeremy Treadway lost his provisional pole position to Justin Pritchard and his Van Diemen that ran a time of 1:29.052 for speed of 97.021 mph. Jeremy dropped to 2nd place, despite the fact that he dropped 21 seconds.
The 16th session was for SR and all 45 cars got times on the dry track. Russ Echner spun off course at station 7, but was able to re- enter. Jim Nelson pulled off just past station 9 on the drivers' right and needed a flat tow at the end of the session. Tom Van Camp lost his provisional pole position to John Hollansworth who had a time of 1:42.948 and a speed of 83.925 mph.
The 17th session was for SSC and 35 of the 36 cars entered went on course under threatening skies, but a still dry track. The Plymouth Neon of John Phillips III was reportedly leaking fluids, possibly fuel. (It was John's 50th birhday last week which may be where he's team's name came from - "Over 50 Motorsports") Carl Galeana's Dodge Neon lost his left front wheel and went across the track at station 16 and almost straight into the tirewall. Carl was okay and the car appeared to be repairable. Eric Heuschele was the provisional pole sitter in the rain, but put hisPlymouth Neon on its roof on the last lap of Wednesday's qualifying session. Eric was okay, but the car looked too bent to repair. Eric took off for Detroit where his ice racing Neon sat, in not quite legal SCCA trim. Eric brought it back to the track and turned it into a legal SSC car. In the dry he ran the fastest time in a new carand kept his pole position. His best lap was 1:51.701 with a speed of 77.349 mph. Larry Ray, also driving a Plymouth version of the Neon is second on the grid. Larry's first qualifying times were disallowed due to a mechanical infraction that was corrected before the 2nd qualifying session.
The 18th session was a combined session for S2000 and SCA. All 4 of the entered SAC cars managed qualifying times. Jeff Tyler had the fastest SAC time of 1:47.982 and a speed of 80.013 mph. The track was wet in spots and the stations displayed a surface "slippery" flag around the course. Mike Phillips high centered his Lola 87/90 at station 1A, but was able to continue. There were many, many "spun and continued" entries in the log, as the track surface became wetter as the session went on. The pole position in S2 went to Cliff Knudsen in a Swift DB-5 with a time of 1:40.024. Cliff had not gone out on Wednesday. Defending S2 champion, David Doran is not entered this year.
The 19th session was for FV and they ended up on a wet track for the second day in a row. In all there were 49 separate incidents reported in the 16 minute session! That included spins and "off & ons". The pole position went to Zan Smith in his Protoform who was clocked at 2:03.095 and a speed of 70.189 mph. FV defending champion Jon Adams in gridded 12 in his Adams Aero. 56 cars posted times in this class, out of 57 listed entrants.
The 20th session was for AS and was again run in the rain. Most of the drivers played it safe on the slick track and considering that there were 40 cars on track, it was relativly incident -free. Jerry Post "lost " his Camaro's engine near station 13, and Dwight Faitz, showed up at station 7 with a flat right front tire on his Pontiac Trans-Am. Tom Himes put his Ford Mustang on the pole with a time of 2:00.288 and 71.827 mph. Kerry Alexander, the first AS champion is not defending that title this weekend, having gone on to T1.
The last session of the day was for the SRF. This session was also on a wet track. 40 of the entered 41 cars got a lap time. Jim Marinangel went off at station 2 into the gravel pit, but was able to re-enter the session. Doug Christensen had a passing glance off the guardrail at station 1A, but was able to continue. Bob Barlett went into the gravel at station 11. John Collier showed up at station 7 with a flat right rear tire. Warren Stillwell, the defending champion in SRF, held onto the pole position with a time of 2:02.202 and a speed of 70.702 mph. Tom Van Camp, the 1995 SR champion, ended up 9th on the grid.
The weather prediction for Friday's races is for "sunny and cool".