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RACE: National Runoffs: GM Racing qualifying report

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RACE: National Runoffs: GM Racing qualifying report
Oct 13, 2006, 5:33 AM

Pontiac Solstice Earns First SCCA Runoffs Pole WARREN, Mich. -- Pontiac Solstice driver Andrew Aquilante nipped teammate Don Knowles just as the checkered flag flew on Showroom Stock B class qualifying at the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) ...

Pontiac Solstice Earns First SCCA Runoffs Pole

WARREN, Mich. -- Pontiac Solstice driver Andrew Aquilante nipped teammate Don Knowles just as the checkered flag flew on Showroom Stock B class qualifying at the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Championship Runoffs at Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas, earning the Solstice its first Runoffs pole position in the car's first year of production.

"Don and I drafted each other, with me following him, but I knew I'd be faster on that last lap," said Aquilante, a 19-year old sophomore at Penn State University. "Our drafting each other at the start of tomorrow's race will be our best chance to get away from the cars behind us."

Aquilante's iRacing.com-sponsored Solstice covered the 2.5-mile Heartland Park Topeka in 2:01.232, just :00.4 quicker than Phoenix Performance teammate Knowles, also in a Solstice.

Aided by GM Performance Division, the Solstice made its racing debut this past Spring. Aquilante and his Solstice won four SCCA National Championship points races to earn his Runoffs invitation.

"We're thrilled to see a Solstice with the Z0K Club Sport option package, which is designed for weekend racers, on the pole in its class in just its first year," said GM Performance Division engineer Greg Fadler. "And we're equally happy to see all five Solstice drivers qualify in the top half of the field."

GM quality engineer Alan Yankielun qualified sixth in his Solstice. Retired GM engineer Stan Czacki was 11th quickest. Beth Aquilante, Andrew Aquilante's cousin, was 13th.

-credit: gm racing

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Series SCCA
Drivers Stan Czacki , Don Knowles , Andrew Aquilante