POMBO WINS THE VOLKSWAGEN JETTA TDI CUP POLE AT MOSPORT Series veteran claims his first pole of the season Bowmanville, ON (August 29, 2009) -- The drivers competing in the SCCA Pro Racing race weekend at Mosport International Raceway battled...
POMBO WINS THE VOLKSWAGEN JETTA TDI CUP POLE AT MOSPORT
Series veteran claims his first pole of the season
Bowmanville, ON (August 29, 2009) -- The drivers competing in the SCCA Pro Racing race weekend at Mosport International Raceway battled the elements in today's practice and qualifying sessions. They saw it all on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile road course--rain, fog and even a few peeks of sun, which made tire selection a bit difficult.
Heavy rain drenched the Mosport area early Saturday morning, and the drivers battled a wet track on grooved rain tires during the early practice session. The challenging conditions didn't limit Mark Pombo from claiming the top time in practice - 1:47.851 (82.080 mph). The Duluth, Georgia native was followed by Theresa Condict (1:48.901/ 81.288 mph) and AJ Nealey (1:49.259/81.022 mph).
When the green flag waved for the 30-minute afternoon qualifying session, the track had dried and the series technicians switched the cars to slick tires. As a result, the drivers started to push their cars to the limit and saw increased speeds. The increased risk led to off-track excursions by Nealey, Condict and Perry Richardson and Andrew Novich, which shortened all of their qualifying sessions. As the clocked ticked into the final minutes, it appeared as though Jake Thompson of Calgary, Alberta would win the pole position, but Pombo put the pedal to the floor on his last lap to regain his position on the top of the speed charts and claim his first pole of the season in dramatic fashion. Pombo's time of 1:37.160 (91.111 mph) topped Thompson and Andy Lee who rounded out the top three positions. Series points leader, Timmy Megenbier will start fourth and Donny Warren posted his best qualifying effort of the season, fifth. Andrew Cordeiro and David Richert, the two other Canadian drivers competing this weekend, will start 10th and 22nd respectively.
"When I got to the track this weekend, I was hoping for it to rain because we ran here in the wet last year," Pombo said. "Unfortunately, it dried out a bit for qualifying, and none of us had gotten any laps in on slick tires. I made some mistakes early in the session, but I was able to get in one last hot lap before the checkered flag that allowed me to jump up the charts. This feels really good since I've had a bit of a challenging season, but the race is what earns us points. I'm looking forward to keeping the #20 Fresh From Florida/HEAL/HYPERFUELS car on top tomorrow."
The series is joined this weekend by three guest drivers--ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup driver Maximilian Hackl0x00e4nder and Canadian automotive journalists, Jim Kenzie and Marc Lachapelle. Hackl0x00e4nder will lead the trio in tomorrow's race, as he qualified 14th in his first time in the Jetta TDI Cup car. Lachapelle and Kenzie will start 19th and 24th respectively.
"It's really a great opportunity for me to join the Jetta TDI Cup series here this weekend at Mosport," Hackl0x00e4nder said. "The track is a lot of fun with all of the hills, and the car is a bit easier to drive than the Polo Cup car in Germany. The weather was a bit challenging today, as my first time to drive the car on dry pavement was during qualifying. As a result, I'm satisfied with my qualifying time, but I'm looking forward to moving to the front in the race tomorrow."
The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series returns to action at Mosport on Sunday at 8:30 am ET for Round 7 of the season.