Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Qualifies for Rounds 7 & 8 at Road America Chris Wehrheim Sits on Pole for Tomorrow's Race -- Wyatt Gooden Earns Pole for Sunday's Event ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 20, 2010) -- The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup conducted...
Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Qualifies for Rounds 7 & 8 at Road America
Chris Wehrheim Sits on Pole for Tomorrow's Race -- Wyatt Gooden Earns Pole for Sunday's Event
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 20, 2010) -- The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup conducted both of its weekend qualifying sessions today at historic Road America in preparation of Rounds 7 & 8 taking place tomorrow and Sunday. While Qualifying 1 took place under ideal weather conditions, this afternoon's severe weather cut the second session short.
Chris Wehrheim earned the pole in Qualifying 1 with a lap of 2:39.913, marking his first pole of the 2010 season. Wehrheim was the only driver to turn a lap in the 2:39's as second place qualifier, JD Mobley, recorded a fast lap of 2:40.076. Series rookie JJ Tomlinson took the third-quickest spot with a lap of 2:40.425 and was followed by another Series rookie, Rafael Navarro IV (his time was 2:40.479). Jake Thompson rounded out the top-five after a lap of 2:40.508.
"I had a good run considering it's just my first time competing here at Road America," said Wehrheim after qualifying. "The Jetta TDI Cup car felt great during qualifying and hopefully I can carry that momentum through to the race tomorrow. It's great to have earned my first pole of the season and I just want to thank everyone involved with the Series, especially my sponsor King Taco."
Unfortunately, the afternoon saw heavy rainfall and the second qualifying session of the day ended early due to these extreme conditions. Despite the session being cut short, the times recorded during the session were announced to be official. Since each driver had enough time to register two laps under green flag conditions, the times posted in the session do in fact determine the grid for Sunday's race. Series points leader, Wyatt Gooden, earned his first pole of the season after registering a lap of 2:41.969. Rookie Kevin Gleason qualified second with a fast time of 2:42.101 and Ryan Ellis rounded out the top-three (after turning a lap of 2:42.228). Another Series rookie, Michael Hogg and tomorrow's polesitter, Chris Wehrheim, qualified fourth and fifth respectively.
"This afternoon's qualifying session was definitely the most dramatic of the year," said Gooden after the session. "When we went out there, I knew we'd only get a few laps in before the rain started, so I just had to go for it. I was about three-quarters of the way through my first lap at speed before it started drizzling, so I had to make it count. It started pouring as I got onto the front straight and it looked like the session would be called shortly thereafter. Fortunately, I was able to record a solid time that was good enough to grab the pole."
In addition to the field of 25 drivers, tomorrow's event will feature two guest drivers - racing phenom Cooper MacNeil and motorsports broadcasting veteran Ralph Sheheen. The pair of drivers will both be competing in tomorrow's Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup race and MacNeil will be racing on Sunday as well.
During today's first qualifying session, MacNeil recorded the 14th quickest lap and Sheheen qualified 26th on the grid. MacNeil, who currently competes as a SCCA Nationally licensed Touring 2 driver, also participated in the second qualifying session this afternoon and will be starting Sunday's race in the 21st position.
Round Seven of the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup continues tomorrow at Road America when the green flag drops at 6:15 pm CT.