Mosport: Series qualifying report

Wilden Obliterates Trans-Am Track Record En Route to Pole at Mosport CANADAhMay 23, 2010) -- Kenny Wilden, of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, put his name into the record books in a big way at his home track this morning during SCCA Pro Racing...

Wilden Obliterates Trans-Am Track Record En Route to Pole at Mosport

CANADAhMay 23, 2010) -- Kenny Wilden, of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, put his name into the record books in a big way at his home track this morning during SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series qualifying for this afternoon's second round of the 2010 season at Mosport International Raceway's Victoria Day Speedfest.

Driving the No. 99 Drivewise Canada Chevrolet Corvette for Derhaag Motorsports, Wilden clocked a best lap at 1:15.719 (116.911 mph) to beat the previous Trans-Am track record by more than two seconds. The previous record, set by Butch Leitzinger in 2002, was a 1:17.744.

Wilden will be looking for his second career Trans-Am victory this afternoon, having won his first Trans-Am race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with the Derhaag team in 2000. It will be Wilden's first Trans-Am start since 2002.

"The cars definitely have a bit more power than what they used to, but let me tell you, Jimmy (Derhaag, team owner) just gave me an awesome car," said Wilden. "I guess about the third or fourth lap, the car really came in well. Really, I just was leaning on it and giving it all. I had a couple little nail-biter moments out there on that lap, but I was pretty bound and determined. I've had a couple of good shots at Trans-Am here and I haven't had the best of luck, so I just wanted to make sure I put in a good, solid lap. Man, to get the track record here is a big thing for me, being my home track. At the beginning of this week, I didn't think I'd be here, so thanks to Jim. The Corvette is just awesome."

Starting alongside Wilden will be Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C. in the No. 4 Tony Ave Racing/Pro Motor Engines Chevrolet Corvette. Ave, who started from the pole for the season opener at New Jersey Motorsports Park two weeks ago, posted a best lap at 1:17.178 (114.701 mph). Ave also had five poles in seven races last year, but what he really wants is his first Trans-Am race victory this afternoon.

"We left a lot on the table, because when I went out, it was pretty early yet and there was a lot of oil dry in (Turn) 8," Ave said. The problem for us is, we've been chasing it a little bit, so I didn't want to wait until the end of the session and go in case I had something I wanted to work on. We left at least a second or so out there. On my fast lap, I got all sideways and in the white dust out there, so we would have been a lot better off had I waited, but I'm more concerned about the big picture than qualifying. I've got plenty of poles the last couple of years. We're just worried about trying to win the race."

Points leader and defending series champion Tomy Drissi, of Hollywood, Calif., starts third in the No. 5 THE A-TEAM: THERE IS NO PLAN B Jaguar XKR following a best qualifying lap at 1:17.272 (114.561 mph). Drissi won the season opener at New Jersey and goes in search of his fourth career Trans-Am race victory this afternoon.

"This is the A-Team, there is no Plan B," Drissi said. "Kenny's just been fast, so I don't know if we had anything for him. I think we had another half a second in the car, maybe a mid-16. I missed the new on the tire as they say in NASCAR and as they say in everything. There is that golden lap. I think I did half of the lap before and the beginning of the next lap. If you would have put those two together, I know it would have been a mid- to low-16. But we're here, we're on the inside row and we're going to go to work. (The race is) going to be an hour. We've got to go to work on it and we're going to try to win this race, but Kenny is going to be tough, Ave is going to be tough. I know RJ (Lopez) probably didn't have the best qualifying, but I know here's there."

Lopez, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, will start fourth in the No. 6 Disco 106/ECR Engines/Goodyear Chevrolet Corvette at 1:17.948 (113.568 mph). Lopez finished second at New Jersey two weeks ago. Simon Gregg, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., starts fifth in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette with a best qualifying lap at 1:18.586 (112.646 mph). Gregg turned his first laps of the weekend at Mosport during this morning's qualifying session.

-source: scca pro racing

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Tony Ave , Tomy Drissi , Simon Gregg