Monterey, Calif. -- Deerhaag Motorsports' Kenny Wilden drove the ...
Monterey, Calif. -- Deerhaag Motorsports' Kenny Wilden drove the #40 YO Ranch Chevrolet Camaro to his first career pole this afternoon during Fast Five Qualifying for the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series 100 at Laguna Seca Raceway. Wilden's time of 1:26.810 (92.809 mph) bested Brian Simo's (#88 Tommy Bahama Qvale Mangusta) time of 1:27.239 for tomorrow afternoon's race.
Wilden, who is making only his second appearance of the season in a BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series race here at the GlobalCenter Sports Car Championships, the pole culminated an outstanding two days of practice and qualifying as Wilden was second quickest is Friday's second practice session.
"I am just so happy for the whole team," said Wilden. "Jim Derhaag and Pat Lazzaro have worked so hard for this for so long. I gained experience here in Atlantics and I really like the track, it's my kind of track. Derhaag gave me a car that I could go out and run hard with."
Simo, who had a streak of two consecutive poles broken, has appeared in the Fast Five in eight of the nine rounds of the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series this season.
"There is pressure on us because we need every single point," said Simo. "We are in a battle for a championship and winning a championship is different from winning a race. I just hope that whoever wins the championship wins it cleanly."
Boris Said (#33 Applied Computer Solutions Ford Mustang) qualified third in a brand new car. He was followed by Tomy Drissi (#15 Drissi Advertising Ford Mustang) and Paul Gentilozzi (#1 Johnson Controls HomeLink Jaguar XKR) to round out the Fast Five.
Drissi spun into the tire barrier in turn four late in the first qualifying session after posting his time. The incident resulted in a Black Flag and immediate Checkered Flag for the session.
"We got cute and went with low tire pressures," said series leader Gentilozzi. "Because of the shortened session, we never got the tires up to temperature or pressure. We'll learn from that and be fine for the race.
Tomorrow afternoon's race with be Round 10 of the 2000 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series. The race, scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m., will be 45 laps of the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca circuit.