RANDY POBST/K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 has the overall and GT Class pole position for Saturday noon’s one-hour race by the SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge Series, with a time of 1:26.361/93.292 mph. It didn’t break his lap record of 1:25.499/94.232 mph set last year. Pobst won the race in 2006 and 2002.
Qualifying mid-afternoon Friday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was held in 63 degreeF sunshine, under blue, cloudless skies and flags waving briskly in the crisp breeze.
Second and third fastest overall/GT were ANDY PILGRIM/Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, who won the 2007 GT race, and 2011 GT race winner, MIKE SKEEN, now driving the Hawk Performance Nissan GTR.
The fastest speed I saw on the Start-Finish radar sign was 135 mph, but no idea by whom as the actual radar is positioned up near Turn One out of sign.
PD CUNNINGHAM/Accura/HPD RealTime Racing Accura TSX set the only qualifying record in the session, turning a 1:33.094/86.544 mph in the GTS class, besting last year’s time of 1:34.178/85.548 set by PAUL BROWN in a Mustang. The top five in class all were faster than last year’s time. Second and third in class were JACK BALDWIN/Voodoo Ride-Inv Prp/Hot Wheels Porsche Cayman S and NICK ESAYIAN/Acura/HPD/realTime Racing/Accura TSX.
TRISTAN HERBERT/HPA/RennGruppe/Brimtek/SGRcng Volkswagen Jetta GLI was tops in the TC (Touring Car) class at 1:39.156/81.253. TODD LAMB/National Karting News/HPD/Honda Civic Si and Herbert’s teammate, JEFF ALTENBURG.
The World Challenge Series has the largest field this weekend with 43 cars. Two cars will start at the rear of their respective class field. LAWSON ASCHENBACH/Privacy Star/Entrust/TruSpeed Porsche 911 GT3 GT did not qualify as he’s commuting this weekend between Laguna Seca and New Jersey where he competes in rival series, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Last year Aschenbach won the TC class.
ROBB HOLLAND/Emich RacingVolkswagen Jetta GLI was a late entry in TC, and broke his car during practice. The car is being repaired, so Holland can at least start the race.
Both SCCA’s series this weekend will have standing starts.
There are three Canadians and 40 Yanks in the field, and five of the group are Rookies.
The race will be streamed live on ESPN3 and shown tape delayed Sunday 27 May 2012 at 11pm EDT on NBC Sports Network.