Brandon Davis Takes New Jersey SPEED GT Pole
Brandon Davis, of Huntington Beach, Calif., took his second SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship pole of 2008 in tricky conditions for Saturday’s Round Eight race at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt Raceway. James Sofronas, of Newport Beach, Calif., will start second.
Driving the No. 10 ACS/Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang Cobra, Davis was one of 10 drivers that held provisional pole during the 30-minute session as the track continued to dry out from morning rain. Davis turned a fastest time of 1:25.940 (94.251 mph) on his final lap, before a red flag brought out by Dino Crescentini’s impact with the front straight wall ended the session with five minutes remaining.
It was an impressive feat for the ACS Express team, as Davis hit the wall in the 11 a.m. session, necessitating some quick repairs and an alignment.
“It’s good to know that we can still put it on the pole, especially with what happened earlier with the wreck,” Davis said. “We were warming this car up on the setup pad and it was getting wheeled out as cars were already on track. So, to come out and put it on pole feels really great. It’s all about the team. I messed up big time this morning. These guys definitely saved my butt.”
Davis knew the track was getting faster, but felt good about his ability to take the pole whether the session continued or not.
“I don’t know what everyone else would have been able to do, but I’m very happy with the timing of everything.
“This is a fun track. It takes some time getting used to. I think since nobody else has had practice time here, except for a couple teams that came to test, it makes it an interesting playing field because nobody has a ton of time here for the most part. I think it’s going to be a good race.”
With no official time on a dry track this weekend going into the race, Davis was somewhat skeptical about his chances during Saturday’s race.
“I think the best we’ll have is on a wet/dry track, like it was in qualifying. The car felt really stable. I think if it dries out some other cars might be a little bit quicker, but I think we’ll be right there for the race.”
Starting alongside Davis in Sunday afternoon’s feature will be the No. 14 Global Motorsports Group Porsche 911 GT3 of Sofronas, who led the session at one point and also turned his fastest lap on his final tour with a 1:26.728 (93.395 mph).
Practice leader Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., will start third in his No. 8 Remington Shaving Cadillac CTS-V after turning a lap of 1:26.986 (93.118 mph).
Despite his session-ending trip to the wall, an uninjured Crescentini, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., will start fourth in his No. 4 Centric Parts/Stoptech Porsche 911 GT3 on the strength of a fast time of 1:27.196 (92.894 mph). Point leader Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., will start his No. 1 K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 fifth, with a time of 1:27.498 (92.573 mph).
Michael Galati (Porsche 911 GT3), Brian Simo (Dodge Viper), Jeff Courtney (Dodge Viper), Tommy Milner (Aston Martin DB9) and Cindi Lux (Dodge Viper) completed the top 10.
Saturday’s Round Eight race of the SCCA SPEED GT Championship will make its standing start at 1 p.m. (Eastern). Live lap notes and timing are available through www.world-challenge.com. The race will be broadcast Oct. 15 at noon (Eastern) on SPEED.
Starting lineup for Saturday's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Round Nine race, part of the New Jersey Grand Prix at Thunderbolt Raceway, with position, car number in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, fastest lap time, and speed in miles per hour.
1. (10), Brandon Davis, Huntington Beach, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 1:25.940, 94.251.
2. (14), James Sofronas, Newport Beach, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 1:26.728, 93.395.
3. (8), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Cadillac CTS-V, 1:26.986, 93.118.
4. (4), Dino Crescentini, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 1:27.196, 92.894.
5. (1), Randy Pobst, Gainesville, Ga., Porsche 911 GT3, 1:27.498, 92.573.
6. (23), Michael Galati, Olmsted, Ohio, Porsche 911 GT3, 1:27.928, 92.120.
7. (13), Brian Simo, Carlsbad, Calif., Dodge Viper, 1:28.058, 91.984.
8. (99), Jeff Courtney, Slinger, Wis., Dodge Viper, 1:28.576, 91.446.
9. (21), Tommy Milner, Leesburg, Va., Aston Martin DB9, 1:28.577, 91.445.
10. (2), Cindi Lux, Aloha, Ore., Dodge Viper, 1:28.707, 91.311.
11. (30), Eric Curran, East Hampton, Mass., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:29.107, 90.902.
12. (34), Tony Gaples, Libertyville, Ill., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:29.172, 90.835.
13. (16), Michael McCann, Canton, Ohio, Cadillac CTS-V, 1:29.724, 90.276.
14. (5), Jason Daskalos, Albuquerque, N.M., Dodge Vi.er, 1:30.110, 89.890.
15. (11), Mike Davis, Huntington Beach, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 1:30.649, 89.355.
16. (97), Vesko Kozarov(R), Salt Lake City, Utah, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, 1:30.844, 89.163.
17. (31), Sonny Whelen, Old Saybrook, Conn., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:31.060, 88.952.
18. (06), Joey Scarallo, Smithtown, N.Y., Pontiac GTO, 1:31.928, 88.112.
19. (24), Sean Allen(R), Manhattan Beach, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 1:35.950, 84.419.
20. (29), Eric Olberz, La Canada, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 2:10.720, 61.964.
21. (72), Jeff Altenburg, Ellicott City, Md., Lexus IS, no time.
22. (9), Gunter Schaldach(R), Aspen, Colo., Dodge Viper, no time.
Note: #72 times disallowed (wing/splitter height)
#9 times disallowed (wing height)