Tandy, Wilkins Score Pirelli World Challenge Round 9 Poles in Toronto
Tandy, making his series debut in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche GT3 R, engaged in a great scrap with fellow first-time 2014 Pirelli World Challenge racer Kuno Wittmer, of Montreal, Quebec for the top spot.
Tandy was first into the 1:09s at the 1.755-mile Exhibition Place track at 1:09.703. Wittmer, in the No. 92 Dodge/SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R, then lowered the mark to a 1:09.607. But Tandy responded with the ultimate pole time of 1:09.462 – easily a new track record.
"I'd asked to be continually updated on times throughout the session," Tandy said. "I thought we'd be doing around this sort of lap time. I knew I'd have to pull something out of the bag. Two laps were pretty good, one was good enough for the pole. It's a good improvement from where we started at the front of the weekend."
Wittmer, making his first series start since 2010, will start second. Meanwhile Anthony Lazzaro, of Atlanta, Ga., in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, N.C., in the No. 2 Hawk Performance Audi R8 Ultra also got into the 1:09 range. Lazzaro and Skeen are both winners this season and will share Row 2.
Points leader and defending Toronto race winner Johnny O'Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga., in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R, will start fifth with a best time of 1:10.253. The top six on the GT grid eclipsed O'Connell's previous track record of 1:10.304, set last season.
Von Thurn und Taxis makes his return to the series for the first time since Round 1 at St. Petersburg, and had the seventh best overall time of 1:10.342 in the No. 24 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo FL2. Henrik Hedman, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in the No. 10 DragonSpeed Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and Michael Mills, of Angleton, Texas, in the No. 41 EFFORT Racing Porsche GT3 R start second and third in GT-A.
"It was great, great fun," von Thurn und Taxis said. "Some water on the track, at I think the ninth corner, meant we had to take it easy towards the end. But it's an incredible track and a bunch of really lovely people. It's an honor to be here." Water was released from a tire barrier earlier in the session because of contact from two other cars.
The GTS qualifying session was a little more straightforward with the fast times coming early in the session, led by the Kia Racing/Kinetic Motorsports teammates of Wilkins, in the No. 38 PutOnTheBrakes.org Kia Optima and Nic Jonsson, of Buford, Ga., in the No. 36 DonorsChoose.org Kia Optima. Wilkins' time of 1:15.381 is also a new track record, as he led the top 10 drivers in eclipsing the previous mark of 1:16.726. Wilkins' pole is his second this season (Round 8, Road America) and fourth of his career.
"Heading into tomorrow, my concern if anything is the pace of some of the GT-A cars," Wilkins said. "Some guys at the back of the field are not that far off our lap times. Their tires take some time to come up. We don't want a result like Detroit, where a GT car splits us up if it doesn't get going and impacts our start."
Wilkins, who trailed Jonsson by one point entering the weekend, seeks a home race victory and his second win of the season.
"It would be great. This is the race I've always wanted to win," Wilkins said. "Tomorrow we'll work together and provide the best result we can for Kia. It's focused on the manufacturer's race and delivering to Kia what they've given us."
Behind the Kia teammates, Drew Regitz of Denver, Col. turned in a career-best qualifying effort in the No. 02 TRG-AMR North America Aston Martin GT4. Regitz, who had a best prior start of sixth, will line up third for Saturday's Round 9.
Jack Baldwin, of Marietta, Ga., in the No. 73 RESET-MD Porsche Cayman S and Andy Lee, of Colorado Springs, Col., in the No. 20 Crown Seven/BestIT Chevrolet Camaro round out the top five.
Saturday's 50-minute Round 9 of the season will go green from a standing start at 11:25 a.m. ET. Live streaming begins on www.world-challengetv.com at 11:05 a.m. ET.
TORONTO, Ont. – Starting lineup for Saturday's Pirelli World Challenge Championship GT/GT-A/GTS Round 9 race, part of the Honda Indy Toronto at Streets of Toronto, with position, class, car number in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, fastest lap time, and speed in miles per hour.
|1||GT||(31)||Nick Tandy||Bedfordshire||England||Porsche GT3R||1:09.462||90.956.|
|2||GT||(92)||Kuno Wittmer||Montreal||Quebec||Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R||1:09.607||90.766.|
|3||GT||(61)||Anthony Lazzaro||Atlanta||Ga.||Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia||1:09.758||90.570.|
|4||GT||(2)||Mike Skeen||Charlotte||N.C.||Audi R8 Ultra||1:09.920||90.360.|
|5||GT||(3)||Johnny O'Connell||Flowery Branch||Ga.||Cadillac CTS-V R||1:10.253||89.932.|
|6||GT||(21)||Andrew Palmer||Chicago||Ill.||Audi R8 Ultra||1:10.280||89.897.|
|7||GT||(24)||Albert von Thurn und Taxis(A)||Regensburg||Germany||Lamborghini Gallardo FL2||1:10.342||89.818.|
|8||GT||(6)||Robert Thorne||Littleton||Colo.||McLaren 12C GT3||1:10.383||89.766.|
|9||GT||(8)||Andy Pilgrim||Boca Raton||Fla.||Cadillac CTS-V R||1:10.538||89.568.|
|10||GT||(14)||James Sofronas||Villa Park||Calif.||Audi R8 Ultra||1:10.791||89.248.|
|11||GT||(16)||Nick Mancuso||Chicago||Ill.||Ferrari 458 GT3||1:11.200||88.736.|
|12||GT||(08)||Butch Leitzinger||State College||Pa.||Bentley Continental GT3||1:11.388||88.502.|
|13||GT||(10)||Henrik Hedman(A)(R)||Ft Lauderdale||Fla.||Ferrari 458 GT3||1:11.854||87.928.|
|14||GT||(41)||Michael Mills(A)||Angleton||Texas||Porsche GT3R||1:11.874||87.903.|
|15||GT||(44)||Brent Holden(A)||Newport Coast||Calif.||Audi R8 Ultra||1:12.700||86.905.|
|16||GT||(0)||Marcelo Hahn(A)||Sao Paulo Brazil||BR||Lamborghini Gallardo FL2||1:12.715||86.887.|
|17||GT||(32)||Bret Curtis(A)||Austin||Texas||Audi R8 Ultra||1:12.933||86.627.|
|18||GT||(23)||Walt Bowlin||Tarpon Springs||Fla.||Audi R8 Ultra||1:12.960||86.595.|
|19||GT||(54)||Tim Pappas(A)||Boston||Mass.||Mercedes AMG SLS GT3||1:13.179||86.336.|
|20||GT||(95)||Bill Ziegler(A)||Ponte Vedra Beach||Fla.||Audi R8 Ultra||1:13.793||85.617.|
|21||GT||(89)||Fred Roberts(A)||Toronto||Ontario||Dodge Viper Coupe||1:14.172||85.180.|
|22||GT||(27)||Jean-Francois Dumoulin||Trois-Rivieres||Quebec||Dodge Viper Coupe||1:14.318||85.013.|
|23||GT||(80)||Dan Knox(A)(R)||Pilot Point||Texas||Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R||1:15.508||83.673.|
|1||GTS||(38)||Mark Wilkins||Toronto||Ontario||Kia Optima||1:15.381||83.814.|
|2||GTS||(36)||Nic Jonsson||Buford||Ga.||Kia Optima||1:15.418||83.773.|
|3||GTS||(02)||Drew Regitz||Denver||Colo.||Aston Martin GT4||1:15.608||83.562.|
|4||GTS||(73)||Jack Baldwin||Marietta||Ga.||Porsche Cayman S||1:15.720||83.439.|
|5||GTS||(20)||Andy Lee||Colorado Springs||Colo.||Chevrolet Camaro||1:15.872||83.271.|
|6||GTS||(60)||Jack Roush Jr||Livonia||Mich.||Ford MustangBoss302R||1:15.875||83.268.|
|7||GTS||(1)||Lawson Aschenbach||Palm Beach Gardens||Fla.||Chevrolet Camaro||1:16.024||83.105.|
|8||GTS||(50)||Dean Martin||Westland||Mich.||Ford MustangBoss302S||1:16.128||82.991.|
|9||GTS||(34)||Nick Esayian||San Diego||Calif.||Aston Martin GT4||1:16.566||82.517.|
|10||GTS||(17)||Alec Udell||The Woodlands||Texas||Ford MustangBoss302S||1:16.584||82.497.|
|11||GTS||(97)||Mitch Landry||Lake Charles||La.||Ford MustangBoss302S||1:17.330||81.701.|
|12||GTS||(11)||Tony Gaples||Libertyville||Ill.||Chevrolet Camaro||1:17.358||81.672.|
|13||GTS||(51)||Ric Bushey||Virginia Beach||Va.||Nissan 370Z||1:17.994||81.006.|
|14||GTS||(72)||Buz McCall||Boca Raton||Fla.||Porsche Cayman S||1:18.828||80.149.|
|15||GTS||(40)||Geoff Reeves(R)||Cleveland||Ohio||Chevrolet Camaro||1:18.907||80.069.|
|16||GTS||(96)||Brad Adams||New Orleans||La.||Ford MustangBoss302S||1:18.951||80.024.|
|17||GTS||(70)||Ray Mason||Columbus||Ohio||Subaru WRX-STi||1:18.981||79.994.|
|18||GTS||(04)||Jorge De La Torre (R)||McAllen||Texas||Aston Martin GT4||1:19.537||79.434.|
|19||GTS||(87)||Chris Outzen||Sudbury||Mass.||Ford MustangBoss302S||1:21.387||77.629|