Saturday
Jun092007

SCCA NEWS: Pilgrim Grabs SPEED GT Pole In Watkins Glen

Photo by John Thawley WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 9, 2007) – Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., won the pole in the final moments of today’s qualifying session for Sunday’s SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Round Five race, part of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen Weekend at Watkins Glen International. Eric Curran, of East Hampton, Mass., will start on the outside of the front row.

Driving the No. 8 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose Cadillac CTS-V, Pilgrim dropped nearly a second off his previous fastest time in the session with just moments remaining to trump his teammate, Lawson Aschenbach, for the pole. The lap of 1:53.998 (107.370 mph) eclipsed the former track record of 2:05.026 set by Terry Borcheller in the last series appearance here in 1998, by just over 11 seconds.

“Everyone was going very quickly, the tires were superb and the track temperature was perfect—there was no sun,” Pilgrim said. “We had to compromise on the setup. The car was pushing. We’ve had a push since we got here, but this was the best the car’s been and I just had to go out and do zero mistakes on the lap.”

Pilgrim’s lapped jumped over Aschenbach’s 1:54.649 (106.761 mph), but he also inadvertently helped Curran split the two Cadillacs, as Curran put his No. 30 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette on Pilgrim’s back bumper for the lap.

“Eric [Curran] got out of the car and he said ‘I saw a 54.0 on the dash and I thought I had it until my crew said Andy went 53.9,’” Pilgrim said. “Eric said he learned something by following me so I expect him to be quick in the race.”

Curran’s fast lap of 1:54.095 (107.279 mph) was just 0.097-second short of the pole.

The pole is just the third for Pilgrim in SCCA SPEED World Challenge competition, but Pilgrim is beginning to find a groove, coming off a win at the series’ most recent round at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Randy Pobst will start fourth, alongside Aschenbach, after turning a fast time of 1:54.939 (106.491 mph). Pobst topped the charts in his No. 22 K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 at the session’s mid-point when a red flag came out to move the disabled car of James Sofronas. Following the stoppage, Pobst did not improve on his time.

Tommy Archer completed the top five in his No. 5 MOPAR/Autohaus Motorsports Dodge Viper with a time of 1:55.650 (105.846 mph).

Lou Gigliotti (Chevrolet Corvette), Sofronas (Porsche 911 GT3), Doug Peterson (Chevrolet Corvette), Michael Galati (Porsche 911 GT3) and Sonny Whelen (Chevrolet Corvette) completed the top 10.

Sunday’s race will make its standing start at 9:30 a.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast June 30 on SPEED Channel.

To follow the race live online via timing and scoring and live lap notes, please visit www.world-challenge.com.

1, (8), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Cadillac CTS-V, 1:53.998, 107.370.

2, (30), Eric Curran, East Hampton, Mass., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:54.095, 107.279.

3, (1), Lawson Aschenbach, W. Palm Beach, Fla., Cadillac CTS-V, 1:54.649, 106.760.

4, (22), Randy Pobst, Gainesville, Ga., Porsche 911 GT-3, 1:54.939, 106.491.

5, (5), Tommy Archer, Duluth, Minn., Dodge Viper, 1:55.640, 105.845.

6, (28), Lou Gigliotti, Dallas, Texas, Chevrolet Corvette, 1:55.718, 105.774.

7, (14), James Sofronas(T), Newport Beach, Calif., Porsche 911 GT-3, 1:55.783, 105.715.

8, (87), Doug Peterson, Bonita Springs, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:56.229, 105.309.

9, (23), Michael Galati, Olmsted, Ohio, Porsche 911 GT-3, 1:56.326, 105.221.

10, (31), Sonny Whelen(T), Old Saybrook, Conn., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:56.328, 105.219.

11, (12), Brian Kubinski(R), Plainfield, Ill., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:56.719, 104.867.

12, (82), Michael McCann, North Canton, Ohio, Dodge Viper, 1:56.885, 104.718.

13, (66), Tim McKenzie(R), Madison, Wis., Porsche 911 GT-3, 1:57.171, 104.462.

14, (90), Chip Herr, Lititz, Pa., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:57.368, 104.287.

15, (13), Jeff Altenburg, Ellicott City, Md., Dodge Viper, 1:57.409, 104.251.

16, (34), Tony Gaples, Libertyville, Ill., Chevrolet Corvette, 1:58.173, 103.577.

17, (99), Jeff Courtney, Slinger, Wis., Dodge Viper, 1:59.126, 102.748.

18, (05), Jason Daskalos(R), Albuquerque, N.M., Dodge Viper, 1:59.507, 102.420.

19, (17), Rob Foster(T), Phoenix, Ariz., Dodge Viper, 1:59.626, 102.318.

20, (51), Lenny Diller, Garden City, N.Y., Dodge Viper, 2:00.292, 101.752.

21, (20), Dane Moxlow(R), Grosse Ile, Mich., Pontiac GTO, 2:00.442, 101.625.

22, (6), Jeffrey Robbins(R), Southfield, Mich., Dodge Viper, 2:00.724, 101.388.

23, (24), Robb Holland, Denver, Colo., Porsche 911, 2:01.843, 100.457.

24, (53), Michael Hartley, West Deptford, N.J., Dodge Viper, 2:02.239, 100.131.

25, (76), John Bourassa, Jupiter Island, Fla., Porsche 911 Turbo, 2:03.421, 99.172.

26, (02), Adel Elsayed, Boonton Twp, N.J., Dodge Viper, 2:05.601, 97.451.

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