TR3 Racing’s Daniel Mancinelli claimed the pole Saturday morning (June 23) for Pirelli World Challenge race No. 1 at Road America with a lap of 115.946 mph, the fastest lap of the whole weekend to this point. Mancinelli’s time was half of a tenth of a second faster than Alegra Motorsports’ Michael Christensen in his Porsche. K-PAX Racing’s Àlvaro Parente, who was fastest overall on Friday in his Bentley, will start third, followed by PFAFF Motorsports’ Scott Hargrove. Rodrigo Baptista, who was moved up to the GT class by Pirelli World Challenge officials after the last round, will start fifth.
In GTA, Squadra Corse Garage Italia’s Martin Fuentes won the pole with a lap of 114.584 mph in his Ferrari, good enough for eighth overall. Fuentes’ lap was six-hundredths of a second faster than the Audi of TruSpeed AutoSport’s Parker Chase. Wright Motorsports’ Anthony Imperato was third, followed by Yuki Harata and David Askew.
In a change from the norm, the GTS classes will also be racing at the same time as the GT classes. Road America’s 4.0246-mile configuration cane easily handle a 38-car field.
In GTS, Team Panoz Racing’s Ian James won the class pole with a lap at 105.351 mph, good enough for 15th overall. His lap was nearly three-tenths of a second faster than the Ford Mustang GT4 of PF Racing’s Jade Buford.
Racers Edge Motorsports’ Harry Gottsacker will start third in GTS, followed by Robinson Racing’s Shane Lewis in the debut for the team’s new Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. Teammate Gar Robinson will start fifth.
Unlike in GT, GTSA teams are very close on pace to GTS teams. Mark Klenin, who is back in his McLaren after crashing it at at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Klenin won the GTSA pole with a lap at 104.708 mph. That lap was good enough for 17th overall and third out of all GTS teams.
Klenin’s lap was nine-tenths of a second faster than Lime Rock star Nicolai Elghanayan in his KTM. Drew Staveley was third in his Ginetta, followed by Jeff Courtney. BimmerWorld Racing’s James Clay, moonlighting in Pirelli World Challenge before next weekend’s Continental Tire 240 at the Glen, will start fifth in GTSA.
There are a couple of notables in GTS missing from the time sheet. GTS points leader Lawson Aschenbach sat out qualifying after crashing in the 30-minute warm-up session immediately prior to qualifying.
Unfortunately, reason for the red flag in final practice was an off for @lawsonaracing following a suspension issue. He's been released from the care center and cleared to drive. We're hopeful to have his Camaro ready for Race 1 later today.
— Blackdog Speed Shop (@BlackdogSpeed) June 23, 2018
If the No. 1 Camaro GT4.R can be repaired in time, Aschenbach will have to start at the rear. He’ll have some company.
Defending GTSA champion George Kurtz actually qualified fifth in GTS qualifying (second of those in GTSA). However, he crashed in qualifying and brought the session to an early end. For bringing out the red flag, Kurtz lost his best time. He will have to use a backup car for the race.
I did exactly what was explicit and LITERALLY shown as permitted by a PHOTO in the drivers meeting and my lap was taken away for track limit violations. Welcome to SRO @WCRacing, the greatest comedy short of broadway! #BestWayToWaste50ThousandDollarsInAWeekend #Shrug
— Mike Hedlund (@mike_hedlund) June 23, 2018
Hedlund will also start in the rear, along with Sofronas, Kurtz and Aschenbach. That said, he claims on Twitter that he had a conversation post-qualifying with Brian Till, who serves as the Chief Steward that he says was quite productive.
Race No. 1 of the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Road America is scheduled to go green at 5:35 p.m. EDT. It will be streamed live at World-Challenge.com.