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O'Connell, Roush Jr. Take Poles in GT, GTS at Long Beach
Posted by: newsla on Apr 13, 2014 - 04:29 PM
Sports Cars
O'Connell, Roush Jr. Take Poles in GT, GTS at Long Beach

Johnny O'Connell of Flowery Branch, Ga. and Jack Roush Jr. of Livonia, Mich. set the fastest laps in Saturday's exciting qualifying session at Long Beach for the Pirelli World Challenge Roar By the Shore Presented by Kia, part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend. The starting order for both classes shifted numerous times during the 30-minute qualifying session.


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O'Connell in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R, will start on the pole for Sunday's 2014 Round 2 race after topping the charts with a 1:20.386, a new GT track record. O'Connell bested the previous track record of 1:21.087 set by James Sofronas in 2013.

"Qualifying is about being smart; knowing when to push and when to attack," O'Connell said. "We know what laps our tires are at their best. It was very fortunate my tires were the best during my clear lap. We are definitely, right now, benefiting from guys with new equipment who don't know their sweet spot. We have four years of knowledge."

O'Connell's teammate, Andy Pilgrim of Boca Raton, Fla. in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R will start second on Sunday after posting a 1:20.633.

Anthony Lazzaro, of Atlanta, Ga. in the No. 61 R.Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia will start 3rd after posting a 120.698. Rounding out the top 5 in GT are Alex Figge, of Denver, Col. in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 12C GT3 (1:20.729) and Andrew Palmer, of Chicago, in the No. 21 GMG Racing Audi R8 Ultra (1:20.964).

In GTS, Roush Jr., driving the No. 60 ROUSH Road Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302R, claimed his first career Pirelli World Challenge pole with a 127.325, also a new track record in the GTS class. The previous mark was set by Andy Lee in 2013 with a 1:27.662.

Roush's pole is the first for a driver piloting a Boss 302 in the series since Paul Brown had the pole at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2011 in a Boss 302S.

"From practice yesterday, I've been trying to learn the track, taking care of the car," Roush said. "The crew did a great job on this ROUSH Ford Mustang. I'm pleasantly surprised. I know tomorrow won't be easy but I'm so proud of this crew and all this effort."

Nic Jonsson of Buford, Ga., driving the No. 36 Kia Motors America Kia Optima, will start second on the GTS grid after posting a 1:27.509, while defending class champion and Round 1 St. Petersburg race winner Lawson Aschenbach, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. in the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro will start third (1:27.512).

"The car was really good right off the truck yesterday," Jonsson said. "There have been some changes and the tough part is that we don't have much time. But we have been running these Kias for three years. It's a solid car, and a solid qualifying at the Kia-sponsored race here at Long Beach, about 20 minutes from our headquarters in Irvine."

Rounding out the top 5 in GTS are Tony Buffomante of Naperville, Ill. in the No. 33 Capaldi Racing Ford Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302S (1:27.862) and Jack Baldwin of Marietta, GA in the No. 73 RESET-MD/StopTech/Motul Porsche Cayman S (1:27.871).

The top GT-A driver was Nick Mancuso of Chicago, Ill. in the No. 16 R.Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia who will start 7th on the GT grid after posting a 1:21.329.

"I'm getting more comfortable getting the car up to speed," Mancuso said. "We barely did any testing, and we're learning the car every lap. My teammate (Lazzaro) is a lot more comfortable in the car. I'm still trying to feel it out."

The second round of the Pirelli World Challenge season goes green at 4:30 p.m. PDT on Sunday, with live streaming beginning at 4 p.m. PDT/ 7 p.m. EDT on www.world-challengetv.com.

Pirelli World Challenge Qualifying
GT Round 2 at Long Beach Street Circuit
Long Beach, Calif.
April 12, 2014
Track Length: 1.968 Miles

1. No. 3 Johnny O Connell/Flowery Branch/GA Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V R 1:20.386** 88.1347 mph
2. No. 8 Andy Pilgrim/Boca Raton/FL Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V R 1:20.633** 87.864 mph
3. No. 61 Anthony Lazzaro/Atlanta/GA R.Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia 1:20.698** 87.794 mph
4. No. 9 Alex Figge/Denver/CO K-PAX Racing McLaren 12C GT3 1:20.729** 87.760 mph
5. No. 21 Andrew Palmer/Chicago/IL GMG Racing Audi R8 Ultra 1:20.964** 87.505 mph
6. No. 6 Robert Thorne/Littleton/CO K-PAX Racing McLaren 12C GT3 1:21.144 87.311 mph
7. No. 16 Nick Mancuso(A)/Chicago/IL R.Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT3 1:21.329 87.112 mph
8. No. 14 James Sofronas/Villa Park/CA Spyder/The Thermal Club Audi R8 Ultra 1:21.629 86.792 mph
9. No. 2 Mike Skeen/Charlotte/NC Hawk Performance Audi R8 Ultra 1:21.756 86.657 mph
10. No. 31 Tim Bergmeister/Langfeld Germany/ EFFORT Racing Porsche GT3R 1:22.137 86.255 mph
11. No. 64 Mike Hedlund/Woodside/CA DragonSpeed/ESM Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia 1:22.181 86.209 mph
12. No. 10 Henrik Hedman(A)(R)/Ft Lauderdale/FLDragonSpeed Ferrari 458 GT3 1:22.422 85.957 mph
13. No. 41 Michael Mills(A)/Angleton/TX EFFORT Racing Porsche GT3R 1:22.648 85.722 mph
14. No. 44 Brent Holden(A)/Newport Coast/CA GMG Racing Audi R8 Ultra 1:23.146 85.209 mph
15. No. 80 Dan Knox(A)(R)/Pilot Point/TX ACS MFG/Performance SpeedTech SRT Viper GT3R 1:23.377 84.973 mph
16. No. 32 Bret Curtis(A)/Austin/TX Spectra/United Steel/Valspar Audi R8 Ultra 1:23.645 84.700 mph
17. No. 99 Jeff Courtney(A)/Milwaukee/WI Kenda/RecStuff.com Audi R8 Ultra 1:24.058 84.284 mph
18. No. 54 Tim Pappas(A)/Boston/MA Black River Caviar Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 1:24.136 84.206 mph
19. No. 15 Tomy Drissi/Los Angeles/CA The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Aston Martin GT3 1:24.462 83.881 mph
20. No. 95 Bill Ziegler(A)/Ponte Vedra Beach/FL Swisher Racing/GMG Audi R8 Ultra 1:25.354 83.004 mph

(A) GT-A

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