Mancuso And Baldwin Secure Poles In GT And Gts For Round 3 At Barber Motorsports Park
Nick Mancuso of Chicago, and Jack Baldwin of Marietta, Ga. set the fastest laps in Friday's qualifying session for the Pirelli World Challenge Round 3 race at Barber Motorsports Park Presented by RECARO. The poles for both drivers are especially significant for different reasons.
For Mancuso, it's his first career Pirelli World Challenge pole and as a GT-A designated driver an additional accomplishment to be starting at the front of the GT field. The pole for Baldwin, his fifth in Pirelli World Challenge, is additionally significant given his GTSport Racing team's considerable challenge of rebuilding his No. 73 Porsche Cayman S from the tub up over the last two weeks after it sustained heavy damage in a Lap 1 crash at Long Beach.
In GT, it's an all-Ferrari front row. Mancuso, in the No. 16 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia took the pole on the strength of a 1:23.865. Mancuso's teammate Anthony Lazzaro, of Atlanta, Ga., in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia will start second after posting a 1:24.121.
"I'm shaking! It was hair-raising the whole time. I almost crashed three times," said Mancuso. "The most tense part though was when I hit the fastest lap and then came in and sat, and they gave me the countdown. Five minutes left, four minutes left...and three, two ... then they say checkered and I'm like 'Who's out on the final lap!' I was shaking in the car - I wanted it so bad!
"To do this for Remo and the R. Ferri guys, this is what they came here to do. It's validation for our entire team and entire program." Mancuso added "all drivers are kind of cocky but honestly I didn't think I could get the pole today. I was hoping for a top-five, and thought a top-three would be great. But then I did a lap and they told me on the radio I was just seven tenths down - I was like, 'What?' - then I just threw down."
Starting third in GT is Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, N.C., in the No. 2 Hawk Performance Audi R8 LMS Ultra (1:24.258). Rounding out the top 5 in GT are Robert Thorne, of Littleton, Col., in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing McLaren 12C GT3 (1:24.354) and Andrew Palmer, of Chicago, in the No. 21 Global Motorsports Group Audi R8 Ultra (1:24.442).
Of note, the 2014 GT points leaders coming into Barber, Andy Pilgrim and Johnny O'Connell, will have to battle their way up from the fourth row on Saturday to get to the podium. Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla. will start 7th after posting an 1:24.837 in his No. 8 Cadillac Racing CTS-V.R. O'Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga. will start 8th after posting a 1:24.889 in his No. 3 Cadillac Racing CTS-V.R.
In GTS, Baldwin, in the No. 73 RESET-MD/StopTech/Motul GTSport Racing with Goldcrest Motorsports Porsche Cayman S took the pole with a 1:32.033. His car had sustained heavy damage at Long Beach and the GTSport team worked tirelessly over the last two weeks to rebuild the car to compete at Barber.
"You gotta give all the credit to my great crew. Every person on it. Suppliers, sponsors, partners everyone stepped up. If you can imagine at Long Beach, we lost the car. It was a devastating crash," said Baldwin. "The extent of the damage was almost 100%. Then coming here late and we had problems all day. Going into qualifying we had no laps. The guys never gave up. They worked all day. They worked all night. They gave three days of around-the-clock effort."
"One of the guys insisted on pulling out a transmission and changing it. I'm so proud to be their driver, I can't tell you. That's what it's all about."
"I'm happy to be able to give them that pole position. No team deserves it more," added Baldwin. "The mark of a championship team is 'adapt and overcome'. Hopefully we can, what I'm looking for is a really good weekend. We're off to a good start. We earned this starting position the hard way. But our work's not over. I came here to win both races, and that's what I plan to do."
Lining up next to Baldwin is Long Beach winner and current GTS points leader Nic Jonsson, of Buford, Ga., in the No. 36 Kia Motors America Kia Optima. Jonsson posted a 1:32.135. Jonsson's teammate Mark Wilkins, of Toronto, Ont. had the third fastest time of the session with a 1:32.167 in the No. 38 Kia Motors America Kia Optima.
Rounding out the top 5 in GTS are Andy Lee, of Colorado Springs, Col., in the No. 20 Crown Seven/BestIT Chevrolet Camaro (1:32.337) and defending GTS champion Lawson Aschenbach, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL in the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro (1:32.417).
GT, GT-A and GTS Round 3 from Barber Motorsports Park Presented by RECARO is scheduled to start at 3:55 p.m. CDT on Saturday. Live streaming of the race begins at 3:25 p.m. CDT with the lights going out for the standing start at 3:55 p.m. CDT/ 4:55 p.m. EDT.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Starting lineup for Saturday's Pirelli World Challenge Championship GT/GT-A/GTS at Barber Motorsports Park Presented by RECARO, with position, class, car number in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, fastest lap time, and speed in miles per hour.
1, GT, (16), Nick Mancuso(A), Chicago, Ill., Ferrari 458 GT3, 1:23.866, 98.729.
2, GT, (61), Anthony Lazzaro, Atlanta, Ga., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 1:24.121, 98.429.
3, GT, (2), Mike Skeen, Charlotte, N.C., Audi R8 Ultra, 1:24.258, 98.269.
4, GT, (6), Robert Thorne, Littleton, Colo., McLaren 12C GT3, 1:24.354, 98.157.
5, GT, (21), Andrew Palmer, Chicago, Ill., Audi R8 Ultra, 1:24.442, 98.055.
6, GT, (9), Alex Figge, Denver, Colo., McLaren 12C GT3, 1:24.488, 98.002.
7, GT, (8), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Cadillac CTS-V R, 1:24.837, 97.599.
8, GT, (3), Johnny O'Connell, Flowery Branch, Ga., Cadillac CTS-V R, 1:24.889, 97.539.
9, GT, (14), James Sofronas, Villa Park, Calif., Audi R8 Ultra, 1:25.284, 97.087.
10, GT, (31), Tim Bergmeister, Langfeld Germany, , Porsche GT3R, 1:25.481, 96.863.
11, GT, (10), Henrik Hedman(A)(R), Ft Lauderdale, Fla., Ferrari 458 GT3, 1:26.081, 96.188.
12, GT, (41), Michael Mills(A), Angleton, Texas, Porsche GT3R, 1:26.201, 96.054.
13, GT, (0), Marcelo Hahn(A), Sao Paulo Brasil, BR, Lamborghini Gallardo FL2, 1:26.390, 95.844.
14, GT, (54), Tim Pappas(A), Boston, Mass., Mercedes AMG SLS GT3, 1:26.416, 95.815.
15, GT, (64), Mike Hedlund, Woodside, Calif., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 1:26.495, 95.728.
16, GT, (32), Bret Curtis(A), Austin, Texas, Audi R8 Ultra, 1:26.671, 95.533.
17, GT, (99), Jeff Courtney(A), Milwaukee, Wis., Audi R8 Ultra, 1:27.916, 94.180.
18, GT, (95), Bill Ziegler(A), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Audi R8 Ultra, 1:28.852, 93.188.
19, GT, (80), Dan Knox(A)(R), Pilot Point, Texas, SRT Viper GT3R, 1:29.305, 92.716.
1, GTS, (73), Jack Baldwin, Marietta, Ga., Porsche Cayman S, 1:32.033, 89.967.
2, GTS, (36), Nic Jonsson, Buford, Ga., Kia Optima, 1:32.135, 89.868.
3, GTS, (38), Mark Wilkins, Toronto, Ontario, Kia Optima, 1:32.168, 89.836.
4, GTS, (20), Andy Lee, Colorado Springs, Colo., Chevrolet Camaro, 1:32.336, 89.672.
5, GTS, (1), Lawson Aschenbach, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Chevrolet Camaro, 1:32.418, 89.593.
6, GTS, (02), Drew Regitz, Denver, Colo., Aston Martin GT4, 1:32.508, 89.505.
7, GTS, (60), Jack Roush Jr, Livonia, Mich., Ford MustangBoss302R, 1:32.570, 89.445.
8, GTS, (09), Mikey Taylor, Auburn, Ala., Aston Martin GT4, 1:32.692, 89.328.
9, GTS, (17), Alec Udell, The Woodlands, Texas, Ford MustangBoss302S, 1:32.714, 89.307.
10, GTS, (50), Dean Martin, Westland, Mich., Ford MustangBoss302S, 1:32.906, 89.122.
11, GTS, (34), Nick Esayian, San Diego, Calif., Aston Martin GT4, 1:33.573, 88.487.
12, GTS, (33), Tony Buffomante, Naperville, Ill., Ford MustangBoss302S, 1:33.751, 88.319.
13, GTS, (68), Craig Capaldi, Richmond Township, Mich., Ford MustangBoss302S, 1:33.943, 88.138.
14, GTS, (11), Tony Gaples, Libertyville, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 1:34.131, 87.962.
15, GTS, (70), Ryan Eversley, Atlanta, Ga., Subaru WRX-STi, 1:34.327, 87.779.
16, GTS, (62), Mark Klenin, Denver, Colo., Aston Martin GT4, 1:34.413, 87.699.
17, GTS, (96), Brad Adams, New Orleans, La., Ford MustangBoss302S, 1:34.662, 87.469.
18, GTS, (51), Ric Bushey, Virginia Beach, Va., Nissan 370Z, 1:34.802, 87.340.
19, GTS, (97), Mitch Landry, Lake Charles, La., Ford MustangBoss302S, 1:35.217, 86.959.
20, GTS, (40), Geoff Reeves(R), Cleveland, Ohio, Chevrolet Camaro, 1:35.708, 86.513.
21, GTS, (72), Buz McCall, Boca Raton, Fla., Porsche Cayman S, 1:35.772, 86.455.
22, GTS, (04), Jorge De La Torre (R), McAllen, Texas, Aston Martin GT4, 1:36.358, 85.929.
23, GTS, (07), Brian Kleeman, Baltimore, Md., Nissan 370Z, 1:37.862, 84.609.
24, GTS, (4), Clint Guthrie, Birmingham, Ala., Porsche 911, 1:38.282, 84.247.
25, GTS, (87), Chris Outzen, Sudbury, Mass., Ford MustangBoss302S, 1:38.510, 84.052.
26, GTS, (29), Fernando Seferlis, Miami Lakes, Fla., Chevrolet Camaro, 1:40.261, 82.584.
27, GTS, (86), Robert Stout, Brownsburg, Ind., Scion FR-S, no time.