Wilkins Tops GTS Qualifying While Skeen Keeps Rolling in GT on Sunday
June 24, 2012 - BOWMANVILLE, Ontario -
Remaining perfect on the weekend, Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, N.C., captured the Pirelli World Challenge GT pole position for Sunday’s Motul CTMP Grand Prix Presented by Optima Batteries at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Mark Wilkins, of Aurora, Ontario, captured his first series pole position in GTS.
Wilkins scored his first series pole in PWC GTS (Weber Image)
Driving the No. 02 Hawk Performance Chevrolet Corvette ZO6, Skeen turned a fastest lap of 1:19.068 (111.959 mph) around the historic 10-turn 2.459-mile circuit renamed from Mosport International Raceway this year. The lap was about a half of a second slower than Skeen’s record-setting pole time for Saturday afternoon’s race.
“It felt good,” Skeen said of his qualifying effort. “It looks like times for everybody were a little bit slower today. But, we had a little bit of [REWARDS] weight on the car from the win yesterday. I am really happy with the car. It still feels really good. It’s very neutral and easy to drive. I am looking forward to the race this afternoon. Hopefully, we can get a good start and start off where we left off yesterday.”
Starting second, after finishing second to Skeen on Saturday, will be point leader Johnny O’Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga. His lap of 1:19.577 (111.243 mph) in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R netted him 12 points and second place on the grid. He now holds a 197-point lead over teammate Andy Pilgrim entering today’s race.
Alex Figge, of Denver, Colo., will line up third in his No. 9 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 after turning a lap of 1:19.656 (111.132 mph). Figge will be the lone Volvo in the field after Randy Pobst was withdrawn following a fire in his car on Saturday that required more time for repairs.
Pilgrim will start fourth in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R after logging a 1:19.786 (110.951 mph). Lawson Aschenbach will line his No. 1 TruSpeed/Privacy Star/EnTrust Porsche 911 GT3 fifth, after running a best lap of 1:19.911 (110.778 mph).
On Saturday, Michael Galati gave Kia its first-ever pole and win. Today, Galati’s teammate Mark Wilkins made it two-straight poles for the manufacturer in his No. 38 Kia Motors America Kia Optima. Wilkins, who started and finished second on Saturday, clocked a 1:25.670 (103.331 mph) to edge Galati’s similar No. 36 Kia Motors America Kia Optima by 0.064-second.
“The car’s been really strong all weekend,” Wilkins said. “We had a great day yesterday. Obviously, Michael [Galati] drove a heck of a race and it was an awesome one-two finish for Kia and Kinetic Motorsports. We came out today really confident. We’re really happy with the cars and it was a great session.
“We made a few tweaks to the car to help with the balance of the car to just improve a little bit based on what we learned yesterday. I think that helped make it even stronger today. We have a lot of family and friends out here to have the support at my home race. It’s great to be racing here. I actually haven’t raced here since about 2005. It felt great to be battling hard on home turf yesterday and hopefully we’ll get to do it again today.”
Toronto’s Aaron Povoledo, who battled Wilkins for much of the race on Saturday, will start third on the grid in the No. 26 Total Lubricants/Dell Cherries Ford Mustang Boss 302S after turning a best time of 1:26.277 (102.604 mph). Jack Baldwin (No. 68 Team Hot Wheels/Invoice Prep Porsche Cayman S) and young Alec Udell (No. 16 MDG/Ford Racing/Kart Nation Ford Mustang Boss 302S) will line up fourth and fifth with laps of 1:26.363 (102.502 mph) and 1:26.403 (102.454 mph), respectively.
Today’s Motul CTMP Grand Prix Presented by Optima Batteries Pirelli World Challenge combined GT and GTS class race will be webcast at www.world-challengetv.com beginning at 2:45 p.m. (EDT). The weekend’s action will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network July 7 at 5 p.m.