Eric Foss, of Fort Worth, Texas, won the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car pole for the second-straight day at Mosport International Raceway, part of the Victoria Day Speedfest. However, after a post-qualifying coin flip, the top-five qualifiers were inverted. This means Foss will start fifth, while fifth-place qualifier Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, Wis., will start first.
Foss set his pole-winning time of 1:30.925 (97.359 mph) on his first flying lap in the No. 75 MAZDASPEED/Stoptech/Racinghart MAZDA6. In four qualifying attempts this season, Foss has earned two pole positions.
“As we’ve found with Toyo tires, they are really primo on the first lap,” Foss said following qualifying. “It is really hard to do a fast lap later on. But, the TriPoint cars have handled well all weekend, which has made it easy to go out there and get a good lap in. Charles [Espenlaub] was right on my tail pushing me along. Without Jason [Saini], Charles and the TriPoint team, this would not be possible. I’ve got to thank Mazda and those guys for being here to help me.
“The coin flip is 50-50. There is no way to control it. I’ve already made up my mind what I am going to call. I’m going to call tails. So, we’ll see what happens. That is what I called yesterday and it worked out. Nathan [Bonneau] says ‘tails never fails.’ So, as much as I hate to put any faith in the RealTime guys, I’ve got say maybe that is a good lesson to follow.”
Foss chose tails and lost the coin flip. In four SPEED Touring Car coin flips this season, tails has won the previous three times. So, it was expected that Foss would go with the odds on favorite – tails.
For the second time in three races, Cunningham will start from first due to being the beneficiary of the coin flip where the field was inverted. Cunningham turned the fifth quickest time of 1:31.215 (97.049 mph) in the No. 1 Acura/RealTime/Red Line Acura TSX. The last time Cunningham started first at Mosport was in 2004, when he drove a Nissan Sentra SE-R.
“The track was perfectly dry, but we were the first ones on it and there were definitely some slippery spots,” Cunningham said. “I think the track got better as the session wore on. Normally the first lap or two is when you have to do your flier. I did mine on lap six with a really good tow from my teammate Kuno [Wittmer]. But, with this coin flip, that is the way it goes. Now, we’ll have a good starting position and we’ll have to see what we can do with it in the race.”
Cunningham’s teammate Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla., qualified second with a 1:31.088 (97.185 mph), but will start fourth in the No. 42 Acura/RealTime/Red Line Acura TSX.
Charles Espenlaub, of Lutz, Fla., qualified third in the No. 73 MAZDASPEED/Stoptech/Racinghart MAZDA6 and was the only driver in the top five not affected by the inversion. He turned a quick lap of 1:31.189 (97.077 mph). Espenlaub’s lone SPEED World Challenge victory came at Mosport in 2005 driving a MAZDA6.
Foss and Espenlaub’s teammate, Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, will start second on the grid, despite turning the fourth fastest qualifying time of 1:31.197 (97.069 mph) in the No. 74 MAZDASPEED/Stoptech/Racinghart MAZDA6.
James Clay (BMW 328i), Kuno Wittmer (Acura TSX), Seth Thomas (BMW 328i), Toby Grahovec (Acura TSX), and Nick Esayian (BMW 328i) complete the top-10, respectively.
Round Four of the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championships is set for 11:30 a.m. (EDT) today. Streaming audio, live timing and lap notes for both sessions are available at www.world-challenge.com.
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario - Starting lineup for Sunday's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship Round Four race, part of the Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend at Mosport International Raceway, with position, car number in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, fastest lap time, and speed in miles per hour. Note that the top five were inverted from qualifying due to a post-qualifying coin toss.
1, (1), Peter Cunningham, Milwaukee, Wis., Acura TSX, 1:31.215, 97.049.
2, (74), Jason Saini, Ft. Worth, Texas, MAZDA6, 1:31.197, 97.069.
3, (73), Charles Espenlaub, Lutz, Fla., MAZDA6, 1:31.189, 97.077.
4, (42), Pierre Kleinubing, Coconut Creek, Fla., Acura TSX, 1:31.088, 97.185.
5, (75), Eric Foss(R), Fort Worth, Texas, MAZDA6, 1:30.925, 97.359.
6, (36), James Clay, Blacksburg, Va., BMW 328i, 1:31.280, 96.980.
7, (44), Kuno Wittmer, Montreal, Quebec, Acura TSX, 1:31.430, 96.821.
8, (38), Seth Thomas, Cumming, Ga., BMW 328i, 1:31.747, 96.487.
9, (43), Toby Grahovec, Chicago, Ill., Acura TSX, 1:32.029, 96.191.
10, (34), Nick Esayian, San Diego, Calif., BMW 328i, 1:32.053, 96.166.
11, (45), Nick Wittmer, Montreal, Canada, Acura TSX, 1:32.304, 95.904.