DiMeo Leads World Challenge Qualifiers
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Michael DiMeo (Touring Car), Jason Wolfe (Touring Car A) and Brian Price (Touring Car B-Spec) have secured the round two pole positions for the Victoria Day SpeedFest Weekend, part of a three-race weekend for the Pirelli World Challenge Championships at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Round two is the makeup race for the race at Barber Motorsports Park, moved due to severe weather.
DiMeo, in the No. 71 LiUNA Honda Civic Si for Compass 360Racing, inherited the pole at round one at Barber after Jason Saini’s car was found out of compliance in post-qualifying technical inspection. But on Friday, the round one race winner laid down the fastest lap of the weekend on a dry track, at 1:32.788.
Times were anywhere from 13 or more seconds quicker in the dry conditions than the damp conditions that occurred during both Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions.
“I have been coming to this track a lot over the years for karting, but yesterday’s and today’s sessions are the first with the Compass360 Racing Civic Si at CTMP and with these track conditions,” said DiMeo. “I definitely had an advantage in that sense, but I’m still learning how the car handles. We are doing well, it definitely helps to have a good team and to have a sponsor like LiUNA supporting me for this weekend.”
Jon Miller qualified second in the No. 68 Titan Motorsports/Loudbasstard/BeTheMatch.org Honda Civic Si at 1:33.272. Miller, driving for Cawley Motorsports, opted to sit out both practice sessions citing the wet track.
In third on the grid is Tom Kwok, in the No. 63 M&S Quality Produce Honda Civic Si, at 1:33.467. Kwok finished on the podium in both of his series starts in 2013, on the streets of Toronto at Exhibition Place.
Wolfe took his first career series pole in TCA at 1:35.900 in the No. 36 Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup. Wolfe paced both practice sessions and finished on the podium in his series debut at Barber three weeks ago, when he ended round one in third place.
“The guys put in a ton of work on the car so I gotta thank them a ton, they got the car perfect, just spot on,” said Wolfe. “Mark Wilkins came out when we first got here, he helped me out a lot, really broke down the track for me, gave me a few tricks and tips on what to do here and there, and that helped out a ton, I couldn’t have done this without him.”
Ernie Francis Jr. makes his first start in TCA from second place in the No. 98 Breathless Performance Mazda MX-5. Francis set a best lap of 1:36.144. In third on the TCA grid is Shea Holbrook in the No. 67 TRUECar/Lucas Oil/Radium Honda Civic Si for Shea Racing at 1:36.475.
TCB sees Price, in the No. 51 Unlimited Racing/RP Performance Honda Fit, earn his first career series pole at 1:45.143. After winning round one at Barber, Price seeks an encore in round two.
“This is a real drivers track, you have to bring your big boy pants to run this track,” said Price. “You are flat out on most corners where you would not think you are and you gotta just hope it sticks at the bottom. The honda fit was really good, handled good, had decent power, I can’t thank my sponsors enough.”
Second on the grid is Nathan Stacy. The 14-year-old, in the No. 14 TSG/Ford Racing Ford Fiesta, set his best time of 1:46.533. In third is local driver P.J. Groenke in the No. 66 Verax.ca/Tundra/Mulligan Gold Honda Fit at 1:46.742.
The 30-minute combined session ended several minutes early for a car stopped off track, that was then removed.