BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Jade Buford posted the fastest time in Friday’s 30-minute GTS qualifying session at Barber Motorsports Park and will start on pole for Friday’s Round 5, at the Grand Prix of Birmingham presented by Porsche, part of the 7th annual Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
When the green flag flew, drivers took to the track under damp conditions as light rain had fallen just prior to the start of the session. Lawson Aschenbach, in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro Z28 shod in Pirelli P Zero slicks, went to the top of the charts early with a 1:37.465. Shortly after Jack Roush Jr., in the No. 60 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302 posted a 1:37.036 to slot into first.
Roush’s time stood with 19 minutes remaining in the session, with Nate Stacy in the No. 14 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302 (1:37.122) slotted in second on the charts, Kevin Marshall, in the No. 44 VSA Motorsports Lotus Evora GT4 (1:37.173) third, and Tony Gaples in the No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (1:37.236) in fourth.
With a dry line continuing to form around the track at just under 18 minutes remaining, a flurry of drivers began posting fast times with Scott Dollahite, in the No. 46 SDR Motorsports Lotus Evora, rocketing to the top of the charts with a 1:34.514. A lap later Dollahite improved to a 1:32.539. With under 15 minutes remaining, he then posted a 1:31.838.
With under seven minutes remaining, Aschenbach returned to the track having sat in pit lane after posting his early fast time and promptly snapped off a 1:30.593 to go to the top. A lap later he improved to a 1:30.447.
Then with under five minutes remaining in the session, Buford with his No. 45 SIN Cars Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4 shod in Pirelli P Zero slicks, took to the track to complete his first laps of the session after sitting on pit road. And with under two minutes remaining he posted a 1:30.372 which stood as the fastest time as the checkered flew. Buford’s time eclipsed the previous GTS qualifying PWC track record held by Jack Baldwin (2015, 1:31.103).
“We were all betting on it being pretty damp,” said Buford. “We thought another rain cell was coming in. But we got down to the pits and it was pretty dry. There was definitely a dry line and slicks were the way to go. We just had to make sure we were not in a violation when we made the change over (to slicks). We were in no rush to get back out on the track. We knew we had three or four laps to get a good lap in. We wanted to get that lap at the end. The team has worked very hard on the car and the SIN Car is really awesome to drive. This is my first PWC race moving over from IMSA and I am very excited to be here. I did some of the original testing with the car and it is an awesome program. I really want to see it go. The GTS series is pretty awesome. This is definitely the way to go with the GT4 platform. I have been coming here for over 10 years now. It’s one of the first tracks I ever came to. I also teach here at the Porsche school. I just met my teammate Scott (Heckert) this morning and we worked together well. I’m looking forward to Friday’s race.”
Rounding out the top 5 were Aschenbach (1:30.447), Dollahite (1:31.059), Scott Heckert (No. 54 SIN Cars/Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4, 1:31.195), and Anthony Mantella (No. 8 Gulf Mantella Autosport Inc. KTM X-Bow GT4, 1:31.445).
Results are provisional until posted final. GTS drivers next take to the track for Round 5 Friday starting at 1:15 pm Central. Watch the race live at motortrendondemand.com and follow live timing and scoring at world-challenge.com.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Provisional results from Thursday, April 21, Pirelli World Challenge Championship GTS Qualifying Round 5, part of the Grand Prix of Birmingham presented by Porsche. By Pos. PIC, Class, Name, Hometown, Car, Fast Time
Pos. PIC, Class, Name, Hometown, Car, Fast Time
1. 1, GTS, Jade Buford, Freeland WA, SIN R1 GT4, 1:30.372
2. 2, GTS, Lawson Aschenbach, Palm Beach Gardens FL, Chevrolet Camaro, 1:30.447
3. 3, GTS, Scott Dollahite, Austin TX, Lotus Evora, 1:31.059
4. 4, GTS, Scott Heckert, Ridgefield CT, SIN R1 GT4, 1:31.195
5. 5, GTS, Anthony Mantella, Toronto Canada, KTM XBow GT4, 1:31.445
6. 6, GTS, Jack Roush Jr, Livonia MI, Ford Boss 302, 1:31.465
7. 7, GTS, Mark Klenin, Lone Tree CO, MASERATI GranTurismo MC Trofeo, 1:31.556
8. 8, GTS, Ernie Francis Jr., Miami FL, Ford Mustang, 1:31.584
9. 9, GTS, Harry Gottsacker, San Antonio TX, Ginetta GT4, 1:31.886
10. 10, GTS, Kevin Marshall, Incline Village NV, Lotus GT4, 1:31.998
11. 11, GTS, Nate Stacy, Owasso OK, Ford Boss 302, 1:32.070
12. 12, GTS, Martin Barkey, Huntsville Canada, KTM XBow GT4, 1:32.120
13. 13, GTS, Parker Chase, New Braunfels TX, Ginetta GT4, 1:32.357
14. 14, GTS, Tony Gaples, Libertyville IL, Chevrolet Camaro, 1:32.489
15. 15, GTS, Clint Guthrie, Birmingham AL, MASERATI GranTurismo MC
16. 16, GTS, Brett Sandberg, Allendale NJ, KTM XBow GT4, 1:34.183
17. 17, GTS, Derek DeBoer, Novato CA, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 1:35.886
18. 18, GTS, Dave Ricci, Palm Beach FL, Chevrolet Camaro, 1:36.035
19. 19, GTS, John Allen, Denver CO, Porsche Cayman, 1:36.607
20. 20, GTS, Alline Cipriani, Sao Paulo Brazil, Ginetta GT4, 1:36.719
21. 21, GTS, Jeff Courtney, Milwaukee WI, MASERATI GranTurismo MC
22. 22, GTS, Dore Chaponick Jr, Miami FL, KTM XBow GT4, No Time