St. Petersburg, FL – Ryan Eversley, of Atlanta, GA, set the fastest lap in GT to take the pole for the Round 3 Streets of St. Petersburg race, at the Cadillac Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Bryan Heitkotter, of Fresno, CA, posted the fastest lap in GTA. Colin Thompson, of Doylestown, PA, claimed the pole in the GT Cup presented by MOMO class.
With rain falling, wet track conditions existed for the 20-minute GT/GTA qualifying session. Early on, Eversely, in the No. 43 RealTime/Acura Motorsports/HPD Acura TLX-GT went to the top of the charts with a 1:27.990 and then shortly after that set what would be the fastest lap of the session with a 1:23.434. It is Eversley’s first career Pirelli World Challenge pole and first for Acura’s new TLX-GT program in the GT class.
GT points leader coming into St. Petersburg, Kevin Estre, of Lochau, Austria, in the No. 9 K-PAX/McLaren 650S GT3 will start second on the grid with a fast lap of 1:23.956.
Rounding out the top five on the grid are Ryan Dalziel, of Windermere, FL, in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing/World PMO/Porsche 911 GT3R with a 1:24.934, followed by James Davison, of St. Petersburg, FL, in the No. 33 AE/ReplayXD/Nissan Nismo Nissan GT-R GT3 with a 1:25.172, and Robert Thorne, of Littleton, CO, in the No. 6 K-PAX McLaren 650S GT3 with a 1:25.429.
“It’s actually really funny how things work out,” said Eversley. “The grid for the qualifying session was set based on yesterday’s practice session which was literally a two-lap shootout.” Thursday’s 30-minute practice session was shortened when the No. 13 of Lorenzo Trefethen, of Napa, CA in the ANSA Motorsports Trefethen Family Vineyards Porsche 911 GT3 Cup made contact with the concrete barrier at turn 3. The cleanup took approximately 25 minutes of the session.
“So we went out and we had the game plan to go slow on the out lap so we could get one or two flyers,” added Eversley. “On our first lap, we went into turn 1 and Frankie (Montecalvo) went wide and I got by him and I just put my head down and I knew that that would be the one time that I would get no traffic whatsoever and just went as hard as I could. It started raining harder as the qualifying session went on and that just made everybody else go slower. How do you thank the guy that gave you a two-lap session the day before, but it really worked out. We showed good pace in the wet at Circuit of the Americas. So we knew if it rained today we knew we would be pretty strong. It’s a true testiment to what everybody at RealTime, Acura/Acura Motorsports, and HPD have done developing the car. Happy Birthday Dad! I got you a pole!”
Fastest lap by a GTA competitor was Heitkotter, in the No. 05 Nissan GT Academy GT-R Nissan GT-R GT3 who had a fast lap of 1:26.921.
GT Cup presented by MOMO competitors ran a separate 15-minute session again in wet track conditions. Class points leader Colin Thompson in the No. 11 Porsche of Bucks County/PenVal Porsche 911 GT3 Cup recorded a 1:32.008. Rounding out the top three in class are Phil Fogg Jr, of Portland, OR in the No. 18 Zoro/TruSpeed/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup who recorded a 1:32.263, and Alec Udell, of The Woodlands, TX in the No. 17 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup who ran a 1:33.055.
For Thompson, it is his third straight pole in GT Cup it what has been a terrific debut in the series.
Results are provisional until posted final.
The Round 3 GT/GTA and GT Cup presented by MOMO race from St. Petersburg is scheduled for 11:10am Eastern Saturday, March 28. Watch live streaming of the race at www.world-challengetv.com and www.torque.tv.