James Wins GTS Pole Saturday in Rain-Drenched Shootout with Sofronas, Aschenbach at CTMP

BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Canada – Veteran sports car star Ian James of Paradise Valley, Ariz., captured the GTS class pole position Saturday morning at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in a rain-drenched 20-minute qualifying round for the GTS Sprint Round 3 event set for Saturday afternoon.

James drove the No. 50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT sports car to a best lap time of one minute, 42.211 seconds for an average speed of 86.60 miles per hour at the historic 2.459-mile, 10-turn road circuit northeast of Toronto.

It was an exciting shootout for the pole between James, James Sofronas of Villa Park, Calif., in the No. 14 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4, and reigning GTS champion Lawson Aschenbach of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., in the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R with each driver swapping positions throughout the qualifying session.

At the checkered flag, James secured the pole over Sofronas, the current GTS overall point leader who recorded a 1:43.387 (85.62 m.p.h.), with Aschenbach at 1:43.524 (85.51 m.p.h.).

Last year’s CTMP GTS double winner Jade Buford of Nashville, Tenn., notched the fourth best time with a time of 1:44.215 (84.94 m.p.h.) followed by Gar Robinson of San Antonio, Tex., in the No. 74 Ranch 74 Robinson Racing Mercedes-AMG, at 1:45.130 (84.20 m.p.h.).

Pacing the GTSA division Saturday in qualifying was veteran PWC racer Mike Hedlund of Redwood City, Calif., in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS GT4 with a 1:48.532 (81.56 m.p.h.) followed by Mark Klenin of Lone Tree, Colo., in the No. 62 KPR/Premiere Copier McLaren 570S GT4 at 1:49.082 (81.15 m.p.h.) and Tony Gaples of Libertyville, Ill., in the No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R at 1:53.273 (78.15 m.p.h.).

Saturday’s Round 3 50-minute GTS event at CTMP is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. with Sunday’s Round 4 contest set for 10:05 a.m. The weekend’s races are scheduled to be livestreamed for free at World-Challenge.com as well as being audio broadcast at SiriusXM Satellite Radio channel 383 (App channel 983).

Results from the Qualifying session of the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park GTS/GTSA Rd.3 sprint competition. All results are provisional until posted Final.

Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,Laps,Status,Fastest Lap Time,Fastest Lap Avg. Speed
1,1, Pro,Ian JAMES,Paradise Valley, AZ,USA,Panoz Avezzano GT4,8,Running,1:42.211,86.6
2,2, Pro,James SOFRONAS,Villa Park, CA,USA,Audi R8 LMS GT4,7,Running,1:43.387,85.6
3,3, Pro,Lawson ASCHENBACH,Palm Beach Gardens, FL,USA,Chevrolet Camaro GT4,8,Running,1:43.524,85.5
4,4, Pro,Jade BUFORD,Nashville, TN,USA,Ford Mustang GT4,8,Running,1:44.215,84.9
5,5, Pro,Gar ROBINSON,San Antonio, TX,USA,Mercedes-AMG GT4,7,Running,1:45.130,84.2
6,6, Pro,Shane LEWIS,Jupiter, FL,USA,Mercedes-AMG GT4,7,Not Running,1:46.407,83.1
7,1, Am,Mike HEDLUND,Redwood City, CA,USA,Audi R8 LMS GT4,9,Not Running,1:48.532,81.5
8,2, Am,Mark KLENIN,Lone Tree, CO,USA,McLaren 570S GT4,8,Running,1:49.082,81.1
9,3, Am,Tony GAPLES,Libertyville, IL,USA,Chevrolet Camaro GT4,7,Running,1:53.273,78.1
10,4, Am,Preston CALVERT,Potomac, MD,USA,Panoz Avezzano GT4,6,Running,1:54.172,77.5
11,5, Am,Orey FIDANI,Etobicoke, ON,CAN,Porsche Cayman GT4 CS-MR,7,Running,1:54.200,77.5
12,6, Am,Jason BELL,Tampa, FL,USA,Audi R8 LMS GT4,6,Running,1:54.342,77.4
13,7, Am,George KURTZ,Surprise Valley, AZ,USA,Audi R8 LMS GT4,6,Running,1:55.330,76.7
14,8, Am,Drew STAVELEY,Salt Lake City, UT,USA,Ginetta G55,6,Running,1:56.014,76.3
15,9, Am,Mark PAVAN,Toronto, ON,CAN,SIN R1,8,Running,1:57.117,75.5
16,10, Am,Jeff COURTNEY,Milwaukee, WI,USA,Maserati Grand Turismo MC GT4,7,Running,1:58.001,75.0
17,7, Pro,Harry GOTTSACKER,San Antonio, TX,USA,SIN R1,8,NC,1:51.626,79.3
18,8, Pro,Vinnie ALLEGRETTA,Hamptons, NY,USA,Ford Mustang GT4,7,NC,1:54.749,77.1
19,11, Am,Fred ROBERTS,Toronto, ON,CAN,Maserati Grand Turismo MC GT4,8,NC,1:59.219,74.2
20,12, Am,Frank GANNETT,Steamboat Springs, CO,USA,Ginetta G55,6,NC,2:05.242,70.6
21,13, Am,James PESEK,Harrisonville, MO,USA,Ford Mustang GT4,2,Not Running,,
22,14, Am,Adam MERZON,Greenwich, CT,USA,Audi R8 LMS GT4,0,NS,,
23,15, Am,Steve BURNS,Park City, UT,USA,Ginetta G55,0,NS,,
24,16, Am,Andrew DANYLIW,Toronto, ON,CAN,Porsche Cayman GT4 CS-MR,0,NS,,