Ian James Takes Panoz Avezanno to GTS Pole Position Saturday for PWC Grand Prix of Texas at COTA

Veteran UK racer tops youngsters Gottsacker, Baptista for GTS Round 15 Qualifying

AUSTIN, Texas – Ian James, winner of four GTS races in 2017, drove his No. 50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano sports car to the GTS pole position Saturday in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Texas at Circuit of the Americas.

James, the Englishman who now resides in Paradise Valley, Ariz., recorded a fast lap of two minutes, 17.532 seconds for a speed average of 89.80 miles per hour over the 3.247-mile, 20-turn road circuit southeast of downtown Austin.

It took just three laps for James to clock the pole speed Saturday as summer heat continued to make the track surface over 100 degrees in the Saturday morning 20-minute qualifying session.

The veteran James was able to hold off the challenges of youngsters Harry Gottsacker and Rodrigo Baptista who ended up second and third on the 23-car GTS starting grid.

Gottsacker, the 18-year-old star from nearby San Antonio, won the Mid-Ohio GTS pole in July and nearly pulled it off again at COTA. Harry took the No. 69 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55 to a lap of 2:17.905 (89.56 m.p.h.) and will start on the outside of the front row in Saturday’s 1:45 p.m. CDT race.

Baptista, the young Brazilian, rounded out the top-three in qualifying in the No. 3 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR with a 2:17.960 (89.52 m.p.h.).

Completing the top-five overall in qualifying Saturday was young open-wheel star Dakota Dickerson of San Diego, Calif., in the No. 25 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4 with a 2:18.014 (89.49 m.p.h.) and 16-year-old Parker Chase of New Braunsfels, Tex., in the No. 19 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55 at 2:18.026 (89.48 m.p.h.).

Dickerson, making his PWC debut at COTA, was the leading GTS Am class qualifier with second going to Keith Jensen of Puerto Rico in the No. 47 NOLASport Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR at 2:18.549 (89.14 m.p.h.) and third captured by Jason Bell of Tampa, Fla., in the No. 2 Racer’s Edge SIN CAR 1 at 2:19.289 (88.67 m.p.h.).

Round 15 is set for today at 1:45 p.m. with Round 16 commencing Sunday at 10 a.m. CDT. All races at the Grand Prix of Texas at COTA will be live-streamed for free at World-Challenge.com and MotorTrendOnDemand.com.

Results from the Qualifying session for Rd.15 at the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Texas at COTA on September 2nd, 2017. 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,Panoz Avezzano GT,4,Not Running,2:17.532,89.8
2,2, Pro,Harry GOTTSACKER,San Antonio, TX,Ginetta G55,5,Not Running,2:17.905,89.5
3,3, Pro,Rodrigo BAPTISTA,Sao Paulo, Brazil,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,5,Not Running,2:17.960,89.5
4,1, Am,Dakota DICKERSON,San Diego, CA,KTM Xbow GT4,8,Not Running,2:18.014,89.4
5,4, Pro,Parker CHASE,New Braunsfels, TX,Ginetta G55,7,Not Running,2:18.026,89.4
6,5, Pro,Jeff COURTNEY,Milwaukee, WI,Maserati GT4,5,Not Running,2:18.132,89.4
7,6, Pro,Drew STAVELEY,Salt Lake City, UT,Ginetta G55,7,Not Running,2:18.146,89.4
8,7, Pro,Lawson ASCHENBACH,Palm Beach Gardens, FL,Chevrolet Camaro GT4,5,Not Running,2:18.317,89.2
9,8, Pro,Scott DOLLAHITE,Austin, TX,Lotus Evora,7,Running,2:18.326,89.2
10,2, Am,Keith JENSEN,Dorado, Puerto Rico,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,5,Not Running,2:18.549,89.1
11,9, Pro,Martin BARKEY,Huntsville, ON,KTM Xbow GT4,7,Not Running,2:18.888,88.9
12,10, Pro,Nate STACY,Tulsa, OK,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,6,Running,2:19.003,88.8
13,3, Am,Jason BELL,Tampa, FL,SIN R1 GT4,8,Not Running,2:19.289,88.6
14,4, Am,Bob MICHAELIAN,Seal Beach, CA,SIN R1 GT4,6,Not Running,2:19.501,88.5
15,5, Am,Tony GAPLES,Libertyville, IL,Chevrolet Camaro GT4,5,Not Running,2:19.561,88.4
16,6, Am,George KURTZ,Paradise Valley, AZ,McLaren 570S GT4,6,Not Running,2:19.750,88.3
17,7, Am,Brett MEREDITH,Newport Coast, CA,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,5,Not Running,2:20.473,87.9
18,8, Am,Cody ELLSWORTH,Jupiter, FL,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,5,Not Running,2:20.507,87.9
19,9, Am,Carter YEUNG,Los Angeles, CA,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,5,Not Running,2:20.718,87.7
20,10, Am,Adam MERZON,Greenwich, CT,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,8,Not Running,2:21.183,87.4
21,11, Am,Bill ZIEGLER,Ponte Vedra, FL,KTM Xbow GT4,8,Running,2:21.986,86.9
22,12, Am,Frank GANNETT,Steamboat Springs, CO,Ginetta G55,8,Running,2:22.005,86.9
23,13, Am,Mark KLENIN,Lone Tree, CO,McLaren 570S GT4,8,Not Running,2:22.159,86.8
24,14, Am,Cameron CASSELS,Coldstream, BC,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,0,NS,,
25,15, Am,Aristotle BALOGH,,BMW M3 E46,0,NS,,