Leifooghe, BMW Takes Touring Car Pole Position Friday for PWC Grand Prix of Texas at COTA

Eric Powell, Canaan O’Connell Capture TCA, TCB Pole Repectively

AUSTIN, Texas – Greg Liefooghe of San Francisco, Calif., coming off a double race win weekend at Utah last month, scored the Touring Car pole position Friday in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Texas at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

Liefooghe, driving the No. 20 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M235iR, beat the existing TC track record Friday with a top lap clocking of two minutes, 25.803 seconds for an average speed of 84.70 miles per hour over the immaculate 3.247-mile, 20-turn road circuit. Liefooghe’s lap time topped the old mark set in 2015 by Cody Ellsworth in a Porsche Cayman at 2:25.997 (83.837 m.p.h.).

Liefooghe, currently second in the TC point standings, will start from the pole in Saturday’s Round 9 40-minute race scheduled for 10:10 a.m. CDT.

Making up the front row in Saturday’s Touring Car contest will be Matt Travis of Houston Tex., in the No. 26 Classic BMW BMW M235iR with a qualifying lap of 2:26.109 (84.53 m.p.h.).

The top-three TC qualifiers Friday were in BMW M235iR sedans with the third-place spot going to veteran Nick Wittmer of Montreal, Que., Canada in the No. 91 ST Racing BMW at 2:26.349 (84.39 m.p.h.).

Rounding out the top five for the Touring Car division time trials were Tony Rivera of Oceanside, Calif., in the Brass Monkey Racing Nissan 370Z at 2:26.531 (84.28 m.p.h.) and current TC point leader Paul Holton of Orlando, Fla., in the No. 71 C360R Audi RS 3 LMS at 2:26.699 (84.19 m.p.h.).

Defending COTA winner and reigning TC class champion Toby Grahovec of Celina, Tex., will start sixth Saturday in the No. 1 Classic BMW BMW M235iR after a best lap of 2:26.716 (84.18 m.p.h.).

In the TCA qualifying round, veteran Eric Powell of Orlando, Fla., drove his No. 23 Tech Sport Racing Scion FR-S to pole position time of 2:35.206 (79.57 m.p.h.) followed by Utah winner Kenny Murillo of Santa Rosa, Calif., in No. 23 Murillo Racing Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Car at 2:35.520 (79.41 m.p.h.), Elivan Goulart of Shelton, Conn., in the No. 70 S.A.C. Racing Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Car at 2:36.543 (78.89 m.p.h.), Matthew Fassnacht of Madison, N.J., in the No. 74 S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX-5 at 2:36.665 (78.83 m.p.h.) and Daniel Williams of Scottsbluff, Neb., in the No. 22 Tech Sport Racing Scion FR-S at 2:37.009 (78.66 m.p.h.).

In the TCB category, young Canaan O’Connell of Chandler, Ariz., won the pole at 2:52.320 (71.67 m.p.h.) in the No. 24 Tech Sport Racing Chevrolet Sonic. Trailing O’Connell in the top-three TCB slots were P.J. Groenke of Richmond Hill, Ont., Canada in the No. 25 Tech Sport Racing Chevrolet Sonic at 2:52.553 (71.57 m.p.h.) and Blake Thompson of Oak Creek, Wis., in the No. 37 iSellMiataParts Mazda 2 at 2:54.538 (70.66 m.p.h.).

Round 9 of the Touring Car races will be live-streamed for free at world-challenge.com and MotorTrendOnDemand.com.