GRANTSVILLE, Utah – James Burke used his local track knowledge to help capture the SprintX pole position Friday by driving the No. 63 DXDT Racing Audi R8 Ultra GTS machine to a speed of 99.013 miles per hour at the 3.048-mile Utah Motorsports Campus outer road circuit.
Burke, a UK native, was a driving instructor for many years at the track’s Ford Driving School before teaming with David Askew and David Hikes to form the Utah-based DXDT Racing team. Burke’s track history paced his run Friday with a solid performance of one minute, 50.822 seconds over Canadian Tire Motorsport Park winner Michael Mills for the coveted pole.
Burke will team with Askew in Saturday’s 60-minute, two-driver SprintX Round 3 scheduled to start 11:30 a.m. MDT.
Mills, driving with veteran Kuno Wittmer this weekend, just missed the pole with a time of 1:50.937 (98.910 mph) as the Houston driver and his Montreal partner seek another victory in the No. 46 Mills Racing BMW Z4 this weekend.
Third in SprintX qualifications went to veteran Brent Holden of Newport Beach, Calif., in the GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R with a time of 1:52.594 (97.455 mph), as Holden teams with PWC regular James Sofronas of Villa Park, Calif., in search of the team’s first 2016 PWC win.
Preston Calvert of Potomac, Md., owner of the Calvert Dynamics Racing Team, had to switch cars for the SprintX division after a fire on the No. 76 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 R in practice, with Andrew Davis driving, forced the team to move to the No. 98 Porsche 911 GT3 R. The No. 76 Porsche was scratched from competition for the SprintX and the No. 98 will now be entered for Saturday’s 60-minute feature. Calvert will drive with St. Petersburg GT winner Michael Lewis of Laguna Beach, Calif., in Lewis’ regular GT machine in SprintX. Calvert qualified the No. 98 Porsche in fourth at 1:52.605 (97.445 mph).
Completing the top-five SprintX qualifying Friday was Dr. Walt Bowlin of Tarpon Springs, Fla., who’ll team with David Ostella of Toronto, Ont., in SprintX, with a time of 1:56.823 (93.927 mph).
“I moved to Utah in 2005 and helped develop the Ford driving school here at the track with Dan McKeever,” said Burke. “I worked in the school for quite a while and was trying to find a racing ride like any younger driver. I did a few Grand-Am races and kept working at the school. Married a Utah gal and we have three kids now. I left the driving school recently and I teamed up David Askew and David Hikes to form a race team here in Salt Lake City (DXDT Racing). I’m a co-owner with the two Davids. I’m lucky enough to have the most laps here of anyone racing this weekend. The run was good. We came off a weekend at Road America in the Super Trofeo class. I jumped into the Audi (a former GMG Racing car) and made a few errors. We had a little bit of a short coming out of turn five, and I missed a shift too actually. So we could have been a little bit faster in qualifying. The Audi is a fantastic car and it really works well. David and I are looking forward to the SprintX race now.”
Round 3 of SprintX competition starts at 11:30 a.m. MDT on Saturday and will be available for streaming at MotorTrendOnDemand.com. Live timing will be available at Livetiming.net/PWC/ and links for streaming and timing/scoring can be found at World-Challenge.com.