SALINAS, Calif. – SprintX sportsman drivers took to the track for the SprintX Round 5 Qualifying session at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, part of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship Finale Weekend presented by Nissan at MRLS. Toronto, Ont., Canada’s David Ostella captured the pole for the SprintX GT class, while Kurt Rezzetano, of Phoenixville, Penn., took the first spot on the SprintX GTS grid, and David Askew (Salt Lake City, Utah) earned the top spot on the SprintX GT Cup grid.
Ostella, co-driving the No. 23 M1 GT Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra with Coral Gables, Fla.’s Dion Von Moltke, turned a fastest lap time of 1:25.390-seconds during the qualifying session to place his car on the pole for Round 5. Cooper MacNeil, of Hinsdale, Ill., piloted the No. 79 Alex Job Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R to a fast lap of 1:25.573, affording himself and co-driver Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Utah) the second spot on the grid. Boston, Mass., resident Tim Pappas qualified in the third position with a 1:26.160 for the No. 54 Black Swan Racing Porsche GT3 R. Pappas is set to co-drive with PWC veteran and former GT Champion Andy Pilgrim.
“I like the SprintX format,” said Ostella. “I came from an open-wheel background and then a couple of years in sports cars. I love driving the Audi. It’s been my dream car, so it is great to drive at a place like Laguna Seca. I needed to get my track time in the car and working with Dion (Von Moltke). Dion has been showing me a lot about the car. That has been great. We struggled a little bit this morning with setup but we went back to what we had previously and it worked great. I have raced here several times and really enjoy this place. In the sports car, you are braking more than in an open-wheel car and a PC car. The team has worked hard all year and today was tremendous. Now we want to be on the top of the podium this weekend. Temperature was hotter this afternoon and that is tougher for us. But we made the adjustments and the car was outstanding. Hopefully the car is now good for the whole weekend.”
“Qualifying went well. I was able to find some time in the qualifying session compared to the previous practice,” said MacNeil. “I was pushing for the pole, which we had for a little while, until the No. 23 Audi went a little quicker. I will run clean for the first 25-minutes and then hand it over Gunnar, hopefully in podium contention, and then he will take it the rest of the way.”
In SprintX GTS, sportsman driver Rezzetano took the No. 37 Calvert Dynamics Ford Mustang Boss 302 to a 1:31.271 lap to score the GTS pole in a combined charge during the session with co-driver and fellow Pennsylvania resident Andrew Aquilante.
SprintX GT Cup driver Askew will start from pole in the No. 63 DXDT Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo after recording a class-leading 1:31.392 lap during the session. He’ll co-drive with with Tooele, Utah resident James Burke.
Results are provisional until posted final. SprintX drivers return to the world-famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca course at 4 p.m. PDT Saturday for the Round 5 competition, a 60-minute race that can be viewed via live-stream at MotorTrendOnDemand.com while LiveTiming.net/pwc/ will cover lap-by-lap timing.