Bowmanville, Ont. — Adam Poland, Gary Kwok and Will Rodgers took Round 3 poles in the TC, TCA and TCB classes, respectively, at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, at the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Canada presented by Audi. The 30-minute qualifying session was held under clear, sunny 50-degree weather.
The 30-minute session was split into two groups, with TCA and TCB drivers taking to the track first, and then the TC-class closing the session out.
In TCA, Joey Bickers, in the No. 49 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5 Cup set the early pace around the CTMP circuit with a lap of 1:37.043, while in TCB Henry Morse, in the No. 14 Hale Motorsports MorseGPS powered by CalAmp/MazdaSpeed/FreeM USA/Corksport Performance/Rolling Hills Prep/Hale Motorsports/Bell/Leatt Prep Mazda 2 jumped to the first position early with a time of 1:47.121.
Bickers continued his pace, improving to 1:36.320 on his second flyer, ahead of TCA class points leader Elivan Goulart, in the No. 70, S.A.C. Racing/SCDA1.com Mazda MX-5 Cup, who was in second with a lap of 1:37.126, just two hundredths of a second in front of Matthew Fassnacht, in the No. 74 S.A.C. Racing Equity Residences Mazda MX-5 Cup.
Meanwhile, the order continued to shuffle in TCB with Tom O’Gorman, in the No. 94 Black Armor Helmets TNIA Honda Fit, going to the top of the TCB qualifying order on his second flyer with a 1:46.453.
Bickers went quicker in TCA, powering to a 1:36.276 lap time ahead of Gary Kwok, in the No. 6 M&S Racing M&S Produce Honda Civic Si, who jumped to second with a quick time of 1:36.652, narrowly ahead of Eric Powell, in the No. 23 Tech Sport Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup, who was third with a time of 1:36.683 at the 10-minute mark.
In TCB, Will Rodgers in the No. 65 Hale Motorsports Solvang Brewing Co/Kelly Benefit Strategies/Foundation Fighting Blindness Mazda 2, was the first competitor into the 1:45s with a lap of 1:45.844, bumping O’Gorman back to second and Morse to third.
With time winding down it was Kwok that powered to first in TCA, lowering the fastest lap to 1:35.577 ahead of Goulart and Jason Wolfe, in the No. 12 Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup.
Kwok lowered his time to 1:35.368 to take pole, ahead of Goulart and Fassnacht, while Bickers qualified fourth in TCA.
In TCB, it was Rodgers with a pole lap when it counted with a time of 1:45.844 ahead of O’Gorman, Morse and P.J. Groenke, in the No. 25 Tech Sport Racing Verax.ca/Tundra/Clorox Pool & Spa/Cabano’s Comfort Food/Clairhaven, Ltd/Martinrea Intl Inc/Pelto Agri Investments/Ro-Ro Property Management Corp./Warp Speed Computers Inc. Chevrolet Sonic.
The final segment of Touring Car qualifying saw the TC cars storm to the track with Montreal’s Nick Wittmer, in the No. 91 Honda Ste-Rose Racing Honda Accord V-6 Coupe going fast early with a lap of 1:30.543 ahead of Adam Poland, in the No. 33 Doghouse Performance Edge Addicts Mazda MX-5, who was second after the first set of flying laps with a time of 1:30.647.
Times continued to tumble as cars picked up speed and the track continued to rubber in, with Poland running a 1:29.194 ahead of Dennis Hanratty, in the No. 4 KRUGSPEED Racing Beta Tools/OG Racing/Winmax Brakes Lotus Exige who had set a time of 1:29.713 with five minutes remaining in the session. In third, with a time of 1:30.040 was Patrick Gallagher, driving the No. 54 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5.
In TC, Poland’s lap time would earn him the pole position, with Hanratty lining up on the outside of the front row ahead of Gallagher in third and points leader Toby Grahovec, in the No. 26 BMW M235iR for Classic BMW Motorsports in fourth. Wittmer ended up fifth.
“It would be very cool to win a race here,” said Poland. “It would be a milestone in my career. My car was really hooked up in the high speed corners. I like the track because it’s a little risky, dangerous and it’s fast.”
“It was a good run. This is my home track and I know it in my sleep,” said Kwok. “It has been almost ten years since I started race at CTMP. I hope to have a good car for the race now.”
“The first lap out there was some really wild stuff going on,” said Rodgers. “A couple of TCA cars got together. I told my dad that we need to click off a good lap. My lap was really smooth and I was able capitalize with some things in the data. Surprisingly with that lap, I didn’t have any help from other drivers in a draft. I wish I would have because that definitely would have helped my lap time. I’m on the pole and pretty content with it.”
For Poland, it’s his sixth career Pirelli World Challenge pole, while Kwok scored his second series career pole. For Rodgers it’s his first PWC career pole.
TC, TCA and TCB class drivers next take to the track for their first race of the weekend at 3:05pm Eastern. Watch the race live at motortrendondemand.com and follow live timing and scoring world-challenge.com.