Winchester Tops World Challenge Qualifying


Next in line and starting on the outside of row two is Conner Ford, driving the No. 30 Emich VW/StopTech/3Zero3 Motorsports Volkswagen GTI. Ford posted his qualifying marker of 1:47.061 (77.339 mph) on the second lap of the session, then pulled to pit lane soon after.

The No. 42 Gear Tie/Go4It Racing Schools/Hawk Pontiac Solstice of Dan Martinson will start fifth after a time of 1:47.061 (77.050 mph).

Francis Jr. scored his first career Pirelli World Challenge pole position with a lap of 2:00.971 (68.446 mph) in the Series’ first visit to the Austin circuit. The No. 98 Hydraulic Jeans MAZDA2 will lead a field of 21 TCB cars to the green flag on Saturday.

“In the beginning I was fighting with the Minis a little bit,” Francis Jr. said. “When they finally pulled into the pits, I got some clean air on track, and was able to pull out a two minute flat.”

“I just want to try and get a top-three on Saturday and Sunday, but I’m really hoping for a victory. If I keep my head straight, and don’t look at my mirrors too much, I think I can come out on top.”

Just like Thursday’s practice, four MINI Coopers follow the Mazda of Francis on the grid. Starting on the outside of the front row is the No. 37 MINI Financial Services MINI Cooper of Robbie Davis, whose lap of 2:01.487 (68.155 mph) left him 0.516-second behind Francis.

Teammates Charlie James and Mike Asselta comprise the second row of the TCB grid. James earned the inside position with a lap of 2:01.744 (68.011 mph) in the No. 0 SafeRacer MINI Cooper, with Asselta’s No. 7 SafeRacer MINI Cooper outside with a time of 2:02.240 (67.735 mph).

Johan Schwartz will start fifth in the No. 01 MINI Cooper with a time of 2:02.375 (67.660 mph).