It was a dominant display by Randy Pobst and his #6 No. 6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 today, Friday. He led from pole position to win the Pirelli World Challenge Sports Car race at Laguna Seca, taking the GT class win.
Peter Cunningham took the GTS class win, finishing 14th overall in his #42 Acura/HPD/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, while Todd Lamb won in Touring Car, placing 24th overall in the National Karting News/HPD Honda Civic.
Starting from the pole, Pobst got the holeshot from the standing and built a 3.5sec lead over teammate Alex Figge by lap three. After that, he was never seriously challenged on the 11-turn, 2.36-mile circuit, seeting a new lap record during the race with a 1:27.491 (92.087 mph). This was his third win at the track, the first since 2006 and the first in 2012 but the 27th of his career.
Figge started third in his #9 K-PAX S60, but got into second at the start by going around #8 Cadillac Racing CTS-V of Andy Pilgrim thanks to the Volvo's all-wheel drive. Figge maintained second for the duration of the 28-lap, 62.664-mile contest.
Pilgrim was happy with third place, holding off Lawson Aschenbach at the finish, who started from the rear of the field in his #1 TruSpeed/Privacy Star/EnTrust Porsche 911 GT3 after missing qualifying.
For climbing from 15th to finish fourth, Aschenbach earned the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start award (advancing five positions on the opening lap) as well as the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race.
Cadillac drivers sit one-two in the Championship point standings, with O'Connell on top with 573, followed by Pilgrim with 559. Pobst moved to third with 502, followed by Aschenbach (427) and Sofronas (409) who retired with a mechanical problem on lap 15.
Cadillac also maintained the Manufacturers Championship lead over Porsche and Volvo, followed by Chevrolet.
Cunningham started from his fourth-consecutive GTS class pole position in the #42 Acura/HPD/RealTime Racing Acura TSX, but saw Jack Baldwin's #68 Voodoo Ride-Invoice Prep/Hot Wheels Porsche Cayman S get the jump from the second spot.
It wasn't long before Cunningham made the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race to put his Acura back up front, a position he held from lap two until the finish to capture the first win for the Acura V6 in Pirelli World Challenge GTS competition.
The win, coupled with the retirement of pre-race point leader Justin Bell, Cunningham has the Championship point lead, with 602 to Baldwin's 552. Bell was running in the top five in his #50 eBay Motors Ford Mustang Boss 302S but was involved in a heavy incident with Touring Car polesitter Tristan Herbert's #33 HPA/RennGruppe/Brimtek/SG Racing Volkswagen Jetta GLI on lap 21. Neither driver was injured.
Cunningham set a new GTS track record during the race with a fastest time of 1:34.137 (85.585 mph).
Acura took over the Manufacturers Championship lead with 32 points to Ford's 31, Chevrolet's 20 and Kia's 13.
Touring Car had the biggest shakeup in its race, both from the starting grid and related to the Championship. Herbert started from the pole, but was jumped by the Honda Civics of Compass360 teammates Todd Lamb (#71 National Karting News/HPD) and Ryan Winchester (#72 Ligon Industries/HPD).
Points leader Michael Cooper, who started fifth in his #03 Mazdaspeed Motorsports Mazdaspeed3 had contact off the start, necessitating a trip to the pit lane.
Lamb led the entire way but had to deal with a charging Jeff Altenburg in his #43 HPA/RennGruppe Brimtek/SG Racing Volkswagen Jetta GLI in the closing laps. The battle was broken by a slower GTS car that allowed Lamb to open a gap to the checkered flag.
It was Lamb's second Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car win in his rookie season, and the former SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Champion took the points lead over that series' defending Champion Cooper, 771 to 755.
Today's race will be broadcast Sunday, May 27 at 11pm (EDT) on NBC Sports Network.
The series next travels to Detroit for the Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle, part of the IZOD IndyCar weekend, June 1-3.
1. GT, (1), Randy Pobst, Volvo S60, 28 laps
2. GT, (3), Alex Figge, Volvo S60, 28, -.699
3. GT, (2), Andy Pilgrim, Cadillac CTS-V.R, 28, -1.580
4. GT, (15), Lawson Aschenbach, Porsche 911 GT3, 28, -1.717
5. GT, (6), Steve Ott, Porsche 911 GT3, 28, -2.366
6. GT, (16), Mike Skeen, Chevrolet Corvette, 28, -3.159
7. GT, (7), Johnny O'Connell, Cadillac CTS-V.R 6.2, 28, -4.510
8. GT, (8), Justin Marks, Porsche 911 GT3, 28, -4.957
9. GT, (9), Tomy Drissi, Porsche 911 GT3, 28, -5.686
10. GT, (13), Bret Curtis, Porsche 997 Cup, 28, -9.876
11. GT, (11), Tony Gaples, Chevrolet Corvette, 28, -11.128
14. GTS, (17), Peter Cunningham, Acura TSX, 28, -27.942
15. GTS, (18), Jack Baldwin, Porsche Cayman S, 28, -28.410
16. GTS, (23), Aaron Povoledo, Ford Mustang Boss 302S, 28, -35.374
17. GTS, (19), Nick Esayian, Acura TSX, 28, -36.675
18. GTS, (21), Andy Lee(R), Chevrolet Camaro, 28, -42.549
24. TC, (35), Todd Lamb(R), Honda Civic S, 27, -1 lap
25. TC, (36), Jeff Altenburg, Volkswagen GLI, 27, -1 lap
26. TC, (37), Ryan Winchester(R), Honda Civic Si, 27, -1 lap
27. GTS, (33), Don Istook, Audi TT RS, 27, -1 lap
28. TC, (40), Patrick Seguin, Volkswagen GTI, 27, -1 lap
29. TC, (39), Shea Holbrook, Honda Civic Si, 27, -1 lap
Time of race: 50 minutes, 56.177 seconds.
Average speed: 73.814 mph
Overall/GT Margin of victory: 0.699-second
GTS Margin of victory: 0.468-second
TC Margin of Victory: 0.659-second
Overall/GT Fastest race lap: #6 Randy Pobst, 1:27.491 (92.087 mph), record
GTS Fastest race lap: #42 Peter Cunningham, 1:34.137 (85.585 mph), record
TC Fastest race lap: #71 Todd Lamb, 1:40.283 (80.340 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #6 Randy Pobst, 1:26.361 (93.292 mph)
Sunoco Hard Charger: #80 Seguin
Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award: #1 Aschenbach
Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race: #1 Aschenbach
Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race Award: #42 Cunningham