Road Atlanta: K-PAX Wednesday practice report
K-PAX Volvo's of Pobst & Pilgrim set the SPEED GT practice pace at Road Atlanta Braselton Georgia, Wisconsin (September 23, 2009): Randy Pobst and Andy Pilgrim and their matching K-PAX/3R racing Volvo S60's set the practice pace at Road Atlanta ...
K-PAX Volvo's of Pobst & Pilgrim set the SPEED GT practice pace at Road Atlanta
Braselton Georgia, Wisconsin (September 23, 2009): Randy Pobst and Andy Pilgrim and their matching K-PAX/3R racing Volvo S60's set the practice pace at Road Atlanta for Friday's Toyo Tires Road Atlanta Grand Prix Presented by Dish Network. Round 9 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships.
Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, set the morning practice session pace in the #1 K-PAX Volvo S60 with a best lap of 1:26.563 (105.634 MPH) and was 2nd quick in the evening recording a 1:27.053.
While Pobst, who lives 20 minutes from the Road Atlanta track and is expecting much of his family to attend this race, was happy that the K-PAX Volvo S60's were quickest in practice his optimism was guarded.
"I am happy with what we have been able to do thus far but I don't want to get too carried away because I think the competition has more than they are showing right now," said Pobst. "I am really pleased with how fast we are at Road Atlanta because I thought that the long straight here might hurt us like it did in the last race at Road America.
"I think that one difference is there is only one long straight here compared to three at Road America. Another difference is that high speed stability is the strong suit of our Volvos and Road Atlanta has plenty of that! Turn 12 is my favorite right now. I'm getting through there on the red line in 5th, 120 miles per hour plus. It really gives me a great run down the pit straight."
Pobst also indicated that while the K-PAX Volvos are doing well in practice there is still plenty of work to do before qualifying at 1 PM Eastern Time on Thursday and Friday's race.
"We have revised transmissions and differentials in our Volvos and while that should help the reliability they are handling a bit different and we have a bit too much under steer right now," said Pobst. "Under steer not withstanding I am having a lot of fun and I am felling very racy so that means that my K-PAX Volvo is handling pretty well.
"We do need to get the balance of the car better because we are going to need it if we are going to stay up front in the race."
Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton Florida, set the quickest lap in the evening session in the #8 K-PAX/3R Racing Volvo S60 on Wednesday with a best lap of 1:26.916 for a lap average speed of 105.205 miles per hour.
"I only got in one good lap which fortunately was the fastest of the session," said Pilgrim. "We are still having an issue with the differential and we aren't quite sure what the problem is but I am confident that the 3R guys will give me a good car for tomorrow's qualifying."
"Am I happy that I set the fastest lap, astonished is perhaps more accurate since I did it on what amounted to my first real lap of the day," said Andy Pilgrim who missed most all of the morning session due to issues with the differential.
Pilgrim's second session was also shortened by what is thought to be additional issues with the differential that turned the #8 all-wheel drive K-PAX Volvo into a 2 or 3 wheel drive causing Pilgrim to spin into a tire wall in turn 3.
The tire wall contact resulted in only minor cosmetic damage but concerns remain about the health of the differentials in the #8 K-PAX Volvo which will mean another long night for the K-PAX/3R Racing crew.
Pobst and Pilgrim will qualify the K-PAX/3R Racing Volvo S60s for Round Nine of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships at 1 PM Eastern Time on Thursday September 24th for the Toyo Tires Grand Prix Presented by Dish Networks at Road Atlanta in Braselton Georgia on Friday September 25th 2009.
Road Atlanta: Combined TC/GT practice 2 times
Road Atlanta: GT starting lineup