Race Weekend Central

Toni Vilander Claims St. Petersburg GT Pole in Crash-Shortened Session

R. Ferri Motorsport’s Toni Vilander won the overall pole Saturday morning (March 10) for Race No. 1 of Pirelli World Challenge’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.  Vilander set a track record with a lap of 70.923 seconds (91.367 mph).

Vilander’s lap was more than three-sevenths faster than Alegra Motorsports’ Michael Christensen.  Callaway Competition USA’s Daniel Keilwitz will start third, while Spencer Pumpelly put up a great lap in TRG’s Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to claim fourth.

Pfaff Motorsports’ Scott Hargrove was right up at the front early in the session, but eventually ended up fifth in his No. 96 Porsche.  However, Hargrove impacted the wall in turn 14, bringing out the red flag that ended the session five minutes early.  As a result, Hargrove lost his best time and will start seventh, assuming that the Porsche can be repaired.

In GTA, K-PAX Racing’s Rodrigo Baptista claimed the subclass pole with a lap of 72.545 seconds (89.324 mph).  That time was four-tenths of a second faster than TruSpeed AutoSport’s Parker Chase.

TR3 Racing’s Daniel Mancinelli did not set a time during the session.  As per Pirelli World Challenge Sporting Regulations, Mancinelli will start Race No. 1 from the rear of the field since he set times in practice on Friday.  Had he not done so, he would be forced to sit out the race.


Grand Prix of St. Petersburg GT/GTA race No. 1 is scheduled to start at 3:50 p.m. Saturday afternoon.  The race will be livestreamed at both World-Challenge.com and on the WorldChallengeTV YouTube channel.


About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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