Veteran claims his first pole of the season.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Aug. 29, 2009
Mark Pombo hailing from Duluth, Ga. in the #20 VW Jetta TDI at VIR earlier this year.
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada – TDI Cup drivers competing in the SCCA Pro Racing weekend at Mosport International Raceway battled the elements in today’s practice and qualifying sessions. They saw it all on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile road course–rain, fog and even a few peeks of sun, which made tire selection difficult.
Heavy rain drenched the Mosport area early Saturday morning, and the drivers battled a wet track on grooved rain tires during the early practice session. The challenging conditions didn’t limit Mark Pombo from claiming the top time in practice - 1:47.851 (82.080 mph). The Duluth, Georgia native was followed by Theresa Condict (1:48.901/ 81.288 mph) and AJ Nealey (1:49.259/81.022 mph).
When the green flag waved for the 30-minute afternoon qualifying session, the track had dried and the series technicians switched the cars to slick tires. As a result, the drivers started to push their cars to the limit and saw increased speeds. The increased risk led to off-track excursions by Nealey, Condict and Perry Richardson and Andrew Novich, which shortened all of their qualifying sessions. As the clocked ticked into the final minutes, it appeared as though Jake Thompson of Calgary, Alberta would win the pole position, but Pombo put the pedal to the floor on his last lap to regain his position on the top of the speed charts and claim his first pole of the season in dramatic fashion. Pombo’s time of 1:37.160 (91.111 mph) topped Thompson and Andy Lee who rounded out the top three positions. Series points leader, Timmy Megenbier will start fourth and Donny Warren posted his best qualifying effort of the season, fifth. Andrew Cordeiro and David Richert, the two other Canadian drivers competing this weekend, will start 10th and 22nd respectively.
“When I got to the track this weekend, I was hoping for it to rain because we ran here in the wet last year,” Pombo said. “Unfortunately, it dried out a bit for qualifying, and none of us had gotten any laps in on slick tires. I made some mistakes early in the session, but I was able to get in one last hot lap before the checkered flag that allowed me to jump up the charts. This feels really good since I’ve had a bit of a challenging season, but the race is what earns us points. I’m looking forward to keeping the #20 Fresh From Florida/HEAL/HYPERFUELS car on top tomorrow.”
The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series returns to action at Mosport tomorrow morning at 8:30 am ET for Round 7 of the TDI Cup season.
Saturday Practice Session – Top 5
Saturday Qualifying Session – Top 5
|1||20||Mark Pombo||Duluth, GA||VW Parts & Accessories||1:47.851|| 82.080|
|2||15||Theresa Condict||Lexington, MA||HYPERFUELS||1:48.901||81.288|
|3||2||AJ Nealey||Pasadena, MD||Sherwin-Williams||1:49.259||81.022|
|4||29||Devin Cates||Broad Run, VA||HYPERFUELS||1:49.259||81.022|
|5||4||Nicky Boulle||Dallas, TX||Defnder||1:49.360||80.947|
VW Jetta TDI Cup
|1||20||Mark Pombo||Duluth, GA||VW Parts & Accessories||1:37.160|| 91.111|
|2||19||Jake Thompson||Calgary, AB||Bosch||1:37.883||90.438|
|3 ||27||Andy Lee||Maricopa, AZ||Castrol||1:37.980|| 90.349|
|4||17||Timmy Megenbier||Melrose Park, IL||Chicagoland VW||1:38.140||90.201|
|5||24||Donny Warren||Winchester, VA||Aggreko||1:38.570||89.808|
The 2009 season marks the second year of competition for the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, which is sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing. During the season, young, up and coming drivers (between ages 16-26) will compete in 10 events on eight road courses around North America in identical factory-prepared clean diesel Jetta TDI’s powered by Syndiesel® B5 blended biodiesel fuel. Each driver competing in the series will earn a Pro Racing license from SCCA at the conclusion of the season. In addition to more than $50,000 in prize money at stake during the season, the series champion will win $100,000.
The Jetta TDI Cup car is powered by a 2.0-liter, 170 hp, four-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine mated to a six-speed, double-clutch, automatic DSG transmission. The car is only slightly modified from stock with Pirelli racing tires, race suspension and brake components, drivers racing safety seat, FIA roll cage and an on-board fire extinguisher system. Series sponsors include: Pirelli, Bosch, ViON, Castrol, Oakley, Red Bull, HYPERFUELS, Aggreko, defNder, Lamin-X, Meguiar’s, Sherwin-Williams, Chicagoland VW, Safety-Kleen, Ringer Gloves, Jim Russell Racing School and Trellis Earth.