Gallagher, Whiting and Morse Score TC, TCA and TCB Poles for Round 11 at MRLS

PRINT PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE STAFF October 7, 2016Series News, TC Class, TCA Class, TCB Class

SALINAS, Calif. – Patrick Gallagher, Paul Whiting and Henry Morse will start on TC, TCA and TCB poles respectively for Saturday’s Round 11 race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, part of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship Finale Weekend presented by Nissan at MRLS The 30-minute qualifying session was split between TC and TCA/TCB competitors, with each group running 15-minute segments. The session was held under sunny, and breezy 82-degree temperatures.

In TC, Gallagher, piloting the No. 54 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX–5 posted a fast time of 1:35.823 to grab the pole (his 3rd career PWC pole), as well as setting a new series track qualifying record for the class eclipsing the previously held mark set in 2015 by Ernie Francis Jr., Mazda MX-5 (1:36.315). Driver’s Championship contender Nick Wittmer, behind the wheel of the No. 91 Honda Ste–Rose Racing Honda Accord will start second after posting a 1:37.080, while Adam Poland, in the No. 33 Edge Addicts Doghouse Performance Mazda MX-5 posted the third fastest time with a 1:37.224. Of note, Toby Grahovec, leading in TC Driver’s Championship points coming into the weekend will start 5th on Saturday after posting a 1:37.402.

“We feel very good here,” said Gallagher. “We have been doing the work to get the car just right. I think we have them covered a bit. We expected this kind of performance from the car. The Atlanta Motorsports Group really know their stuff and we wanted to do well at Mazda Raceway with the Mazda MX-5. Everyone was trying to play games today in qualifying. They were trying to slow down and draft. We knew the way to go was to do our job and not get caught up with everyone’s planning. We got a good lap and we are happy with the pole.”

In TCA, Whiting, driving the No. 51 LDL Speed Shop Honda Civic SI secured his first career Pirelli World Challenge pole with a best time of 1:44.155 ahead of Daniel Williams (1:44.271), in the No. 36 S.A.C Racing Mazda MX–5 Cup and class championship contender Joey Bickers (1:44.300) in the No. 49 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX–5 Cup. Of note, Driver’s Championship points leader Elivan Goulart, in the No. 70 S.A.C. Racing Mazda MX–5 Cup will start 4th after posting a 1:44.814.

“We were a little back and forth with Joey (Bickers) early on,” said Whiting. “I wasn’t happy with the setup early but then the car kind of came to me. I kept my driving the same and the car really came around in qualifying. I was trying to be smooth and then the crew radioed me to make it happen on that last lap. So I backed off the prior lap and got a good run for the last lap. The car felt absolutely perfect. It was on the money and I want to thank the crew guys are a tremendous setup. Joey is a really solid racer and he races clean. So I’m excited for the race. It should be a good show.”

In TCB, class Rookie-of-the-Year, 15-year-old Morse secured his second pole of the season with a 1:52.182 behind the wheel of the No. 14 Hale Motorsports MorseGPS powered by CalAmp/MazdaSpeed/FreeM USA/Corksport Performance/Rolling Hills Prep Mazda2. The time is a new TCB class PWC track qualifying record — Morse’s fast time eclipsed the previously record held by Andrei Kisel, in a MINI Cooper in 2015 (1:53.101). It’s an important pole for Morse as he comes into the weekend second in the battle for the TCB Driver’s championship. Starting second on the grid will be fellow Driver’s Championship contender Tom O’Gorman, piloting the No. 94 TNIA/Black Armor Helmets Honda Fit. O’Gorman comes into the weekend third in the Championship and posted a 1:52.681 to secure the second starting spot. Will Rodgers, in the No. 65 Solvang Brewing Co/Kelly Benefit Strategies/Foundation Fighting Blindness Hale Motorsports Mazda2 posted the third fastest time of the session with a 1:52.687. Of note, P.J. Groenke, who comes into the weekend leading in the class Driver’s Championship will start 5th. The driver of the No. 25 Tech Sport Racing Chevrolet Sonic posted a 1:53.824.

“It was awesome out there today. My Mazda2 was on rails,” said Morse. “We were pushing hard working on the setup this morning. Everything lined up and I was able to put together that perfect lap. We work on a gradual lap time during the session. I started off at about a 1:55 lap and then I started knocking off a second each lap until my final lap. Then I just put in a strong effort and took the pole on the last lap. It feels good as we are battling for a series championship.”

Results are provisional until posted final. TC, TCA and TCB drivers now get set to compete in the penultimate race of the 2016 season on Saturday starting at 11:45am Pacific/2:45 pm Eastern. Watch the race live online at motortrendondemand.com.


Monterey, CA – Results from Friday, Oct 7, 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Championship TC-TCA-TCB Round 11 Qualifying Round 11, part of the Grand Prix Presented by NISSAN at MRLS.

Pos. PIC, Class, Name, Hometown, Car, Fast Time
1. 1, TC, Patrick Gallagher, Thornville OH, Mazda MX-5, 1:35.823
2. 2, TC, Nick Wittmer, Montreal QC, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 1:37.080
3. 3, TC, Adam Poland, Ft. Worth TX, Mazda MX-5, 1:37.224
4. 4, TC, Brian Lift, Crestwood IL, Porsche Cayman, 1:37.285
5. 5, TC, Toby Grahovec, Little Elm TX, BMW M235iR, 1:37.402
6. 6, TC, Kevin Krauss, Fishers IN, Porsche Cayman, 1:37.518
7. 7, TC, John A. Weisberg, Webster NY, Mazda MX-5, 1:37.800
8. 8, TC, Tony Rivera, Vista CA, Nissan 370Z, 1:37.936
9. 9, TC, Aristotle Balogh, Menlo Park CA, BMW M235iR, 1:38.573
10. 10, TC, Shea Holbrook, Orlando FL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 1:38.934
11. 11, TC, Anthony Geraci, Glen Head NY, Mazda MX-5, 1:39.062
12. 12, TC, Max Fedler, Denver CO, BMW M235i, 1:39.735
13. 13, TC, Andrew Rains, Birmingham AL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 1:39.913
14. 14, TC, Henry Schmitt, San Francisco CA, BMW M235iR, 1:40.005
15. 15, TC, Randy Hale, Haddam CT, Mazda MX-5, 1:40.684
16. 16, TC, Steve Burns, San Antonio TX, Ford Mustang, 1:40.823
17. 17, TC, Jason Fichter, Jupiter FL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 1:41.500
18. 18, TC, Paul Street, Anniston AL, Honda Accord V-6 Coupe, 1:41.660
19. 19, TC, Dinah Weisberg, Webster NY, Mazda MX-5, 1:41.980
20. 20, TC, Gino Carini, Milwaukee WI, BMW M235iR, 1:41.999
21. 1, TCA, Paul Whiting, Las Vegas NV, Honda Civic SI, 1:44.155
22. 2, TCA, Daniel Williams, Scottsbluff NE, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 1:44.271
23. 3, TCA, Elivan Goulart, Shelton CT, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 1:44.814
24. 4, TCA, Matthew Fassnacht, Madison NJ, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 1:44.857
25. 5, TCA, Eric Powell, Orlando FL, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 1:44.974
26. 6, TCA, Forrest Landy, Great Falls VA, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 1:45.145
27. 7, TCA, Warren Dexter, Huntington NY, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 1:45.257
28. 8, TCA, Perry Richardson, Los Gatos CA, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 1:45.270
29. 9, TCA, Mason Filippi, Alamo CA, Mazda MX-5, 1:45.394
30. 10, TCA, Jay Salinsky, Miami FL, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 1:45.809
31. 11, TCA, Samantha Tan, Gormley ON, Honda Civic SI, 1:46.426
32. 12, TCA, Daryl Harr, Edmonton AB, Toyota FR-S, 1:47.972
33. 1, TCB, Henry Morse, Redondo Beach CA, Mazda 2, 1:52.182
34. 2, TCB, Tom O’Gorman, Mason OH, Honda Fit, 1:52.681
35. 3, TCB, Will Rodgers, Murrieta CA, Mazda 2, 1:52.687
36. 4, TCB, Ted Hough, Farmington MN, Mazda 2, 1:53.735
37. 5, TCB, P.J. Groenke, Richmond Hill ON, Chevrolet Sonic, 1:53.824
38. 6, TCB, James Wilson, Kyle TX, Mazda 2, 1:54.492
39. 7, TCB, Nic Lougee, Minneapolis MN, MINI Cooper, 1:55.210
40. 8, TCB, Jasper Drengler, Shawano WI, Honda Fit, 1:58.415
41. 21, TC, Daniel Moen, Rindge NH, Mazda MX-5, 59:59.999
42. 9, TCB, Patrick Wilmot, Roswell GA, MINI Cooper, 59:59.999
43. 10, TCB, Michael Johnson, Austin TX, Chevrolet Sonic, 59:59.999
44. 13, TCA, Joey Bickers, Moorpark CA, Mazda MX-5 Cup, 59:59.999