Craig Capaldi is Saturday's Touring Car-B polesitter. (Weber photo)
In a unique schedule on the Privacy Star Utah Grand Prix Presented by Bondurant weekend, Friday’s qualifying set the grid for the first of two half-hour races on Saturday. The grid for the second race will be set by the race one finishing order; Sunday’s 40-minute race grid will be set by fast laps in race two.
Heylen, originally from Belgium but now living in Clearwater, Fla., posted a fast lap of 1:38.861 (80.112 mph) around the 10-turn, 2.2-mile West Course at Miller Motorsports Park from behind the wheel of the No. 43 HPA Motorsports/Brimtek Volkswagen GLI. The 31-year-old former open-wheel racer waited until traffic cleared during the 30-minute session before laying down a lap good for his first career Pirelli World Challenge pole.
“When I first went out, I had to bed the brakes and take it easy on the new tires and not abuse them while I was doing that,” Heylen said. “Somebody, either in our session or the session before us, went out in turn two so there was gravel all over the place. I came in and gave it some time for the track to clean up a little bit. It all worked out. The car feels good and the guys have done a good job all weekend to get the car where it is. We don’t have a lot of time on the car, it’s still pretty new.”
Michael Cooper, the current Touring Car Championship leader, qualified second with a lap of 1:39.249 (79.799 mph) in the No. 03 Atlanta Motorsports Group MAZDASPEED3.
A pair of Compass360 Racing teammates will make up row two to start Saturday’s race. Todd Lamb qualified third in the No. 71 National Karting News/HPD Honda Civic Si with a time of 1:39.448 (79.639 mph), followed by Ryan Winchester’s No. 72 Ligon Industries/HPD Honda Civic Si. Winchester’s lap of 1:40.047 (79.162 mph) earned a fourth qualifying position.
JD Mobley’s Don Walker Racing Mazda RX-8 qualified fifth with a time of 1:40.154 (79.078 mph).
Conner Ford posted the quickest time in the Touring Car-B class in the No. 93 Honda Racing/HPD Honda Fit, but he and the No. 00 Fiat USA/SRT/Carbotech Fiat 500 of Jonathan Start had their times disallowed after they were found to be non-compliant in post-qualifying technical inspection. Ford and Start, who originally finished the session with the fifth-best time, will start from the rear of the field.
The infraction gave the pole to Capaldi, from Richmond, Mich., who turned a lap of 1:52.341 (70.499 mph) in the No. 86 CapaldiRacing.com Ford Fiesta. Capaldi narrowly edged Road & Track Associate Engineering editor Shaun Bailey in the No. 0 MAZDASPEED/Road & Track MAZDA2 with a 1:52.349 (70.494 mph).
Sage Marie drove the No. 45 Honda Performance Development Honda Fit to third with a time of 1:52.397 (70.464 mph).
The back-to-back combined races for Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car and Touring Car-B go green at 9:00 a.m. MDT on Saturday morning. All of the races from the Privacy Star Utah Grand Prix Presented by Bondurant will be streamed live at www.world-challengetv.com.
More information is available at www.world-challenge.com. Follow Pirelli World Challenge on Twitter @WCRacing.