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2011 Mid-Ohio GT Race Day Two Sees Rain

Published on August 7, 2011 by Volvospeed

Lexington, Ohio (Aug. 7, 2011) –  Volvo puts three cars in the top three in qualifying at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course for race two of the weekend double header race.

Damp conditions greeted the K-PAX Racing team as they arrived for an 8 a.m. qualifying session, prompting smiles all around as the wet track played directly into the Volvo S60 strength. Using the Volvos all wheel drive advantage, GT drivers Alex Figge and Randy Pobst qualified first and third respectively for the 11:30 a.m. race start.

C30 In The Rain
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Yesterday’s race winner, Alex Figge, was at or near the top of the leader board all session long. However with seconds remaining Pat Long in the Porsche nipped ahead of Figge by a couple of tenths. Figge however was undeterred and pulled off a stunning last lap to snatch the pole away from Porsche.

“This obviously has been a great weekend for me, Volvo and the team. It was a great session and the track was drying out more and more with every lap. I knew that the last lap the track was going to be at it’s fastest so I had to make it count. With Volvos starting 1st and 3rd I think that we have a great chance to put two cars on the podium later today.”

Shrugging off a weekend full of bad luck that saw him only complete a handful of timed laps, 2010 GT champion, Randy Pobst showed why he is one of the best by putting in a fantastic lap to end the session in third. Pobst was looking forward to the start of the race as he will be starting directly behind teammate Alex Figge.

 

S60R Race Car Into Turn
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“With our AWD we get such a great launch off the line especially in conditions like these. Having Alex starting in front of me will make it that much easier to make it Volvo 1 -2 going into the first corner”

In Touring Car, Aaron Povoledo made it two for two by sailing to his second pole in two days.  Povoledo was able to take pole from Honda’s Lawson Aschenbach and is looking forward to an incident free race today.

“My Volvo C30 was great in mixed conditions today. The guys did a great job with set up and hopefully I can have a clean race today and bring home a second Touring Car win for Volvo this weekend.”

 

S60R AWD Race Car In Rain
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Yesterdays Touring Car race winner, Robb Holland, was the only Volvo not to make it into the top three in qualifying finishing in sixth. Holland struggled with traffic throughout the session never getting a full lap without running into slower traffic.

“Qualifying was a bit of a let down from yesterday.  My Volvo C30 was working great, maybe a little too great as I kept on running into slower GTS traffic. My in car video would make for a great ad for Volvo though, with our little C30 running down the big bad Camaros and Mustangs.”

C30 Volvos 2011
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Lexington, Ohio (Aug. 7, 2011) –  Volvo hits the trifecta at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Challenge with three cars in two different classes taking the top three spots. In Touring Car, drivers Aaron Povoledo and Robb Holland brought home a thrilling 1 – 2 finish and in GT Randy Pobst, after monumental struggles all weekend, capped off a brilliant day for Volvo by taking a hard earned third place. 

The day started well for the K-PAX Racing team with their all new S60 Volvos starting first and third on the GT starting grid. When the lights went out pole sitter Alex Figge shot out of the starting blocks followed closely by Pobst. By turn one both Volvos were in the lead followed by the Porsches, Corvettes and Cadillacs.

For the next twenty four laps Figge and Pobst maintained their first and second positions.  On lap 24 the Corvette of Mike Skeen got around Pobst and slowly gained ground on Figge.  The Volvo was quicker through the turns and corner exits but the Corvettes V8 gave Skeen the advantage on the straights.

The last three laps the Volvo and Corvette ran nose to tail with Skeen pressuring Figge by staying on his bumper and filling his mirrors.  Figge held his line and kept putting down mistake free laps.

S60R Volvo Porsche Corvette
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On the last lap of the race, with Figge still in the lead, Skeen got on the inside into the keyhole turn.  Figge gave him room on the inside but on the corner exit Skeen could not keep the inside line and made hard contact with the front of Figge’s Volvo causing the Corvette to spin off track and damaging the front suspension of Figge’s S60.

The damage slowed Figge over the remainder of the last lap allowing four cars to pass before he got the S60 across the finish line ending up in fifth place.  Figge being both disappointed and frustrated with the results said,  “The move he put on me was a low percentage move.  I think it was desperation on his part not being able to find a clean place to pass and it being the last lap.  He could not hold his line on the exit and unfortunately it spoiled both of our days and hurt his position in the points running.”

Randy Pobst finished third with Johhny O’Connell in the Cadillac finishing first and the Corvette of Patrick Lindsey coming in second.

Pobst was satisfied with the result saying, “It’s great to be back on the podium with the Volvos.  We’ve had a tough year and this was a great weekend for us with Alex’s win yesterday and our performance today running at the front.  I can’t wait for Infineon in two weeks.”

For the second day in a row Touring Car drivers Povoledo and Holland thrilled the huge crowd in attendance at Mid Ohio.  Povoledo, starting from pole in the Touring Car field, led the Touring Cars out of the starting grid and into turn two. Looking in his mirrors in he was greeted with a pleasant surprise in the form of the bright yellow C30 of his teammate Holland. Holland had made an outstanding start to move from sixth place into second by corner two. A move that earned Holland the Optima Standing Start of the Race. From there the two drivers checked out from the rest of the field, building a solid 5 second lead over their pursuers.

The yellow flags that affected the outcome of the GT race also influenced the Touring Car race. Before the yellows came out the series point leader, Lawson Aschenbach was mired in fifth place but the yellow flags bunched the field back up and Aschenbach managed to slip past the VW’s of Tristan Herbert and Ron Zitza and into 3rd place behind Holland. The two protagonists from yesterdays race 1, started up again right where they left off the day before, with multiple passes and side by side action throughout the remainder of the race.

Up ahead Povoledo had issues of his own to occupy his attention. First, after catching several back marker GTS cars, the engine temp in his C30 started to climb forcing him to slow his pace slightly which dropped him back towards the battle behind. Then, with only a handful of laps to go the GT field caught the leading Touring Car trio. With the rapid closing speeds of the GT cars making running consistent lap times for the Touring Cars difficult.  Povoledo started dropping back towards the battle for second and third place. With laps winding down Povoledo put his head down and ran a series of quick laps to increase the gap to finish with a 4 second margin over his teammate Holland with Aschenbach in third. Afterwards Povoledo was positively ecstatic with his win and the team’s performance on the day.

“Everything came together for us today. The car was perfect and worked unbelievably well throughout the whole race. Having my team mate just behind me, watching my back for entire race was the best situation we could have hoped for. To cap off the weekend with a 1 – 2 finish for Volvo is just awesome. I can’t wait for round 7 and 8 at Infineon Raceway in a few weeks!”

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