Pirelli World Challenge: Mid-Ohio results

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Alex Figge was the biggest winner from the Pirelli World Challenge race weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The driver of the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 took his second and third wins of 2013 in the GT class, sweeping the weekend. Races air Sunday, August 18, at 2 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

Bad luck has stunted his championship chances in the top class of the series, so his wins didn’t play a major role on the title chase. However, accident damage to his radiator cost Johnny O’Connell, in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R, a fair number of points in Round 12 on Sunday. A pair of podium finishes brought James Sofronas, in the No. 14 GMG Audi R8 LMS, to within 13 points of O’Connell with just two races remaining. Sofronas has three early-season wins.

In GTS, Mark Wilkins (Saturday) and Lawson Aschenbach (Sunday) took class wins. The win was the second for Wilkins of 2013 in the No. 38 Kinetic Motorsports Kia Optima turbo while Aschenbach captured his fifth win of 2013 in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro. Jack Baldwin, the No. 73 GTSport with Goldcrest Porsche Cayman S, had fourth and third place finishes and still leads Wilkins by 87 points for the GTS lead.

The pair of Touring Car and Touring Car B-Spec races on Saturday saw Michael Cooper (TC, both races), Ernie Francis Jr. (TCB race 1) and Robbie Davis (TCB race 2) take class victories. Cooper, in the No. 1 Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda 3, held off a sustained challenge from Tristan Herbert in race 1 and had an easier time of it in race 2. Francis Jr. (No. 98 Breathless Performance Mazda 2) wasn’t able to repeat his win in race 2 after being caught up in a first-lap accident, and Davis (No. 37 MINI of Charleston Racing MINI Cooper) held off Tyler Palmer for the latter win.

The full event coverage from Mid-Ohio can be found here on the Pirelli World Challenge website.

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images
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With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden was .0128 seconds faster than teammate Scott Dixon in second.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be enough,” Newgarden said after winning the pole.

“Team Chevy has done a good job,” Newgarden said. “They’ve really given us good power this weekend – good driveability. We’re going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we’ll have. But it’s going to get mixed up with the rain.”

Fast 12

Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480 mph), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.