Gonzalez Brings Home Pole in Atrocious Conditions!
Gonzalez took pole position in heavy rain as cold damp conditions strike Watkins Glen International for race two.
Dr. Jekyl or Mr. Hyde? For Sunday we found ourselves accompanied by the doctor. At the start of qualifying the temperature had actually fallen three degrees from what it was at sunrise arriving at a bone chilling forty-one degrees. The cold however was joined by rain, a steady and pervasive rain that while not overwhelming was more than persistent.
Despite this, the drivers took to the track for qualifying. In the first ten minutes the drivers played it safe, though as their comfort level grew times started falling quickly. Peter Gonzalez was the early front runner and was the first to crack the 2:30 mark. Goikhberg, yesterday’s winner followed by breaking the same mark. Steve Jenks was third but not far back. Dixon registered his first flying lap and then promptly found himself getting cozy with a barrier. That stopped the session while crews cleaned up Dixon’s car, damage appeared to be primarily located on the left rear tire.
Once the course was clean the track went green again. Less than ten minutes remained in the session. Gonzalez again improves his time, this time being the first in the 2:23’s. Jenks continued to lap, seemingly finding some pace one lap only to falter the next. With less than three minutes remaining Gonzalez brought his #16 Radon in, he’d had enough, but he had set the pole pace by more than three seconds. Goikhberg still held second, but he had retired to the pits and was no longer circulating. Jenks in third, was still pressing on. With the crashed Dixon holding fourth, but facing a grid penalty for the session stoppage, and Bob Wright in fifth, and Dave Weitzenhof in sixth. As the checker flew, Jenks reported to the pits, he would hold his third spot.