The National: Qualifying order for race one

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Felipe Polehtto on his last lap, when he put up a blistering 2:22.995 to take pole by nearly 1 second.

SEBRING, Fla. (March 13) – At Sebring International, unheralded Felipe Polehtto of Brazil took pole position for the opening round of the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda. Polehtto, winner of a junior Brazilian stock car championship in 2006 and a close friend of Skip Barber National frontrunner Fabio Orsolon, put in a 2:22.995 on his last qualifying lap. To totally smoke the rest of the field. Polehtto’s first time in this car was Tuesday. Next-best Conor Daly’s 2:23.916 – nearly a full second away, a Grand Canyon of a gap in this series — will be alongside Polehtto, followed by Conner De Phillippi, Hayden Duerson, Gabby Chaves and another dark horse, England’s Chris Holmes, an FBMW and FRenault driver also making his first National start. Rounding out the top 10 for today’s 5:00 p.m. start of round one of 14 are A.J. Riley, Michael DeNino, Josef Newgarden and Stevan McAleer – all but DeNino being Skip Barber National “veterans.” De Phillippi and DeNino both won racing scholarships at the recent Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out (De Phillippi the grand prize winner of a paid season of National).

Orsolon suffered a shift linkage problem early on but still managed 12th and will be alongside Revere Greist Another driver who had been quick in practice fell off the charts when Marcio Pasaneli drove his right-front over the left-rear of Revere Greist going down to the Hairpin and removed a corner of the car. Pasaneli will start 25th.

Starting order following qualifying for round 1 of 14, BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda
Sebring International Raceway, 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course

1. Felipe Polehtto, 2:22.995
2. Conor Daly, 2:23.916
3. Conner De Phillippi, 2:23.927
4. Hayden Duerson, 2:23.939
5. Gabby Chaves, 2:24.096
6. Chris Holmes, 2:24.218
7. A.J. Riley, 2:24.271
8. Michael DeNino, 2:24.295
9. Josef Newgarden, 2:24.534
10. Stevan McAleer, 2:24.770
11. Revere Greist, 2:24.933
12. Fabio Orsolon, 2:25.011
13. Nick Tonkin, 2:25.288
14. Tyler Schaal, 2:25.312
15. Hamilton Smith, 2:25.365
16. Dex Tuttle, 2:25.475
17. Peter Tucker, 2:25.554
18. Mark Bumgarner, 2:25.592
19. Lee Carpentier, 2:25.695
20. Dom Bastien, 2:25.879
21. Eion Ryan, 2:26.034
22. Jeff Oleen, 2:26.344
23. Thiago Calvet, 2:27.231
24. Dale Kistler-Collins, 2:27.593
25. Marcio Pasaneli, 2:28.086
26. Jose Polido, 2:29.431
27. Andre Polido, 2:32.321

Conor Daly will start second alongside Polehtto.

The grand prize winner of the most recent Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out, Conner De Phillippi, proved a good choice with a P3 qualifier for his first-ever National start.

Felipe Polehtto won a Legends-style Brazilian stock car title two years ago. In the U.S., last year he made one Formula BMW start, at Miller.

Rick Roso, words & pics

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