Atlanta Motorsports Group driver Michael Cooper has taken pole position for the first race of the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge season at St. Petersburg in the sole Mazda in the field.
The 22-year-old reigning SCCA Mazda MX-5 cup champion broke the touring car lap record to take pole ahead of Tristan Herbert in the HPA Motorsports Volkswagen Jetta GLI by almost one second.
Patrick Seguin was third fastest in the Brimtek Motorsports Volkswagen Golf, with the next seven cars all the Hondas in the field, with the remaining Volkswagen drivers bringing up the rear of the field, with Enzo and Augusto Ricciardelli not setting a time, nor did Aaron Povoledo, who was the last minute announcement for the Caban Motorsports Volkswagen Jetta.
In the 20 strong GTS class, the four touring type cars featured strongly, with Peter Cunningham second fastest in the RealTime Racing Acura TSX with team-mate Nick Esayian fifth. The two new Kia Optimas of Michael Galati and Colin Braun qualified 10th and 16th respectively.
The first race takes place at 18:00 EST and will be streamed live online on World-ChallengeTV.com.