Photo: TC America

Mason Filippi secures pole for Las Vegas season finale

Mason Filippi emerged on top of a red-flag shortened qualifying session to head the times ahead of the final rounds of the TC America season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Having topped both free practice sessions at the wheel of his Copeland Motorsport-run Hyundai Veloster N TCR, it was Filippi who went into the session being tipped for pole position.

After Nate Vincent’s Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR set the early benchmark with the first sub 1:43s lap of the session, Filippi soon stormed to the front with a fine lap of 1:42.225s putting him nearly half a second clear of his FCP Euro rival.

As Filippi then returned to the pits before heading out for a second run, his rivals continued to circulate on track in an effort to close the gap at the front.

Victor Gonzalez went fastest of all in the first sector in his Honda Civic Type R TCR to move into third place, and Michael McCann had just gone purple in sector one in his Audi when the session was halted following an off for Tomas Mejia’s TCA class MINI at turn one.

With six minutes remaining on the clock, Filippi led the way from Vincent and Gonzalez, with points leader Michael Hurczyn in the unusual position of bringing up the rear of the TCR class field in fifth.

There would prove to be no opportunity for improvements however, with the decision taken not to restart the session handing Filippi pole for Saturday’s opening race, which is scheduled to get underway at 13:40 local time.

Stephen Vajda was quickest of the three TCR Cup Audis, which were split by less than a tenth of a second.

James Walker’s Alfa Romeo failed to take part in the session due to mechanical issues that the team hopes to resolve for Saturday’s on-track action.