Erich Joiner and Brody Goble Top Practice and Qualifying in Portland
July 16, 2022
Practice and qualifying have concluded for the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli Western Championship event at Portland International Raceway. Erich Joiner in the No. 10 goodboybob Coffee Roasters Porsche GT3R dominated both practice and time trials, setting up a fight between the XGT and TA2 classes for the top of the podium in the feature race. Expect a fierce TA2 battle between Brody Goble, Jeff Holden and Roy Fulmer IV, who have collectively won every Western Championship event this year, but have not all faced off in a single race until this weekend.
Joiner’s lap of 1:13.788 earned him the pole for tomorrow’s event, putting an XGT class car in the point position for the green flag. Goble in the No. 69 Brown Bros. Racing Ford Mustang was second fastest with a time of 1:13.937, earning the top spot of the TA2 competitors. Goble won both the pole and race in his Trans Am Series debut at The Ridge Motorsports Park last month. Ken Sutherland was third with a 1:14.784 in his No. 68 Cascade Sotheby’s/Wyatt Fire Protection Chevrolet Camaro, followed by TA2 points leader Holden in the No. 11 RELAXandCBD.com/Dakota Lithium/Mid Valley Transmission Camaro with a time of 1:14.801. Chris Evans in the No. 92 Chris Evans Inc. Ford Mustang was fifth with a 1:14.823, setting the fastest time of the SGT entries.
“This is a great track,” said Joiner after his pole run. “Turns 10 and 11 are really what separates everybody. You have to really send it in there to get a good time. This was a good session; I love the track, and Trans Am is always great here. There’s a nice crowd out here and a lot of people supporting the Porsche, which is nice. I think it’s going to be a close race between XGT and TA2. The first three of us are within a second of each other, but we make our speed in different places, which makes it interesting. There could be a lot of back and forth and I think it will be a good race. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
“It feels awesome to be fast again,” said Goble after being the fastest TA2 competitor for the second event in a row. “There’s a little bit of pressure on me after we had such a good first weekend in Trans Am at The Ridge. We went out in qualifying and there was a lot going on out on the track and I didn’t get a clear lap. I decided to just pull straight back into the pits. I knew this was a fairly long session, and these tires are good around lap three, so I didn’t want to waste those. I took a deep breath and watched everybody do their thing out there. We were able to get a little gap and throw one flyer in and park it. I was super surprised to see a 1:13 lap time; it was awesome to see that on the dash and know that we should be in a pretty good spot there. We should see a good battle tomorrow. Joiner’s car certainly is quicker, but the TA2 tires come in a little bit quicker than XGT, so it’s a tricky aspect to starting the race. We’re going to have to be smart about it. As far as the other TA2 competitors, I try not to look in the mirrors. As a kid in go-karting, if I looked back, I’d get in trouble. I still live by that. I try to focus on what’s ahead.”
“We just need to keep it clean out there tomorrow,” said points leader Holden. “Every single race, these guys are stepping up. The whole field is about a full second faster than last year. The fast lap last year would put you around eighth place this year. Keeping it on track is your only option. We’re going to be running hard; the cars are going to be used up by the end of this one. I’m really happy with my time. I only turned three laps and everyone else spent a lot of time out there trying to get their times down, so I think we have a lot more in the bank and we want to save it for the race.”
Full qualifying results can be found here.
In this afternoon’s practice session, Joiner topped the speed charts for the session with a 1:14.404 after a whopping 22 laps on track. Goble was second and quickest of the TA2 entries with a 1:14.682. Fulmer IV in the No. 186 Fulmer’s Auto Body Nichols Construction Camaro was third with a 1:15.178, followed by Holden in fourth with a 1:15.225. Brad McAllister in the No. 24 Periodontal Associates/JDRF Ford Mustang rounded out the top five with a 1:15.574.
Full practice results can be found here.
Round 5 of the Western Championship will be contested on Sunday, July 17 at 12:00 p.m. PT/3:00 p.m. ET. Keep up with the event with live timing and scoring, which will be available at https://gotransam.com/livetiming.