XGT’s Will Rodgers Fastest in Qualifying with Blistering Time, Brody Goble Captures TA2 Pole at Laguna Seca
May 6, 2023
JC Meynet Best of GT for Third Consecutive Week
SALINAS, Calif. (May 6, 2023) – Practice and qualifying have concluded for the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli Western Championship event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Will Rodgers in the XGT class was fastest overall for the second-consecutive race, laying down a breakneck pace of 1:26.873 to win the Motul Pole Award in his No. 42 Chris Evans Race Cars & Design Chevrolet Camaro. Rodgers won both the overall pole and the race last weekend at Sonoma Raceway in what was his first-career Trans Am start.
“That lap was a scorcher, for sure, and I know I had more in it,” said Rodgers. “Traffic was very difficult to manage for this session. We rolled off pit road right away and I tried to drag around as long as I could to get a gap, but it was tough. Luckily, I found a little bit of a gap on my third lap, and that’s when we put our time down. The car was really good; we’d struggled in the last test and practice session and tried some different things to make the car more to my liking, but where the setup needs to be at this track is a whole different story. We took it back to our tried-and-true setup that we unloaded with and went from there. My biggest competition this weekend is going to be Erich Joiner. He can stop really well, he can go deeper than I can, and he can turn the center better, so we really worked on our drive off and the things we can capitalize on down the straightaway. We showed our speed in qualifying and hopefully we can keep that up for the race tomorrow. Chris Evans’ guys have done a great job building these XGT cars.”
Brody Goble’s No. 69 Brown Bros. Ford/Cortex Performance Ford Mustang topped the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series speed charts, earning him the pole for his class with a time of 1:29.373. Goble’s time was more than a second faster than last year’s Western Championship TA2 pole time, demonstrating the increased performance and competition in the class and the series in 2023.
Goble tallied 96 points at last weekend’s race at Sonoma Raceway, putting him third in points for the Golden Gate Challenge going into tomorrow’s race, just behind Ken Sutherland with 102 points. Sutherland qualified fourth-fastest of the TA2 competitors in his No. 68 Kallberg Racing Chevrolet Camaro. Jack Wood leads the points for the challenge, but is not entered in this weekend’s event.
“I’m happy with that time,” said Goble. “It’s our first weekend here ever, actually. I was able to get one clean lap in and park it. [Greg] Tolson did an amazing job at the very end; he almost knocked us off that top spot. Tomorrow is going to be a pretty good race. Huge thanks to Brown Bros. Racing and Cortex Performance. We’ve got this thing feeling comfy, and I think we have a pretty good race pace in this car. This is an iconic place; it’s one of those tracks on the bucket list that I’m happy to cross off and be sitting here in first place.”
JC Meynet was the fastest of the GT cars in his No. 28 Killer Shrimp Racing Corvette with a 1:34.345. Meynet has been fastest in his class in all three qualifying sessions this year.
Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series Qualifying Top Five:
1. Brody Goble, No. 69 Brown Bros. Ford/Cortex performance Ford Mustang (129.373)
2. Greg Tolson, No. 70 GT Auto Lounge Ford Mustang (1:29.466)
3. Bobby Hodges, No. 88 NATC/Garage Row Racing Ford Mustang (1:29.833)
4. Ken Sutherland, No. 68 Kallberg Racing Chevrolet Camaro (1:30.084)
5. Michael LaPaglia, No. 31 Papini’s Garage/F.A.S.T. Auto Ford Mustang (1:30.162)
1. Will Rodgers, No. 42 Chris Evans Race Cars & Design Chevrolet Camaro (1:26.873)
2. Erich Joiner, No. 10 goodboybob Coffee Roasters/Tool Porsche 991 GT3 R (1:28.700)
3. Chris Evans, No. 92 Central Welding Supply Ford Mustang (1:33.939)
1. JC Meynet, No. 28 Killer Shrimp Racing Chevrolet Corvette (1:34.345)
2. Kevin Michaels, No. 98 Killer Shrimp Restaurant Chevrolet Corvette (1:34.887)
3. David Hampton, No. 14 AR Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 CS (1:39.401)
Full official qualifying results can be found here.
Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series Practice Top Five:
1. Greg Tolson, No. 70 GT Auto Lounge Ford Mustang (1:30.243)
2. Brody Goble, No. 69 Brown Bros. Ford/Cortex performance Ford Mustang (1:30.225)
3. Ken Sutherland, No. 68 Kallberg Racing Chevrolet Camaro (1:30.480)
4. Jacob Yesnick, No. 62 Power Train Tech/McLeod/MOC/Accufab Ford Mustang (1:30.683)
5. Barry Boes, No. 32 BCR/Accio Data Chevrolet Camaro (1:30.752)
1. Erich Joiner, No. 10 goodboybob Coffee Roasters/Tool Porsche 991 GT3 R (1:28.942)
2. Will Rodgers, No. 42 Chris Evans Race Cars & Design Chevrolet Camaro (1:29.988)
3. Chris Evans, No. 92 Central Welding Supply Ford Mustang (1:34.138)
1. JC Meynet, No. 28 Killer Shrimp Racing Chevrolet Corvette (1:38.779)
2. Kevin Michaels, No. 98 Killer Shrimp Restaurant Chevrolet Corvette (1:38.828)
Full practice results can be found here.
The Trans Am SpeedFest will be contested on Sunday, May 6 at 1:45 p.m. PT.