*When you’re hot, you’re hot and no driver is hotter in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama these days than series point leader Tonis Kasemets (No. 6 Flexovit Abrasives/MK Ind./TMI/Redline Oil). The heat continued Friday for the racer from Estonia , literally, as Kasemets claimed the pole for Saturday’s first of two series races this weekend – the BOSPoker.com Toyota Atlantic Grand Prix of Cleveland (tape-delayed broadcast on SPEED Channel - Saturday, July 9 beginning at 2 p.m. ET)
After earning his first Atlantic pole and sweeping both ends of a doubleheader for his first series victories last weekend in Portland, Kasemets continued his momentum, turning the fastest time amid the 90-degree heat and humidity at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport . The 31-year-old racer posted a time of 1:07.932 (111.606 mph) on his 12th lap during the 30-minute qualifying. Kasemets actually ventured off course between Turns 4 and 5 late in the session, but was able to gather his car and get back on track on .........
.......... his 19 th and final lap of qualifying with the pole safely secured.
The top three drivers in the Atlantic championship standings entering this weekend’s double play at Cleveland finished in the same order in qualifying Friday. Charles Zwolsman (No. 11 Condor Motorsports) of the Netherlands , who sits second in the points, wound up with the second-fastest lap of the day at 1:08.325 (110.964 mph). Zwolsman battled tooth and nail with Canadian Antoine Bessette (No. 3 Unik Auto Design) in the final few minutes of qualifying as each driver tried desperately to top the mark established by Kasemets. Bessette, ranked third in the championship rundown, posted the third-quickest time of 1:08.381 (110.873 mph).