Highcroft Racing qualifying report

Dayton Qualifies Fifth in Class, Seventh Overall For Saturday's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring SEBRING, Fla., March 16 - Duncan Dayton is right where he wants to be - Sebring International Raceway - and right where he thought he'd be - fifth in...

Dayton Qualifies Fifth in Class, Seventh Overall For Saturday's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

SEBRING, Fla., March 16 - Duncan Dayton is right where he wants to be - Sebring International Raceway - and right where he thought he'd be - fifth in class and seventh overall - following qualifications for Saturday's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Thursday afternoon.

Dayton, of Danbury, Conn., put Highcroft Racing's Lola EX257 AER No. 9 into the 35-car field with a qualifying time of 1:51.549, which works out to be an average speed of 119.409 miles per hour for the 3.7-mile road course.

He'll start Saturday's race and then turn the beautiful yellow and blue LMP1 car over to Gregor Fisken of London, England. Rick Knoop of Laguna Beach, Calif. will be third in the driver rotation as the team attempts to finish the 54th annual once-around-the-clock enduro while representing Gregor Fisken Fine Historic Automobiles, Stand 21 Racewear, Dunlop Tires, Koni Shocks, Hella Lights, KEEN Shoes and Resole.com.

"The Highcroft Racing guys have been working extremely hard since November to put this all together, and I appreciate all they've done," Dayton said after qualifications. "I'm proud of the effort they've put forward, and the pace we're setting and the presentation of the car. It's all due to their hard work, and I'm eternally grateful."

When asked how the car performed during qualifying, he said, "The car is very good. The session wasn't without its drama. A Dyson car had a problem, and an Audi spun right in front of me. Field had a flat, and a couple people dragged some dirt onto the track. My tail got loose a couple times. I didn't spin or anything, but it got my attention.

"I think we were chasing the track to some extent," he added. "The track is pretty greasy right now.

"But our car is perfectly comfortable to drive, and that's exactly what we want," he continued. "I was just trying to conserve the car. I did our time easily. We just want to click off the laps on Saturday and try to finish the race."

Dayton added that he was very pleased with the team's Dunlop tires. "Our Dunlops are extremely consistent, and the grip builds up quickly," he said. "We're also able to get rid of tire build-up quickly if we get off line."

Saturday's race will be broadcast live starting at 10:30 a.m. on SPEED. Live timing and scoring and the ALMS radio broadcast is planned for the series' Web site at americanlemans.com. Photos taken on Thursday are already posted on Highcroft Racing's new Web site at highcroftracing.com and also at restartcommunications.com, with more to come. Additional info is available at sebringraceway.com.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Gregor Fisken , Rick Knoop