Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified his Hylton Motorsports Swift on the provisional pole for the Toyota Atlantic race at Long Beach, gaining a championship point and a guaranteed front row start for Sunday's race. Hunter-Reay was very pleased with his run...
Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified his Hylton Motorsports Swift on the provisional pole for the Toyota Atlantic race at Long Beach, gaining a championship point and a guaranteed front row start for Sunday's race. Hunter-Reay was very pleased with his run and his chances in the final qualifying session, saying: "The car's not all the way there yet, so we have a lot in our pocket to bring out for qualifying tomorrow."
Second in today's qualifying session was Jon Fogarty. Fogarty was fastest in the morning practice and he led the time chart for much of the qualifying session, but lost the provisional pole to Hunter-Reay at the end of the session. Fogarty qualified on the front row for the Indy Lights race at last year's Long Beach event and appears to have made the transition to the Atlantic chassis without difficulty. "The Swift engineers put a lot into it and provided us a lot of tools to get quickly up to speed with it. It's a testament to them that this car, with 200 less horsepower, is so close in times to the Lights cars," Fogarty remarked.
Michael Valiente was third in the Friday qualifying session, despite struggling with an electrical problem that took out the dash in his Lynx Racing Swift. "I was either short-shifting or hitting the rev limiter, so it was difficult to get the shifts clean for an entire lap," Valiente said.
Fogarty was fast early in the session, setting a mark of 1:19.714. Dorricott Racing driver Alex Gurney was next to take the fast time at 1:19.709. Valiente set the fastest time at the ten-minute mark of the session, but had the top spot taken away by Hunter-Reay two minutes later. Fogarty, Gurney's teammate at Dorricott made a final attempt to remove Hunter-Reay from the provisional pole but came up 0.256 seconds short. Gurney was fourth in the session and Luis Diaz, Dorricott's third driver, was fifth.
Final qualifying for the Toyota Atlantic Series is Saturday at 1 pm PDT, and the race will be Sunday at 10 am.