Birmingham: CGR no. 2 qualifying report

WAGNER PERPLEXED WITH UNPREDICTABLE PROTOTYPE AT BARBER BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 30, 2005) -- Cort Wagner of New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates got the nod for qualifying today at Barber Motorsports Park to put the team's...

WAGNER PERPLEXED WITH UNPREDICTABLE PROTOTYPE AT BARBER

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 30, 2005) -- Cort Wagner of New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates got the nod for qualifying today at Barber Motorsports Park to put the team's 500 horsepower Daytona Prototype on pole heading into this Sunday's PORSCHE 250 presented by Bradley Arant. But a combination of forces worked against the California native's drive for the front of the grid around the 16-turn 2.3-mile circuit nestled northeast of Birmingham, the most outstanding force being an overly-sensitive car that wouldn't respond to even the touch of the 2002-2003 Rolex Series GT champion.

Teammate Stefan Johansson spent the morning practice setting up the no.02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley, but Wagner had his hands full and was only able to turn a handful of laps in the 15-minute qualifier which was cut in half after the no.77 Doran Racing machine got into trouble on the frontstretch. Wagner managed to finish 11th in the shortened period, and knows there is more work to be done.

"It was just a matter of not having any confidence in the car," said Wagner, who in Round 7 last month qualified a career best second at Daytona. "I just didn't feel like I was able to charge into the corners and attack like you need to be able to do at a track like this. It just seems as though we haven't gotten a hold of the setup yet. I tried everything in the five laps we had, but came up with nothing unfortunately. We even made some radical changes to the car this morning, but it remains a mystery at this point."

Fans of New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates can catch the no.02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley in action at the PORSCHE 250 presented by Bradley Arant in Birmingham, Ala. tomorrow at 1:00 pm ET (LIVE, SPEED Channel). Follow the team's progress throughout the race weekend by logging on to the Rolex Sports Car Series website at www.grandamerican.com for free live timing, and keep up with the team's successes throughout the 2005 season by logging onto the official website at www.chipganassiracing.com for news, features, photos and much more.

-cgr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Stefan Johansson , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates , Cort Wagner
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Doran Racing