Solid start for GAINSCO team in season-opening Daytona testing DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Jon Fogarty and Jimmy Vasser kicked off the 2007 Rolex Sports Car Series season today in fine fashion, giving the GAINSCO Auto Insurance No. 99 Pontiac Riley...
Solid start for GAINSCO team in season-opening Daytona testing
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Jon Fogarty and Jimmy Vasser kicked off the 2007 Rolex Sports Car Series season today in fine fashion, giving the GAINSCO Auto Insurance No. 99 Pontiac Riley strong runs in the day's opening sessions of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 pre-season test at the Daytona International Speedway. An electronics issue cost the team valuable track time in the morning, making GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's showing all the more impressive.
Fogarty clocked in with the sixth-quickest lap in the early afternoon session, a 1m, 45.627s circuit of the 3.56-mile Daytona speedway road course at an average speed of 121.333 mph. Vasser was tenth-quick in his late-afternoon outing, with a 1m, 45.773s lap at an average speed of 121.165 mph. Both drivers found the car to be quite comfortable, and will work with team engineer Kyle Brannan and crew chief Linc Smith to improve its speed tomorrow. But, as Vasser says, the Rolex 24 isn't about how fast you go -- it's about how long you last.
On Friday at 11 a.m., the GAINSCO team will participate in a fan forum in the NEXTEL FanZone, with Fogarty, Vasser and team owner Bob Stallings answering questions and talking about the team's 2007 program. Alex Gurney, whose wife recently gave birth to their first child, will arrive at the track on Saturday.
Jon Fogarty: "It's good to be back on track with the 99 team. The GAINSCO car is pretty strong and we were able to test some things that made it better. We feel like we unloaded stronger than in the past here and we'll keep working to improve it. The field is very competitive as always, but I don't think we can pay attention to them too much. We have to run our own program and focus on our performance. I feel like our Pontiac's strong but there's really no telling about the engine situation right now -- I think everyone's wised up to the game."
Jimmy Vasser: "I was thrilled to get back in the GAINSCO car -- I'm really looking forward to the outings I'll have this year with GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing. It's quite possibly going to be the only racing I do this year. I'm jazzed about the chances we have in the Rolex this year, because I think the continuity we have in the driver lineup, the work we've done over the last year and our desire will all pay dividends. I'm used to driving without traction control, and you can really feel the tire degradation compared to last year. The teams and drivers who can be the best at tire conservation and management will be ahead on race day."