Daytona 24: Porsche Motorsport Thursday report

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars take GT and SGS poles for Saturday's Rolex 24. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- January 29, 2004 -- It's not that often that a brand new team can earn the pole for a Rolex 24 at Daytona event, but the Northern California-based ...

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars take GT and SGS poles for Saturday's Rolex 24.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- January 29, 2004 -- It's not that often that a brand new team can earn the pole for a Rolex 24 at Daytona event, but the Northern California-based Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup team have put their car on the GT class po le in their very first event.

The car, upgraded to GT rules in similar configuration to World Challenge specifications (more power than the standard GT3 Cup car running in the SGS class), won the pole by more than two seconds as the next four fastest cars were denied qualifying times w hen their teams did not declare a qualifying driver in accordance with the rules.

"I got a clean lap when everyone else got caught by a black flag, and we completed a flying lap for the fastest time," said Johannes Van Overbeek, the San Francisco driver who qualified the car.

Flying Lizard also qualified a Porsche 911 GT3 RS car with the same driver lineup (Van Overbeek/Rockenfeller/Neiman/P. Cunningham/Pechnik) in the second position, and, although the team has not made a final decision on which car it will run, indications ar e that they prefer the Cup car.

The Racer's Group's three Porsche 911 GT3 RS cars, including last year's overall winners (Buckler/Bergmeister/Bernhard/Long) and the Orbit Porsche 911 GT3 RS (Policastro/Policastro/Fitzgerald/Liddell/Mowlem) occupied the next four positions, but will have to re-qualify on Friday as their times were disllowed. With the first 30 positions locked up during Thursday's session -- including the first 12 GT positions -- those cars can qualify no higher than 13th in class.

In the SGS class, car owner Michael Levitas, along with John Littlechild, Marc Bunting, Andy Lally and qualifier Randy Pobst put The RaceSite.Com Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car on the pole. Pobst outran the reigning Grand-Am Cup champions Doncaster Racing Porsch e 911 GT3 Cup car to secure the position, but he has no illusions about running away from the field during the race.

"Besides Doncaster, which includes factory driver Marc Lieb, we expect competition from many of the other Cup teams, including the Aaseco Motorsports Porsche entry of David Murry/Craig Stanton/Tim Sugden, which crashed early in the qualifying session," sai d Pobst, who won the GT class here in 2001.

In the Daytona Prototype class, the two Brumos Fabcars powered by Porsche qualified fifth and ninth, and the Gunnar Racing Fabcar Porsche is 14th.

The 2004 Rolex 24 at Daytona will be televised live -- the first eight hours and the last seven hours -- on The Speed Channel starting at 1:00 PM Eastern time on Saturday, January 31. Speed will telecast the dropping of the green flag at 1:00 PM, and will s tay with the race live until 9:00 PM. The network will then pick up the event on Sunday morning at 6:00 AM, and carry it through the checkered flag at 1:00 PM -- plus the victory circle and post-race celebration until 1:30 PM. Also, the more than 110 affi liates of the Motor Racing Network (MRN) nationally will provide coverage on the radio -- check local listings for time in your area.

The official Porsche media web site -- www.press.porsche.com -- will have qualifying information for the Rolex 24 for the Porsches entered, and will post stories and photos during and after the race. Porsche media web site users enter the word "carrera" for both user name and password, then choose "motorsports news" and "24 Hours of Daytona" to find the Rolex 24 updates. The same information is posted for consumers on Porsche's main site www.porsche.com/motorsport (click on Porsche Motorsports North Americ a and "race reports").

The official coverage for all the classes at the Rolex 24 and the Grand-Am series is the official Grand-Am web site (www.grandamerican.com), where fans can follow the qualifying sessions and the race with live timing and scoring on-line.

Other Web sites that will follow the Rolex 24 include Daily Sports Car (www.dailysportscar.com), The Race Site (www.theracesite.com), the Speed Channel site (www.speedTV.com), Motorsport.com (www.motorsport.com) , AutoSport magazine's site (www.autosport.c om), AutoRacingDaily.com (www.autoracingdaily.com), Motorsport-news.com (www.motorsport-news.com), Crash.net (www.crash.net), racinglines.com (www.racinglines.com), EnduranceSportsCar.com (www.endurancesportscar.com), pitstop.com (www.pitstop.com); and S peed Arena (www.speedarena.com).

The Rolex 24 At Daytona, a 24-hour endurance contest, will start at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. It is the first round of the 12-race Rolex Sports Car Series, sanctioned by Grand American Road Racing Association.

-porsche-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers David Murry , Randy Pobst , Andy Lally , Michael Levitas , Marc Lieb , Craig Stanton , John Littlechild , Marc Bunting , Tim Sugden
Teams Flying Lizard Motorsports