Pruett puts CompUSA Lexus of Chip Ganassi Racing on Pole for Rolex 24 at Daytona. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 29, 2004) -- Scott Pruett put the No. 01 CompUSA Lexus Riley of Chip Ganassi Racing on the pole for the 42nd anniversary of the Rolex...
Pruett puts CompUSA Lexus of Chip Ganassi Racing on Pole for Rolex 24 at Daytona.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 29, 2004) -- Scott Pruett put the No. 01 CompUSA Lexus Riley of Chip Ganassi Racing on the pole for the 42nd anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Pruett set a new Daytona Prototype track record with his 1:45.783 lap at 121.154 mph, shaving more than four seconds off the previous record held by David Donohue.
"First, I got to take my hat off to all the Ganassi guys. If you had seen the car the way it got delivered to us back at Christmas, you would have thought we'd be hard-pressed to get turned around here. The Ganassi guys did a great job," said Pruett. "I got a fair lap. When you're out there by yourself, in the Daytona Prototypes, it's a lot easier to get a fair lap. Our car had a pretty good balance. It's very difficult trying to get that balance because when you roll off the truck you're focused on how to make the car easier to drive for 24 hours. That's your focus. The set-up we had for our car was kind of a quick balance between trying to go qualify and trying to go race, but you didn't want to do too many big changes to the car. All in all we're pleased."
Max Angelelli put the SunTrust Racing No. 10 Pontiac Riley in the outside pole position with his 1:46.095 lap at 120.797 mph. Defending Daytona Prototype driver champion Terry Borcheller will start on the second row after turning a 1:46.283 lap at 120.584 mph in the No. 54 Kodak Pontiac Doran of Bell Motorsports.
"We felt like our qualifying run was really good. We're happy. We're two seconds faster than our practice time. So that's impressive," said Borcheller.
Andy Wallace will lineup beside Borcheller on the second row in the No. 2 CITGO Chevrolet Crawford of Howard-Boss Motorsports. Wallace clocked a 1:46.376 lap at 120.478 mph.
"This is a very good car. I'm very close to the front and we ran about what we thought we would. I'd like to be better, but this is a great car for the 24 hours. I'm really happy with our run and really looking forward to the race," said Wallace, who will team with NASCAR stars Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 2 CITGO Chevrolet.
Johannes van Overbeek posted the fastest qualifying time in the GT class with his 1:53.357 lap at 113.059 mph at the wheel of the Flying Lizard Motorsports No. 74 Porsche GT3 RS.
"We've certainly had our struggles getting here, but the car ran perfectly. We were able to time that black flag perfectly. We were able to get one complete flying lap that I don't know anybody else really had. I think everybody else got caught up," said van Overbeek. "This race is like walking through grass full of rattlesnakes. You just have to be careful where you step. I think if everybody on the crew does their job the best they can, we've got as good a shot as anybody. But there are so many variables, it's hard to predict."
Although The Racer's Group No. 66 Porsche GT3 RS and Orbit Racing No. 44 Porsche GT3 RS posted the second and third quickest time in the class, their times were disqualified because the team did not nominate their qualifying driver two hours before the qualifying session began as required in the Grand American rulebook.
The other Flying Lizard Motorsports entry - the No. 75 Porsche - will start second in the GT class. Driver Lonnie Pechnik turned a 1:55.292 lap at 111.161 mph.
Randy Pobst turned the fastest time in the Super Grand Sport class, setting a new track record for the class with his 1:57.517 lap at 109.057 mph in the TPC Racing No. 39 Porsche GT3 Cup.
"I'm not surprised that we got the pole. We had some really good competition. The Aussie car (No. 16) crashed and they were going to be tough. That took them out of it for the session," said Pobst. "As far as how much it affects the results, it's almost meaningless except it's a tremendous boost to the whole team's morale. The other teams sometimes start trying a little too hard if they think they are a little slower. In a 24-hour race like the Rolex 24, it's very important not to try too hard and run a relaxed, but quick, pace and stay out of trouble."
Both Flying Lizard Racing and TPC Racing received bonuses from the Acxiom Grand Touring Challenge for posting the top qualifying times in the GT and SGS classes. Flying Lizard Racing picked up a $1,000 bonus, while TPC Racing earned $750.
Only the top-30 teams locked in their starting position for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The remainder of the grid will be set during second-round qualifying on Friday at 9:45 am.
The green flag will fall on the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Saturday at 1 p.m. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 386-253-RACE. More than 15 hours of the Rolex 24 will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel on Saturday and Sunday.
For additional information on the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series or the Rolex 24 At Daytona, visit www.grandamerican.com.