Daytona Finale: Qualifying report

Auberlen Grabs Pole for Champions Weekend Race DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (October 31, 2003) -- Bill Auberlen captured the pole for Saturday's Rolex Sports Car Series season finale, part of the Grand American Champions Weekend presented by Brumos ...

Auberlen Grabs Pole for Champions Weekend Race

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (October 31, 2003) -- Bill Auberlen captured the pole for Saturday's Rolex Sports Car Series season finale, part of the Grand American Champions Weekend presented by Brumos Porsche at Daytona International Speedway. Auberlen turned a 1:48.667 lap at 117.938 mph in the Doran-Lista Racing No. 27 Toyota Doran JE4, setting the fastest qualifying lap by a Daytona Prototype to date at Daytona International Speedway.

Auberlen will be joined on the front row by Eric Curran, who led all GTS qualifiers with a lap of 1:49.770 / 116.753 mph in the No. 29 Gardeniron.com Ford Mustang, for the 250-mile race, that takes the green flag at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Forest Barber turned in the third fastest lap, 1:50.211 / 116.286 mph, in the No. 54 Chevrolet Doran he shares with Daytona Prototypes points leader Terry Borcheller. Barber will be joined on the second row by Lyndon Amick, driver of the No. 50 Corvette, who was timed at 1:50.971 / 115.490 mph.

A pair of Daytona Prototypes will start on the third row for the race. Mike Borkowski was fifth quickest in the No. 58 Red Bull Porsche FABCAR, followed by Duncan Dayton in the new PAP Racing No. 7 BMW FABCAR.

Fastest GT qualifier was Johannes Van Overbeek, driver of the No. 83 Flying Lizard Racing Porsche, who ran a lap of 1:55.029 / 112.134 mph.

Borcheller enters Saturday's race with a three-point lead over Borkowski and David Donohue in the Daytona Prototypes championship. Also in the running for the title are Hurley Haywood and JC France, with France qualifying ninth overall in Friday's qualifying session.

Tickets will be sold at the gate during the event. Admission to Saturday's Rolex Sports Car Series finale and HSR races will be $20. Tickets to Sunday's full day of historic racing will be $25. Parking will be free on Friday and Saturday and cost $5 on Sunday to anyone not holding an Advance Super Ticket.

The Grand American Champions Weekend presented by Brumos Porsche will be broadcast on SPEED Channel. The Rolex Series race will be live on SPEED, Saturday, November 1, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

For more information on the Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Series, visit www.grandamerican.com.

Overall pole winner and Daytona Prototype class pole winner Bill Auberlen, driver of the No. 27 Doran Lista Racing Toyota Doran

ON THE QUALIFYING SESSION
"The car feels great. From the first day we were here and the first practice, the car was not very good. Very quickly they adjusted the problems and fixed them and by this morning we're looking really good."

ON CHANGES MADE TO THE CAR
"Daytona is very unique, with the grip of the surface, to not burn off your rear tires. So you need to make sure you get traction with the back (tires) and you have to go about a whole different way of doing it."

ON HOW MANY RACES THE CAR HAS RUN
"Its done four this year. It was basically on the pole at VIR (Virginia International Raceway) earlier this month. Toyota is always making improvements with the motor so that's great. The chassis, they never stop in terms of improving the chassis. Every day they learn something, we implement it, and it goes quicker."

WHAT IT'S GOING TO TAKE TO WIN ON SATURDAY?
"It's so much hotter (this weekend) than during the Rolex 24 that the track is much more aggressive towards the back of your car - in terms of the rear tire, rear grip, rear handling. To make it through an hour and 15 minute (driving stint) cleanly, you have to be a little conservative and try to maintain those tires and run them until the end (of the driving stint). The people that burn those tires off in 10 or 15 laps are going to be sitting ducks for the rest of the people to pick them off. You won't be looking to conserve your car, your motor or your drive train. That's not going to be an issue. You have to conserve your tires and run as quick a pace as you can to make it through an hour and 15 minute driving stint and then you give it to your teammate and he takes it to the end."

TIRES, TIRES AND TIRES
"That's the only thing you care about here. Forget about anything to do with the motor. Run it as high revs as you can. Run the gearbox as hard as you can. Shift as fast as you can do. Brake as hard as you can. (The tires) is the only limiting factor.

Runner-up Daytona Prototype Class Qualifier Forest Barber, driver of the No. 54 Bell Motorsports Chevrolet

ON THE QUALIFYING SESSION
"The lap was good. The Bell car has been pretty good all weekend. Of course, it's another Doran chassis, so I think it's meaningful that two Dorans are at the front of this field. The car's been pretty good. It's been good for me all weekend and there's a little more grip today, too. The car worked really well for us."

ON THE HUNT FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP
"We do think about it now and then, but we're just trying to do what we've been doing."

GTS class pole winner Eric Curran, driver of the No. 29 Sky Blue Racing Mustang

ON THE QUALIFYING SESSION
"We had a car that kept getting better and better throughout the weekend. We were hoping to get the car deep into the 49s and we did it."

ON SATURDAY'S RACE
"The car's great. I think we're going to be real good and real strong tomorrow. We've got a very strong team. We're going to be tough to beat tomorrow."

GT class pole winner Johannes Van Overbeek, driver of the No. 83 Rennwerks Motorsports Porsche GT3 RS

ON THE QUALIFYING SESSION
"I couldn't be happier with the pole. It's good to be able to get one for Flying Lizard Motorsports and Rennwerks. I screwed up at Mont-Tremblant and was off by a tenth. We thought we had it there. It's good to be on the pole here."

ON SATURDAY'S RACE
"We're looking good. Daytona can be pretty slippery at times and pretty hot. We've got the window that we know we need to work in. Now, we just have to nail it."

-garra-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Lyndon Amick , Bill Auberlen , Terry Borcheller , Hurley Haywood , David Donohue , JC France , Eric Curran , Forest Barber
Teams Flying Lizard Motorsports