Pontiac To Start From Pole Position At Daytona No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley Driver Wayne Taylor First on Starting Grid; Two New Pontiac GTO.Rs Qualify Seventh and 11thin GT Class DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Pontiac will start tonight's Brumos...
Pontiac To Start From Pole Position At Daytona
No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley Driver Wayne Taylor First on Starting Grid; Two New Pontiac GTO.Rs Qualify Seventh and 11thin GT Class
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Pontiac will start tonight's Brumos Porsche 250 from the pole position here at Daytona International Speedway; SunTrust driver Wayne Taylor drove his #10 Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype to a fastest qualifying lap of 1:45.425. The high lap time, with an average speed of 120.917 mph, is a new Daytona Prototype qualifying record and the first pole position for Taylor since 1996. Pontiac driver Jorg Bergmeister also qualified well and will start the race on the third spot in his #66 Krohn Racing/TRG DP car.
"This is my first pole in many, many years," said Taylor. "I'm really happy because I have such a terrific teammate (Max Angelelli) and he's clearly quicker than anybody. I have to fight like mad to stay with him. Our strategy was that Max would qualify; we changed our minds at the last minute yesterday evening. I was pretty stressed by it, but it worked out really well!"
Taylor and Angelelli are tied for second in driver points with Lexus rivals Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz and have played a major role in Pontiac's current lead in the manufacturers championship standings.
Pontiac's two new GTO.R race cars, run by TRG, participated in their first Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series qualifying session today and had a strong showing, qualifying seventh and 11th. Paul Edwards drove the #64 GTO.R to a seventh place spot on the grid with a time of 1:57.407.
"We didn't get much time to practice due to a gearbox problem but with the limited amount of laps this isn't a bad spot," said Edwards. "But there's a long road ahead of us. The restrictor is hurting us on the straight and we're losing a lot of time. We can still pass but the competition will have a lot of chances to pass us. We're going to try and work through the fact that we're hurting on power."
Edwards will share the new production-based race car with veteran driver Jan Magnussen, who recently won a class victory at Le Mans for Team Corvette.
The other new TRG Pontiac GTO.R ended up 11th on the grid, with Marc Bunting driving the car to their best time of 1:57.957. Bunting and teammate Andy Lally will co-drive the car for the rest of the season. Bunting and Lally are currently second in GT driver points obtained in a Porsche for TRG, but have now switched to the Pontiac.
"We're happy with our time for the first run out there," said Bunting. "The car is certainly slower on the straightaway than we would like, but we have a pretty good car for the race. Everything has been smooth and since it's a Pontiac, it should stay that way."
Tonight's Brumos Porsche 250 will be televised on SPEED TV at 8:00 p.m. EDT. NASCAR stars Tony Stewart and Bobby and Terry Labonte will participate in the race, driving Pontiac-powered Daytona Protoypes.