Daytona24: Jeff Segal qualifying report

Jeff Segal Qualifies No. 69 FXDD/SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 GT 17th For Rolex 24 At Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (January 27, 2011) - In the first day of racing action in the 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season, defending GT class champion Jeff Segal overcame initial setup challenges to qualify the No. 69 FXDD/SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 GT in 17th position at Daytona International Speedway. The qualifying session was for this weekend's 49th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona that starts at 3:30 p.m. ET this Saturday, January 29.

"We unloaded with a couple of different setups that we wanted to try after the test days," Segal said. "A couple of them were a big struggle. I had a little bit of a moment in the kink during practice where I actually went flying across three different access roads and ended up just shy of the tires, so that was an attention getter. Needless to say, that setup is not on the car."

Segal's lap times continued to improve as the FXDD/SpeedSource team refined the car's setup, with the Miami, Fla. native completing his qualifying lap in 1:50.064 (116.441 mph) around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course. The No. 69 Mazda RX-8 GT will once again be piloted by Segal and defending GT class co-champion Emil Assentato during the 2011 season. For this year's Rolex 24 At Daytona contest the duo is joined by Nick Ham, Anthony Lazzaro and Nick Longhi.

"We don't have any weak drivers in our lineup, everybody is going pretty quick in the car," Segal commented. "We're just working through our program. I think we found some speed, the rules break certainly helped. I don't think we have the fastest car over one lap, but our consistency is okay and I think the race will be just fine."

Tomorrow will see the SpeedSource crew finalize the No. 69's setup for the weekend's twice-around-the-clock race.

-source: jeff segal PR

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Series GRANDAM