Jorg Bergmeister was poised for a pole position in Rolex Sports Car Series qualifying at California Speedway, but he had to abort his fast lap when the session was black-flagged. Although he missed the peak lap for tire performance, he lapped the...
Jorg Bergmeister was poised for a pole position in Rolex Sports Car Series qualifying at California Speedway, but he had to abort his fast lap when the session was black-flagged. Although he missed the peak lap for tire performance, he lapped the 2.88-mile infield road course in one minute 33.556 seconds in the No. 66 Pontiac-Riley he drives with Christian Fittipaldi, good for third on the 46-car grid. An off-track excursion slowed teammate Tracy Krohn in the No. 67 Pontiac-Riley, so he and his co-driver Nic Jonsson will start 20th.
"The car was really good, but the black flag destroyed our plans. It came on my fastest lap, then afterwards the peak of the tires was gone. But we're getting better and better, it's a good place to start and we have all the options," Bergmeister said.
Most drivers work with their engineers after every track session, analyzing computer data to improve their lap times. Tracy Krohn compares his performance around the track with that of his co-driver, Nic Jonsson, overlaying their data.
"Today we checked out brake points and corner speeds, trying to figure out the optimal points and speeds. I looked at it on the data and I could tell where I was in comparison to Nic," Krohn explained. "You look at wheel speed, brake pressure, throttle position and wheel position. Those are the primary benchmarks. When I compare mine with Nic's lap, it's pretty obvious from the data where we're on and off. I can close the gap significantly -- within six or seven tenths [of a second] -- just by being able to see the data."
Krohn/TRG co-owner Kevin Buckler is impressed with Christian Fittipaldi's experience at many levels of international motorsport.
"I'm excited to have Christian on board with us at Fontana," Buckler said. "Because of Max [Papis'] commitments with GM, there are a few races this year that he won't be available to drive with Krohn Racing/TRG. We talked to many top-level drivers and chose Christian to drive with Jorg at Fontana. He's got big shoes to fill, but he's fast, smart, knows endurance racing and has DP experience. With Christian's background in Formula One, Indy cars and Nextel Cup, he'll bring a lot to the driver lineup. I look forward to working with him."