Miller Barrett Racing will start the final race of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season from seventh on the GT grid. Kevin Roush of Upland, Calif., endured a sweltering qualifying run in the No. 48 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, carrying the...
Miller Barrett Racing will start the final race of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season from seventh on the GT grid. Kevin Roush of Upland, Calif., endured a sweltering qualifying run in the No. 48 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, carrying the colors of team sponsors Marquis Jet, IPC Systems and Total Lubricants. His third lap was the quickest, covering the 2.3-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway infield road course (Homestead, Fla.) in one minute 20.069 seconds at an average speed of 103.411 mph.
During the Friday qualifying session, the ambient temperature was 92 degrees Fahrenheit, track temperature 115 degrees and humidity 68 per cent. Saturday race-day conditions should be the same, equating to a humidex air temperature of 101 degrees. Roush will drive the first race stint in the 2.5-hour race, followed by Bryce Miller of Summit, N.J.
"It's hot as ever, given we only did six or eight laps to come out of the car completely drenched and probably 10 pounds lighter from water loss," Roush said.
"The car was good; I'm really proud of the team. Everybody worked hard, put their heads together, talked through about a million different scenarios. We just changed a couple of little things before qualifying and the car was better. It's kind of half driver changing his line and learning the track more and the other half the guys just making the car a lot faster and easier to drive. The good news is our pace was really consistent in qualifying. I think we've got a good race car -- if we can race smart like we typically do and hopefully stay out of trouble, we'll have a good finish.
"On average pace, we probably picked up three-quarters of a second from this morning. The car was definitely easier to drive, but maybe it was just the clouds coming over and taking 30 degrees out of the million-degree track!"
The Miller Barrett Racing drivers and their race engineer Alessandro Ferrari walked the Homestead track on Thursday, giving them a hot close-up view of the track surface. Ferrari is on loan from the Italian team BMS Scuderia for this race. He and Miller combined for a second-place GT2 finish in the Total 24 Hours of Spa earlier this year.
"It was very hot, but it was worth walking the track because there were some changes to the track-out curbing," Miller said. "They told us about it in the driver meeting, which was helpful, but it was better to have seen it first. It was good for Kevin [Roush], as well, because it's his first time here. He's done a really good job to learn the track, get up to speed and qualify in the position that we have."