Homestead: Series qualifying report

Donohue Records Pole For Saturday's GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami for Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 28, 2008) -- David Donohue of Malvern, Pa., turned the fastest lap in the No. 58 Brumos Porsche Riley on the...

Donohue Records Pole For Saturday's GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami for Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 28, 2008) -- David Donohue of Malvern, Pa., turned the fastest lap in the No. 58 Brumos Porsche Riley on the pole during Friday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series qualifying for Saturday's GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Donohue set a new Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Daytona Prototype track record on the 2.3-mile infield road course in south Florida with a time of 1:13.022 (113.390 mph). The pole was the first for the legendary Brumos Porsche team since the 2005 race at the same track.

"We've been working hard for a long time, and this is just a small indication of the amount of effort that our team has put into this series for a bunch of years," Donohue said. "Now, we've got to win from the pole. Today's glory is short lived. Once the green flag drops tomorrow, no one remembers who was on the pole."

Donohue will co-drive with Darren Law in Saturday's race.

Qualifying alongside Donohue on the front row was Michael Valiante of Vancouver, B.C. in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Dallara with a time of 1:13.305 (112.953 mph). Valiante's qualifying session in the Dallara came in the car's first official on-track activity. Max Angelelli, a former Grand Prix of Miami winner, will join Valiante for the race.

"Definitely, any time you switch to a new car, it's a huge challenge, especially when you show up for your first race with maybe 100 laps on the car," Valiante said. "The team has done a phenomenal job, working almost 24-hour days, sometimes, just to make this race and to make this happen. A lot of resources have gone into this from a lot of different places, and it's just an example of why this SunTrust Racing organization is as successful as it is."

Memo Rojas will start Saturday's race in third position after piloting his TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates to a best lap of 1:13.399 (112.808 mph). For Rojas, it was his best qualifying position since a second-place effort at Iowa Speedway last July. Rojas and co-driver Scott Pruett will begin Saturday's GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami in the points lead following their win at the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Collins, Davis Give Pontiac Front Row Sweep in Rolex Series GT

Kelly Collins led a front-row sweep by Pontiac in the GT class by topping the charts in the No. 07 Banner Racing Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R. Collins' time of 1:19.717 (103.867 mph) came on a lap that almost ended in the Turn 2 gravel but Collins was able to save it and not lose momentum.

"All is good," Collins said. "The car is setup great, it suits my driving style. The only adjustment I made was to turn off the AC. On my fast lap I had to pass my teammate and boss Leighton going into turn one, I almost went off into the kitty litter. I had a big smile on my face. I went into turn one faster than I did all weekend and just stayed on it to get the pole."

Collins will co-drive with Paul Edwards on Saturday.

Qualifying on the outside of the GT front row was Andrew Davis in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports BryanMark Financial Pontiac GXP.R. Davis' lap of 1:19.841 (103.706 mph) came late in the 15-minute session and marks the best qualifying position in Stevenson Motorsports history. Davis will drive with Robin Liddell.

"We have been upfront all weekend," Davis said. "Right off of the truck we were fast. We actually went faster this morning. The track is slippery from the heat. The Stevenson team has prepared a great car. Robin and I are able to run fast consistent laps and we hope to carry that over tomorrow. It is an all GXP.R front row, a great effort for just our second race with the car."

Dominik Farnbacher qualified third in the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3 with a flying lap of 1:19.856 (103.687 mph). Farnbacher will co-drive with defending Rolex Series GT champion Dirk Werner.

-credit: garra

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Paul Edwards , Scott Pruett , Robin Liddell , Michael Valiante , Kelly Collins , Darren Law , David Donohue , Memo Rojas , Andrew Davis , Chip Ganassi , Dominik Farnbacher , Dirk Werner , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Stevenson Motorsports