GURNEY FOURTH FASTEST FRIDAY IN BOTH PRACTICE SESSIONS AT MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA MONTEREY, Calif. (May 15, 2009) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty were solidly on the pace in a pair of opening practice ...
GURNEY FOURTH FASTEST FRIDAY IN BOTH PRACTICE SESSIONS AT MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA
MONTEREY, Calif. (May 15, 2009) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty were solidly on the pace in a pair of opening practice sessions Friday for this weekend's Verizon Wireless Festival of Speed presented by SPEEDCOM Communications at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Sunday's 2 ¾ hour timed Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race can be seen live on SPEED at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT).
The No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley was fourth fastest in both the morning and afternoon practices with Gurney turning the team's fastest lap in each session. He was one of only four drivers to crack the 100 mph mark in morning practice with a time of 1:20.419 (100.185 mph) which he turned on the team's 42nd and final lap of the session. The afternoon session was delayed by a pair of black-flag stoppages and was run on a slightly slower track, but Gurney still managed to turn a lap of 1:21.216 (99.202 mph).
"We just kept chipping away at it and making changes," Gurney said. "We found something at the end that will help us tomorrow, but it is tight at the top. We were chasing it a little bit early, but I think we have a good direction and should be in there with a shot."
Fogarty drove in just the morning session but joined his teammate in believing more speed can be found tomorrow.
"I think we found something at the end of this session that should help us out," Fogarty said. "We got abbreviated by that last black flag, but luckily Alex was able to get part of a lap in to give us a little bit of a read. There's more there, but it is tight though. It is really tight on top."
Fogarty is a native of nearby Palo Alto and has thousands of miles at Laguna Seca. Friday he was pleasantly surprised with the condition of the 2.238-mile circuit.
"The track is not as dirty as I thought it was going to be, which is welcoming," Fogarty said. "Despite the sunshine it's pretty cool out there, so times were slow to come, but the track is in good shape."
After the year's first three races, the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance team and Gurney and Fogarty are second in the Rolex Series Team and Driver Championship standings behind the leading No. 58 Brumos Porsche Riley of David Donohue and Darren Law. GAINSCO now has 84 points in both championships, just four points behind the Brumos team and drivers.