Laguna Seca: GM Racing Friday report

Edwards Qualifies Pontiac GXP.R Fourth at Laguna GTO.R Returns To Grand-Am Competition Salinas, Calif., Ma 18, 2007 -- Paul Edwards qualified the No. 07 Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R in fourth position for tomorrow's running of the Grand-Am...

Edwards Qualifies Pontiac GXP.R Fourth at Laguna
GTO.R Returns To Grand-Am Competition

Salinas, Calif., Ma 18, 2007 -- Paul Edwards qualified the No. 07 Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R in fourth position for tomorrow's running of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve U.S. Sports Car Invitational GT race to be run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Leighton Reese in the No. 06 team GXP.R will start sixth and No. 30 Racers Edge GXP.R, qualified by James Gue, will go away from the start in seventh. The GT race will start at 3:20 p.m. (PDT).

Following the Virginia race round three weeks ago, Grand-Am officials have made a competition adjustment for the Laguna race. The Mazda RX8 and Porsche GT3 competitors received a 2.5% percent weight increase. This adjustment has helped the three GXP.R competitors run a little closer to the front of the GT field at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit California circuit.In GT, the Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R driven by Edwards will start from the third row based on his 1:29.362 qualifying time. Partnering Edwards is Kelly Collins for the two-and-a-half-hour race.

"We went the wrong way on the setup for qualifying," Edwards said. "We dialed in a little too much and the car had some high speed push through the corner. The team has got us closer to the front and we should be able to make a fight of it. We will get it balanced for the race and be ready to drive our hearts out tomorrow."

In the team No. 06 Banner Engineering GXP.R, Reese put in a time of 1:29.642 and will go away from the start from the third row. Reese will start the race and turn it over to co-driver Tim Lewis Jr.

"The work we have done has made the car better balanced," Lewis said. "My qualifying time was good, I left a couple of tenths out there, but it feels like we will have a good race car. The balance is there and that should help with the rear grip and control our tire degradation. No one lap wonder, but a solid race car."

In the Racers Edge Motorsports Pontiac GXP.R, Gue posted a time of 1:30.036 and will start next to Reese on the third row tomorrow. Gue is partnered with Drew Staveley this weekend.

"Qualifying wasn't bad," Gue said. "We made a couple of changes before the session and maybe took it a little too much. The car developed a little understeer in the rear. We have pretty good overall grip, a little change is all we need and we will be right there."

Connolly Motorsports recently purchased the race winning Pontiac GTO.R No. 64 that was campaigned last year by Rolex Series GT champions TRG. Matt Connolly, team owner, took delivery of his new steed just this week. The No. 21 Connolly Motorsports Pontiac GTO.R will be driven by Hal Prewitt and Shawn Price this weekend.

"We are completely happy with the GTO.R," Connolly said.J"The way things fit together and the overall design is terrific, it is a real race car. I just don't want to be the first one to have the car not finish on the podium."

The Connolly Motorsports GTO.R will start the race from the tenth row.

The GT race at Laguna Seca will run on Saturday, May 19 and will be televised, tape delayed, on May 26 on the SPEED Channel starting at 8:00 p.m. ET. The DP race will run on Sunday, May 20 and will be televised live on the SPEED Channel starting at 4:00 p.m. ET.

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Paul Edwards , Kelly Collins , Leighton Reese , James Gue , Matt Connolly , Tim Lewis , Shawn Price , Hal Prewitt
Teams Racers Edge Motorsports