Endurance specialist Scott Pruett christened Chip Ganassi's first full-time foray into sports car racing in grand fashion this afternoon, smashing the Grand American Road Racing Association Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype (DP) track record in today's qualifying for the 42nd Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona International Speedway.
"First, I got to take my hat off to all the Ganassi guys," expressed Pruett. "I am very pleased with the team's performance here in qualifying. The guys did a great job preparing the car."
Pruett will share his new Comp USA-sponsored Riley with 2002 Rolex 24 winner Max Papis and Mexican newcomer Jimmy Morales.
Max Angelelli qualified second in the SunTrust Racing Riley-Pontiac, turning a lap of 1:46.095. "I'm very happy with the level of performance I was able to obtain, considering I really haven't had much time in the car," Angelelli said.
Terry Borcheller, last year's DP series champion, will start third in the Bell Motorsports Pontiac-powered Doran. "We felt like our qualifying run was really good," Borcheller said. "We're happy. We're two seconds faster than our practice time. So that's impressive."
The Howard-Boss Motorsports Crawford-Chevrolet and David Donohue's Red Bull/Brumos Racing Fabcar-Porsche rounded out the top five.
Johannes van Overbeek claimed the GT class pole in the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche GT3 with a lap of 1:53.357 for a speed of 113.059 miles per hour.
"We had inklings the [Porsche] Cup car would be a competitive car, purely because of its aerodynamics," van Overbeek explained. "It gives up some [time] in the infield because it doesn't have the wheel track width the RS car has. With the package we're using, we give up only a few horsepower to our other car, but we have the advantage of aerodynamics."
The No. 21 Team PTG BMW M3 of Bill Auberlen qualified third in GT, followed by the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Porsche GT3 RS.
The No. 44 Orbit Racing Porsche and the No. 66 Racer's Group Porsche, winner of the last two Rolex 24s, will start 32nd and 33rd after they had their Friday qualifying times disallowed because they failed to nominate their qualifying drivers within the time allotted by Grand-Am rules.
The new SGS class pole went to Randy Pobst in the TPC Racing Porsche. Pobst turned a lap of 1:57.517, averaging 109.057 miles per hour.
"I'm not surprised that we got the pole," Pobst stated about his team's dedication to hit the right combination. "We had some really good competition. It's a tremendous boost to the whole team's morale."
The No. 63 Glenn Yee Motorsports Porsche qualified second, followed by the No. 13 Foxhill Racing Porsche.
Saturday's race will begin at 1 p.m.