Horton Autosport Earns Highest Career GT Qualifying Spot for Two-Hour Race
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., August 10, 2012 – Porsche placed all three of its road-based 911 GT3 Cup cars into the top-10 of GT class qualifying for Saturday’s Continental Tire 200 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race. Horton Autosport led the trio with its career-best GRAND-AM qualifying effort in today’s 15-minute session earning third on the grid. Brumos Racing will start seventh while Magnus Racing will take the green flag in tenth-position for the two-hour sprint race on the “Short Course” of Watkins Glen International.
Saturday’s race will mark the second time of the year the road racing organization has competed at “The Glen” but its first time this season on the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course “Short Course”. The two-class series ran the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in early July on the longer 3.45-mile circuit.
Horton Autosport, celebrating the one-year anniversary of its GRAND-AM Rolex Series debut, earned their highest career GRAND-AM qualifying position, third. Eric Foss (Dallas) piloted the No. 73 Horton Autosport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to a lap of one-minute, 13.419 seconds late in the session. It was 0.745 seconds off the pole-winning No. 31 Chevrolet Corvette driven by Boris Said. Said set a pole position time of 1:12.674. Foss, who shares the Horton-prepared entry with Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, Calif.), will start the car in tomorrow’s race and is eager to follow in his heroes’ footsteps at the historic New York-facility.
“We guessed on the setup a little bit but it’s been great all day,” said Foss after his qualifying run. “John Horton and all the crew are amazing. They really had this car spot-on. We made some minor changes throughout the session but ultimately it was a great base setup. Dug a little hard to get that last lap at the end. The crew was egging me on to get out there and get the last few tenths. I wasn’t really sure it was possible but we got a great last lap that put us up into third. At this point, the car feels really good so I’d be hesitant to make too many changes [for the race]. But, I’d be happy to find a few more tenths on the race pace. We are anticipating a little more degradation on the tires than the last few events so we are going to have to really manage the tires.
“It’s great to be back here at Watkins Glen,” continued Foss. “My Dad brought me here as a kid and I remember watching the Porsches race here. So, to be able to race a Porsche here is a dream.”
Brumos Racing, the 2011 Rolex Series GT Champions, looked poised early to challenge Horton for top-Porsche honors. A late session trip off-track by qualifying driver Andrew Davis (Athens, Ga.) ended the Jacksonville, Fla.-based team’s hot lap. Even without being able to put in his best lap, Davis qualified the legendary No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup seventh with a time of 1:14.159; 1.485-seconds behind Said. Davis’ teammate Leh Keen (Charleston, S.C.) will be pursuing his fourth consecutive Rolex Series victory in the Continental Tire 200. The pair is currently tied for fourth in the Rolex Series GT Team point standings.
The team Brumos is tied with in the championship chase is the third Porsche entered in this weekend’s 10th round of the 13-race series, Magnus Racing. Driver/owner John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah) qualified the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in tenth-position. Potter, who will race with 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.), timed-in at 1:14.937. Lally was among the quickest cars in the rain-soaked opening practice sessions today.
"The Porsche's a bit of a struggle here compared to others on outright pace,” offered Potter. “However, strategy can be pretty critical for this race and the Magnus guys have a pretty good handle on the No. 44 Porsche. So, we're still pretty confident for tomorrow."
The two-hour race is shorter than the standard GRAND-AM “sprint” race distance of two-hours and 45-minutes. Therefore, strategies will be different as teams fight to make significant gains in fuel mileage to decrease the number and length of pit stops. The race is also critical in the championship chase as only three races remain after tomorrow’s event.