Sears Point: GM Racing qualifying report

The No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Daytona Prototype (DP) driven by Jon Fogarty raced to their 10th pole position of the season today at the 2.52-mile, 12-turn Infineon Raceway. The Texas based team will start from pole position for tomorrow's round 13...

The No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Daytona Prototype (DP) driven by Jon Fogarty raced to their 10th pole position of the season today at the 2.52-mile, 12-turn Infineon Raceway.

The Texas based team will start from pole position for tomorrow's round 13 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Armed Forces 250. Starting next to Fogarty on the front row will be the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac qualified by Nic Jonsson. The session only lasted four laps due to a black flag and time definite scheduling meant qualifying was cut short by nearly eight minutes.

The GAINSCO Pontiac team is in a must win situation for the last two races of the Rolex Series season to keep their championship hopes alive. Fogarty and teammate Alex Gurney are four points out of the drivers points lead.

Fogarty posted a time of 1:28.028 to capture the team's 10th pole position and maintain the perfect pole streak for Pontiac at 13 consecutive. This also gives Fogarty a new Grand-Am record for a single driver of eight poles in one season. Teammate Alex Gurney has two poles this year.

"I raced here for the first time in '95, I consider it my home track," Fogarty said. "My lap was really clean and I had a good run. The GAINSCO guys gave me another great car to get the pole. We have to win the race to keep our championship hopes going into the last race. We need to beat the 01 and 10, but we are going for the win. The top three teams are locked into a championship battle separated by only four points, we have to win and they can't afford any mistakes."

Joining the No. 99 on the front row will be the No. 75 of Krohn Racing that was qualified by Nic Jonsson. Jonsson posted a time of 1:28.441. Jonsson will share the Pontiac powered Riley with new teammate Ricardo Zonta who is filling-in for Colin Braun who has been suspended for one race.

"I have recovered from being sick over the last week," Jonsson said. "Qualifying was really good again for us. The Krohn Racing guys gave me a good car. I have a new teammate in Ricardo Zonta. He is very experienced in everything from F3000 to F1, he has great credentials. He got in the car yesterday and in 20-minutes he was third quick, that says a lot about his talent. Now he has to get used to running against these guys in this series. I hope I can give him the car upfront and make his job easier."

In the No.10 SunTrust Pontiac, Memo Gidley put in a time of 1:29.129 good for a third row starting position for tomorrow's two-hour-and-thirty-minute race. The locally-based driver, from Novato, will share the seat with series points co-leader Max Angelelli.

"The car felt the best it has all weekend," Gidley said. "We struggled a little in practice earlier, but as usual the SunTrust guys came through in qualifying with a very good car. I had a small mistake that may have cost me a couple tenths, so I could have used a few more laps to make it up. But we will have a good race car and I am ready to support Max for the championship this weekend."

Harrison Brix, driving the No. 39 Cheever Racing Crown Royal Special Reserve Pontiac Fabcar, will start from the ninth position based upon his qualifying time of 1:29.543. The 39 posted the second fastest practice time of the weekend earlier in the day.

"The car was better than the qualifying time reflected," Brix said. "I had a better lap going when the yellow came out and that ruined the effort with just two turns before the timing stripe. Qualifying wasn't that great, but the car is good. We really don't qualify that well, but the car really races well. It is a good feeling going into the race knowing that we have a stronger car than the qualifying time showed. Christian showed the speed of the Pontiac Fabcar in practice and now we need to have another competitive race."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ricardo Zonta , Alex Gurney , Memo Gidley , Jon Fogarty , Colin Braun , Max Angelelli , Harrison Brix , Nic Jonsson
Teams Krohn Racing