Series Daytona 24H qualifying report

Grand-Am Road Racing Series press release

GRAND-AM Cooldown Lap: Daytona
Rolex 24 - Rolex Sports Car Series
BMW Performance 200 - Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012

DP and overall pole winner Ryan Dalziel celebrates
DP and overall pole winner Ryan Dalziel celebrates

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

The Recap

One blistering lap. That's all it took for Ryan Dalziel to vault Starworks Motorsport from underdog to front-runner Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.

In spite of a morning motor failure that wiped out an entire practice session, Dalziel deftly drove his No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley to capture the pole for the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona with a lap of 1:41.119 (126.741 mph).

"Maybe sometimes the underdogs aren't supposed to beat the powerhouse teams," said Dalziel, who dueled SunTrust Racing's Max Angelelli for the pole in a furious 15-minute qualifying session on the 3.56-mile road course. "But what has happened at Starworks the past four or five months is that we've tried to create a powerhouse team, hired the right people and put together an unbelievable car. I think the No. 8 car is not only going to be a contender this weekend, but a contender the entire year."

That message was delivered just three minutes into qualifying, as Dalziel bested the provisional pole time of Angelelli's Corvette. Angelelli regained the top spot until six minutes remained, when Dalziel turned in his pole-winning time.

Angelelli will start second and Scott Dixon's No. 02 Target/TELMEX BMW/Riley will start third when the green flag drops on North America's most prestigious endurance race at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

#59 Brumos Racing Porsche GT3: Andrew Davis, Hurley Haywood, Leh Keen, Marc Lieb
#59 Brumos Racing Porsche GT3: Andrew Davis, Hurley Haywood, Leh Keen, Marc Lieb

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

In the GT class, Andrew Davis will start on the pole in his No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche GT3. The front of the class grid changed seemingly every lap of the 15-minute session before Davis posted a late lap at 1:49.342 (117.210 mph) to put the famed No. 59 on pole.

"It was an intense session," said Davis, who was bumped from the provisional pole three times before regaining it for good with two minutes left. "I just pushed it as hard as I could from the first lap out."

His main competition came from Jeff Segal's No. 69 AIM Autosport/Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am (1:49.357/117.194 mph) and Andy Lally's No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 (1:49.388/117.161 mph), and they claimed the second and third spots on the grid for Saturday's race.

Teammates swept the front rows of the respective classes in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge qualifying for Friday’s BMW Performance 200.

Shelby Blackstock captured the GS pole with a lap of 109.051 mph in the No. 51 Starstruck Entertainment Ford Mustang Boss 302 R. He will be joined on the front row by teammate Jack Roush Jr., who ran 108.923 mph in the No. 61 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302 R.

Kia not only won its first pole in Street Tuner competition, but swept the front row in qualifying. Denied the GT pole in the late stages of Rolex Series qualifying, Andy Lally ran a lap of 101.222 mph in the No. 10 Kinetic/Kia Motors America Kia Forte Koup to capture his fifth career CTSCC pole – breaking the Daytona International Speedway ST track record in the process. Teammate Mark Pombo ran his final lap in 101.138 mph to join Lally on the front row in the No. 12 entry.

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Series GRANDAM
Tags brumos, dalziel, davis, ford, porsche, starworks