Spirit of Daytona Racing claims pole at Laguna Seca

Westbrook stood atop the time sheets with a quick lap time of 1:21.557-seconds.

Monterey, Calif. (7 September 2013) – Spirit of Daytona Racing driver Richard Westbrook posted the quickest lap time during Saturday’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series qualifying at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to put the No. 90 VISITFLORIDA.com Corvette DP on the pole for Sunday’s Continental Tire Sports Car Festival event. Westbrook stood atop the time sheets with a quick lap time of 1:21.557-seconds. The effort marks Spirit of Daytona Racing’s first pole of the year and sixth pole overall.

It was a welcome result for the team, which won this event last year, and has faced some bad racing luck over the last few rounds of Rolex Series competition. The No. 90 VISITFLORIDA machine’s previous best starting position this year came at Barber Motorsports Park and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course when Westbrook’s co-driver Ricky Taylor took second on the grid in each event.

#90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP: Richard Westbrook, Ricky Taylor
#90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP: Richard Westbrook, Ricky Taylor

Photo by: Jeff Davidson

“It’s a good day for us. We needed to turn our season around and this is where we should have been all year long,” said team owner Troy Flis. “This season has just been tough—this series doesn’t let you take any breaths, you’ve got to keep your head down all the time. We rolled off the truck this weekend not as good as we’d really like to be, but the engineers got the car to where Richard liked it. It’s going to be exciting. We changed the driver line-up, and I think Ricky could have done the same thing that Richard did today, but I think it will be fun to see what happens and how it plays out tomorrow.”

Westbrook, who usually runs the closing stint for Spirit of Daytona Racing, will open the 2.75-hour race from inside the front row before handing the No. 90 VISITFLORIDA Corvette over to Taylor who will finish the race.

“We used to have an advantage at these high downforce tracks but over the winter—it’s incredible the depth of talent in the DP field,” said Westbrook, who won last year’s Laguna Seca event with Spirit of Daytona Racing co-driver Antonio Garcia. “I’ve raced in a lot of championships in my life, but I have to say that GRAND-AM is one of the top—if not the top—ones. There are two races left. We need two strong races and hopefully two victories. It’s been a really, really tough year, so we want to finish strong and have some momentum going into the winter.”

It was the second consecutive pole at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Westbrook and the Spirit of Daytona Racing group and the team will look to repeat last year’s performance in which Westbrook and Garcia led 41 laps at the California road course en route to Spirit of Daytona Racing’s third win of the season.

Spirit of Daytona Racing

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About this article
Series GRANDAM
Article type Qualifying reports
Tags laguna seca, monterey, richard westbrook, spirit of daytona racing