The morning practice sessions were combined into a one-hour, five minute session for all five Grand-Am classes. Today's session will be the first time in three events that the Grand-Am cars qualified to set the field. At Daytona, qualifying was...
The morning practice sessions were combined into a one-hour, five minute session for all five Grand-Am classes.
Today's session will be the first time in three events that the Grand-Am cars qualified to set the field. At Daytona, qualifying was rained out for the Paul Revere 250, with the field set by fastest times in practice. The weather also did not cooperate at Road America, with the starting field based on Team Owners Points.
Teams will not necessarily use their faster driver for qualifying. Under Grand-Am rules, the qualifying drivers must start the race. With one pit stop anticipated for Sunday's 92-lap race, today the teams will elect who will both start and finish the race. In order to score points, drivers must drive at least 23 laps, but no more than 59 laps.
James Weaver won the pole, and with it, the Informix Software Way Fast Award, in four of the five qualifying sessions in 2000 -- for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Phoenix, Lime Rock and Mid-Ohio. The only other SportsRacer to win the pole in qualifying was Didier Theys at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Informix Software Way Fast Award was given to the fastest teams in practice for the Paul Revere 250, with Jack Baldwin and George Robinson taking the SportsRacer Award. At Road America, the Informix Way Fast Award was presented to the teams setting the fastest lap during the race, with the Doran Lista Special of Theys, Mauro Baldi and Fredy Linehard winning the SportsRacer award.
In SportsRacer Lights, Archangel Motorsports have dominated the Way Fast Award, with Larry Oberto (two) and Ryan Hampton (one) winning three of four poles, and the team taking the award at the Paul Revere 250 and Road America. Martin Snow won the pole at Phoenix.
In GTO, Terry Borcheller of the Saleen Allen Speedlab has taken four Way Fast awards, while the Spirit of Daytona's Craig Conway won the award four times in American Challenge. The five GTU qualifying sessions have seen five different drivers capture the Way Fast Award, although G&W's Mike Fitzgerald and Darren Law each have an individual pole, in addition to taking honors at the Paul Revere 250 and Road America.
The all-time lap record at Trois-Rivieres is held by Cristiano da Matta, with a lap of 58.716/93.255 mph, set in 1998 in an Indy Lights car.
The fastest lap in Saturday morning's 65-minute combined Grand-Am practice was turned in by Oliver Gavin, 59.980/91.290, followed by Didier Theys, 1:00.099/91.110 mph, and Butch Leitzinger, 1:00.210/90.942 mph.
Six of the seven SportsRacers took their turns at the top of the chart during the session, with only the No. 16 of Weaver/Leitzinger failing to have their turn on top.
OLIVER GAVIN (No. 37 InterSport Banana Joe's Judd-Lola B2K10) -- What I wanted to do this morning was to get the car as comfortable for Jon (Field) as possible. We're not really there yet, but we're just about there. With new tires on, the car isn't too bad, but the traffic is pretty bad. That will not be an issue during qualifying, because we will be out on our own. With a couple adjustments to the car, I think we can do a 59.5. A low 59 is possible in this car if we get it all together. I was running laps at 60 while I was passing cars and losing a lot of time, so we'll see how it goes in qualifying.
DIDIER THEYS (No. 27 Doran Lista Special) -- I hope to be in the low 59's for qualifying. I did my best lap this morning with 20 laps on the tires, and a new set will be faster.
The No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Camaro had an oil pump seize, which in turn blew the engine, early in the session with Craig Conway at the wheel. The team is replacing the engine, but it's doubtful they'll be ready for qualifying.
The No. 81 G&W Porsche GT3R of Darren Law came to a stop and was towed in. "The lower control arm broke, which in turned snapped the axle," Law explained. "I was lucky to keep it out of the wall."
A few other cars spun (including No. 27, 12 and 66), and No. 71 lost power, but no contact was reported during the 65 minute session.
Qualifying was held in three 15-minute sessions, for GTU, GTO/AGT, and SR/SRII. GTU Qualifying began at 1:45 p.m. Per Grand-Am rules, all qualifying drivers must start Sunday's race.
Kevin Buckler wins the Informix Software Way Fast Award for the GTU class with a lap of 1:07.763/80.805 mph. This is his second Way Fast Award of the season, following the pole at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and he becomes the first GTU driver to win two pole positions. Second is the No. 81 G&W Motorsports Porsche GT3R of Rick Fairbanks, 1:08.307/80.152, followed by the No. 55 Genesis BMW M-3 of Chris Gleason, 1:09.463/78.658 mph.
Terry Borcheller wins the Informix Software Way Fast Award for the GTO class, with a lap of 1:06.763/80.805 mph in the No. 5 Saleen/Allen Speedlab Saleen SR. This is his fourth pole of the season, and fifth Informix Way Fast Award. Second is the No. 46 Dodge Viper of Erik Messley, 1:07.550/81.060 mph, followed by the No. 07 of Steve Marshall, 1:14.061/73.934 mph.
Jon "Chevy" Leavy wins the Informix Software Way Fast Award for the American GT class, 1:07.432/81.202 mph in the No. 18 Hamilton Safe Camaro, the team's first pole of the season. Second is the No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Camaro of Doug Goad, which joined the session in the final five minutes after the crew rushed to change the engine after this morning's failure. Goad managed a lap of 1:08.741/79.656 mph, to place second, followed by the No. 84 Comer Rcing Camaro of Steve McNeil, 1:10.493/77.676 mph. Also joining the session in the closing minutes was the No. 71 Dura "The Fitted Garage" Camaro of Doug Mills, which changed the differential.
Didier Theys wins the pole with a lap of 1:00.025/91.222 mph. This is the third pole position for the Doran Lista Special (Theys won the pole at Miami and the team started on points at Elkhart Lake), and also their third Informix Way Fast Award. James Weaver is second, 1:00.032/91.211 mph, followed by Claude Bourbonnais, 1:00.185/90.979 mph. Six-hundredths of a second separate the top three, while the seven SportsRacers are separated by .76 seconds. Theys set the fastest time at the beginning of the session, and improved it twice before behind knocked off by Weaver, who improved his time once before Theys set his pole-winning lap. Kelleners and Bourbonnais then briefly held second before Weaver ran his fastest lap in the closing minutes. Bourbonnais made a late bid for the pole, but spun in turn one and stalled, ending the session.
Fastest in the SportsRacer Lights class was Larry Oberto, 1:04.702/84.628 mph, giving Archangel Motorsports its sixth Informix Software Way Fast Award.