Watkins Glen II: Doran Racing qualifying report

Gollin Wins the Pole, Sets New Track Record Thursday In Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford In Preparation for Friday Night's Rolex Race at the Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Aug. 11 - Fabrizio Gollin rewrote Watkins Glen International's record...

Gollin Wins the Pole, Sets New Track Record Thursday In Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford In Preparation for Friday Night's Rolex Race at the Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Aug. 11 - Fabrizio Gollin rewrote Watkins Glen International's record book Thursday in winning the pole for Friday's Rolex series race here in Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77.

Gollin clipped more than 3 seconds off Mike Borkowski's two-year-old mark when he turned the facility's 2.45-mile, 11-turn short course in just 1:08.409 for an average speed of 128.930 mph in the qualifying session.

Although both Gollin and his co-driver, Matteo Bobbi, have qualified as high as second this year, it was the first pole of the season for their effort. The FIA World GT champions are both rookies this year in the Rolex series but their team, Doran Racing, is the defending winner of Friday's 200-mile, 82-lap, two-hour race, called the CompUSA 200.

Gollin was fastest on the first lap of the qualifying session but then the entire field was black-flagged when one of the Daytona Prototypes went off course. When the green came out again Jorg Bergmeister got in front for a little bit but Gollin had purposely hung back in order to have a clear track ahead of him. That move coupled with a lot of hard work by the Doran Racing team paid off when he set his fastest lap just two laps from the end of the session.

Gollin said his final lap would have been even faster, but he had to slow down a bit to overtake another competitor on that lap.

"We found a good set-up for the race when we were here for the Six-Hour race in June, and today we took that experience and did a good job," Gollin said. "We have a fast car, but we still need luck. But Matteo and I have more experience now, so it's easier now. We want to do a good race tomorrow."

"We are very happy with the set-up that we found, and Fabrizo did a good lap," Bobbi said. "We are quite optimistic about tomorrow, but we are both being very realistic and we know that tomorrow's race will be hard. We showed that the Doran-Gollin-Bobbi-Ford combination is a solid, fast combination. We just have to show that in the race tomorrow too. We must be very patient because traffic will be intense."

Friday's 200-mile/82-lap/two-hour race is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Eastern time. The Rolex race will be televised on a same-day, tape-delayed basis at 10 p.m. ET Friday night on SPEED.

Although Gollin's afternoon couldn't have gone any better, his day started out a little shaky. When he arrived at the track this morning he discovered he didn't have his HANS device. He suspected he'd left it in the lobby of the hotel where he is staying when he was enjoying the hotel's complimentary breakfast.

A call to the hotel was placed, the HANS device was found, and it'll be waiting for him when he returns after the 7 p.m. final practice session tonight.

In the meantime, Gollin's record-setting, pole-winning run came as he was wearing a HANS device he borrowed from the Doran Racing transporter. It actually belongs to Dave Doran, Kevin's brother.

"I'm not superstitious, but I may call Dave and ask him if I can wear it tomorrow in the race too," Gollin said. "It brought us good luck today!"

An autograph session is slated for 2:30 p.m. tomorrow before the race starts at 6 p.m., right after NASCAR Busch series and NEXTEL Cup practice.

For more information, please see doranracing.com and crownroyal.com. Matteobobbi.com has information on that driver, while Gollin's Web site is at fabriziogollin.com.

Other interesting information can be found at grandamerican.com, theglen.com, speedtv.com and restartcommunications.com.

The Rolex series' third race of the year at the Glen will Sept. 22-24 when the series shares the card with the Indy Racing League Indy cars.

-dr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Fabrizio Gollin , Jörg Bergmeister , Matteo Bobbi , Mike Borkowski
Teams Doran Racing