Wilkins claims Daytona 250 pole

Canadian Mark Wilkins won the pole Thursday for the Rolex Sports Car Series' Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway, lapping the 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course in 1:41.223 behind the wheel of the AIM Autosport Ford Riley. Wilkins, a...

Canadian Mark Wilkins won the pole Thursday for the Rolex Sports Car Series' Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway, lapping the 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course in 1:41.223 behind the wheel of the AIM Autosport Ford Riley. Wilkins, a first time Rolex Series pole sitter, was .404 seconds faster than Jon Fogarty's Gainsco Pontiac Riley.

"For me, I am absolutely elated," said Wilkins. "It's been a long time coming. The team has worked exceptionally hard over course of the last two years. For AIM Autosport - a small team up in Canada we've worked with for two years - it's fantastic. All the crew guys did a great job. The car was great."

Fogarty, who co-drove to victory last week with Alex Gurney at Mid-Ohio, hopes to establish some momentum with a win this evening. "One race is not much team to build momentum. We'd really to get some steam rolling by winning here. We had a good run. We knew Mark would be tough to beat. They were really quick here in the 24-hour race. So we're pretty happy with our starting position. We're ahead of the (Ganassi) car who we're battling with in the championship. We're pretty excited about our prospects here. It's going to be little different track here in the evening and it could rain, so anything could happen. But we like where we're at."

Michael Valiante rounded out the top-three with the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Dallara.

The Rolex Series championship leading Lexus Riley of Memo Rojas will start fourth, followed by the resurgent No. 58 Brumos Porsche Riley driven by David Donohue, and the No. 77 Doran Racing Ford Dallara of Brad Jaeger.

Nick Ham, driving the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8, grabbed the GT class pole with a time of 1:50.641. Dirk Werner was second fastest in the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche, followed by Emil Assentato in the No. 69 SpeedSource Mazda. "We won the pole here last year and we set a good time this afternoon, so I guess the car likes this track" said Ham, who along with teammate Sylvain Tremblay has three podiums and six top-ten finishes this season. "I'm pretty excited to be on the pole."

Thursday's Rolex Series race will begin at 8 p.m. EDT and be broadcast live on Speed.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Jon Fogarty , Michael Valiante , Emil Assentato , David Donohue , Sylvain Tremblay , Memo Rojas , Mark Wilkins , Nick Ham , Brad Jaeger , Dirk Werner
Teams Doran Racing , SpeedSource