Lexington, Ohio (Aug 8, 2009)-- James Davison, the driver that gave the Vision Racing organization its' first-ever pole position in July, backed that up with a second pole position for the team Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in ...
Lexington, Ohio (Aug 8, 2009)-- James Davison, the driver that gave the Vision Racing organization its' first-ever pole position in July, backed that up with a second pole position for the team Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in qualifying for the Firestone Indy Lights Mid-Ohio 100. It was Davison's third career pole position in his second season of Indy Lights competition. Technical partner Bryan Herta Autosport qualified their two cars driven by Daniel Herrington and Felipe Guimarães in sixth and ninth, respectively.
Davison, the returning Firestone Indy Lights champion at Mid-Ohio, backed up his 2008 win the best way he knew how by putting the No. 21 People's Liberation/Vision Racing Dallara/Firestone machine in the top spot for Sunday's race. He intends to not only back up his maiden victory from last year and earn his second-career victory in the series, but give Vision Racing it's first-ever victory.
With a quick time of 1:14.8673, Davison's top lap came in with an average speed of 108.576 mph and enough for his third-career Firestone Indy Lights pole position as the caution flag came out just afterward and froze the field.
Davison's first pole came in his rookie season, last year, with Sam Schmidt Motorsports at Nashville Superspeedway and the second came this year for Vision Racing at Watkins Glen International.
Most recently at Kentucky Speedway, Davison was forced to start from the sixth position since the field took the grid by entrant points as a result of "weepers" canceling qualifying at Kentucky, but he held strong in the lead pack all race and moved up to fourth to earn his fourth top-five finish of the season. He remains sixth in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship point standings with 288 points (97 points behind the leader).
Meanwhile, Herrington and BHA flirted with the pole position and a front row start as well throughout the qualifying session and its ever-changing conditions, but were forced to settle for the sixth spot in the No. 28 Le Bleu/BHA Dallara/Firestone car.
Wet conditions plagued the track early and as things began to dry, Herrington and others switched to the dry Firestone Firehawks slicks for added grip and speed. The plan worked, until Herrington ran into congestion on course and could not put down a fast lap. Just as he found an opening to put down a hot lap, the caution flag came out due to an on-track incident and the session was concluded.
Herrington still managed his best start at Mid-Ohio in Firestone Indy Lights competition in his third start at the track with a top qualifying lap time of 1:15.6569. In his two previous attempts at Mid-Ohio, he earned a best finish of 15th. He'll certainly be looking to build upon that as BHA makes their debut on the natural-terrain road course.
Last weekend at Kentucky, Herrington added to his season-long streak of just one finish outside of the top-ten he started seventh (entrant points) and finished in the sixth position. Herrington is seventh in the championship point standings with 268 points (117 points behind the leader).
Returning to the BHA stable again this year is the No. 29 A1GP Brazil car and the 18 year-old Brazilian driver, Guimarães, who made his series debut last month at Watkins Glen when he started sixth and finished on the podium and in third.
Guimarães's car had a clutch issue in the first practice and then he too flirted with the top positions in qualifying until a caution brought an end to his final attempt to better his time. Making his second start tomorrow, he'll line up from the ninth position with a top lap time of 1:16.1953 and aim for yet another podium finish.
Guimarães is perhaps most well known for his role as an A1GP Team Brazil race driver, competing in the A1 Grand Prix series as he became youngest driver to score a podium finish by taking second at Kyalami in South Africa.
Sunday's Mid-Ohio 100 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course begins at 10:15 a.m. ET. Television coverage will air on Monday, Aug. 10, 2009 at 4 p.m. on VERSUS.
Post Qualifying Quotes:
James Davison - Pole Position
"I just wanted to do the same thing as I did in Watkins Glen on Friday and I did a P1 in both sessions. That was a difficult session with changing track conditions. Obviously it was the same for everybody. I'm really happy to get that on paper. Thank you very much to my team, the No. 21 People's Liberation/Vision crew. They've given me everything I need and we're getting the job done. We've done everything but win a race this year and that's what I'm planning to do doing tomorrow."
Daniel Herrington - Will start 6th
"It was pretty frustrating for me, because we've been fairly strong here in practice and even in qualifying we were up in P1 a lot of times, but then we got stuck behind some slower traffic and cars for about four to five laps in a row on our sticker tires. So when I finally got a gap to put down some good laps there at the end of the session, the caution came out and ended qualifying. I really thought we could get the pole and now we are kind of stuck back in sixth for the race. We've got a great racecar, but this is a tough place to pass, so I really would have liked to qualify up front."
Felipe Guimarães - Will start 9th
"I'm disappointed because we had a difficult morning with a clutch problem but we were doing well in qualifying. The team prepared another good car and you could see that in qualifying when all three cars (Vision & BHA) were strong and in the top positions. The track was getting better very quickly but we just did not get an opportunity to put together a perfect lap in the final minutes because of the yellow. It will be difficult to pass but I will take advantage of any opportunities to work forward."