Diaz fastest in first-round practice
DENVER -- He waited until the very last lap, but it was the one that counted, as MotoRock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup Rookie of the Year points leader Jorge Diaz, Jr. set the fastest time in first-round practice Friday for Sunday's MotoRock Mile High 100, part of the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver. Diaz, driver of the No. 8 Don Q Rum Jaguar XKR, turned a 1:13.484-minute lap at 80.687 miles per hour. In fact, Diaz's time was faster than Stu Hayner's qualifying record of 1:13.612, set last year.
Boris Said, making his return to the Series this weekend in the No. 33 ACS/GE Access/Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang was second fastest with a 1:13.543-minute lap, ahead of Johnny Miller (No. 64 Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR). Hayner (No. 2 GMAC Commercial Finance Chevrolet Corvette) and Scott Pruett (No. 7 MotoRock Jaguar XKR) completed the top five.
"I like this track," said Said, who won last year's Denver Trans-Am Series race. "It's a tight, twisty track. I haven't been in a Trans-Am car for awhile, and I like the cars a lot. This is (sponsor) GE Access' hometown, so we're going to do everything we can to put on a good show for them and hopefully repeat."
"We had a lot better car than we had last year," said Miller. "We had set the car up to make some tuning adjustments during the session, and I think we did that. We accomplished what we wanted to do."
Second-round practice for Sunday's MotoRock Mile High 100 is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. today. The MotoRock Mile High 100, Round 9 of the 2003 MotoRock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, will take the green flag at approximately 4 p.m., following the Champ Car World Series race.
Johnny Miller (No. 64 Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR) and Jorge Diaz (No. 8 Don Q Rum Jaguar XKR) reacted positively to this morning's announcement that MotoRock LLC has become title sponsor of the Trans-Am Series.
"I'm excited about MotoRock," said Miller. "Man, that helps us. That will really grow the Series. I've been doing this sponsorship thing on my own for many years. That's the only way I can race. To have partners in this, that are going to give the Series the resources and the clout it needs, is just great."
"I'm very happy about MotoRock," said Diaz. "I think it's a good match. Miami is going to be a good race, and one that I really enjoyed last year. I ran as high as second last year before I had a host of troubles."