Daytona Rolex 24 Pole Story

Dalmas, Ferrari Grab Pole for Saturday's Rolex 24 At Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Yannick Dalmas of Le Beausset, France shattered the track record during Rolex 24 At Daytona Pole Qualifying Thursday at Daytona International ...

Dalmas, Ferrari Grab Pole for Saturday's Rolex 24 At Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Yannick Dalmas of Le Beausset, France shattered the track record during Rolex 24 At Daytona Pole Qualifying Thursday at Daytona International Speedway for Saturday's inaugural United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) race.

Dalmas, driving a Ferrari 333SP, eclipsed the old track record of 127.578 mph (1:40.456 seconds) set by Fermin Velez in last year's Rolex 24 At Daytona qualifying. Dalmas toured the 3.56-mile road course in 1:39.195 seconds, for an average speed of 129.200 mph. The top two positions were secured in Thursday's qualifying with the rest of the starting order determined in Can-Am, GT1, GT2 and GT3 qualifying today (Friday).

"It was a good lap," said Dalmas. "But, I missed a gear change twice, but all-in-all it was a pretty clean lap. It's more important to get a good setup for the race. I am surprised by the separation between first and second place. I guess it was the choice of our team to use more downforce on our car than the Momo (No. 30) car.

"But, it's good to start on the front row, at least you get the first three or four laps clean and out of the traffic."

Didier Theys, also driving a Ferrari 333SP, was the only other driver to secure a spot in Saturday's event. His lap was significantly off the polesitter's pace, turning in a lap of 1:41.295 seconds, for an average speed of 126.522 mph.

David Brabham of Australia, driving a new Panoz GTR-1, won the provisional pole for the GT1 class with a "unofficial" record speed of 122.760 mph (1:44.395 sec.). Porsche 911 GT2 driver Nick Ham was fastest in GT2 with a record lap of 114.580 mph, while Bill Auberlen was quickest in GT3 in a BMW M3 with a lap of 110.530 mph, also a track record. The entire field will be set in final qualifying Friday.

The world's most prestigious sports car race, the 36th Rolex 24 At Daytona, will receive the green flag on Saturday at 12 noon. Tickets still remain for one of the great motorsports events of the year. Various tickets will be available at the gate on Saturday, Jan. 31. Specially-priced advance Rolex 24 At Daytona tickets, including a $15 two-day grandstand ticket, are available if purchased by 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30. For tickets, contact the Speedway Ticket Office at (904) 253-7223.

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About this article
Series Can-Am , GT
Drivers David Brabham , Didier Theys , Yannick Dalmas , Bill Auberlen , Fermin Velez , Nick Ham