Gurney and Fogarty get the GAINSCO Pontiac up to speed in Alabama LEEDS, Ala. -- In a pair of unofficial testing sessions today at the Barber Motorsports Park in preparation for Sunday afternoon's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Porsche 250 ...
Gurney and Fogarty get the GAINSCO Pontiac up to speed in Alabama
LEEDS, Ala. -- In a pair of unofficial testing sessions today at the Barber Motorsports Park in preparation for Sunday afternoon's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant, Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty got the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley tuned up and dialed in for practice and qualifying tomorrow and Saturday. While team times were not officially recorded, the team is confident that the GAINSCO Daytona Prototype will be at the front all weekend. Both drivers had to overcome several niggling issues with the handling and electronics -- Gurney reported that his pole-winning setup from last year had to be just about thrown out the window because of changing track conditions.
Alex Gurney: "We found the track quite a bit different from the way it was last year, and that pushed us back a little. In particular, the surface just doesn't seem to have anywhere near the grip level it had in 2005 so we were fighting a lot of understeer. But after the first session, we think we've homed in on a solid setup. The 99 car is pretty much right on the pace but we have room to improve tomorrow and that's what we'll focus on in practice. Jon came right up to speed at a track he'd never seen before and that makes us feel even better about the weekend. One thing we're going to work on is our fuel mileage -- we're really scratching our heads about the Fords, they always seem to be able to stretch their fuel run out quite a bit."
Jon Fogarty: "I think it was a solid day -- working with Alex and our engineer Kyle Brannan, we managed to get the car feeling a lot better than it did right off the truck. It was difficult to learn the track with the balance of the car as off as it was, so in the second session I think I really started to find a rhythm. I'm really enjoying this circuit -- it's got even more dramatic elevation changes than I was expecting, blind corners and a lot of bits that are difficult to get just right. It's quite a unique place to race. We know what direction we've got to move the car and tomorrow's practice should help us get the setup absolutely dialed in. The heat and humidity here are really going to take their toll -- no matter what you do it seems, you just can't prepare yourself for how hot it gets in these cars. It's just something we've got to deal with as part of the challenge of Daytona Prototype racing."