Daytona 24: Banner Racing Friday report

Tommy Archer qualifies Banner Corvette 11th for 44th Rolex 24 at Daytona (Daytona Beach Florida: January 27, 2006) Tommy Archer, of Duluth Minnesota, qualified the Banner Engineering Chevy Corvette C6 12th position for the 44th edition of the ...

Tommy Archer qualifies Banner Corvette 11th for 44th Rolex 24 at Daytona

(Daytona Beach Florida: January 27, 2006) Tommy Archer, of Duluth Minnesota, qualified the Banner Engineering Chevy Corvette C6 12th position for the 44th edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Archer first qualified the Banner Corvette in 9th position during the first qualifying session on Thursday but the team chose to bypass the Friday qualifying session to continue work on the car to repair damage caused by a minor crash during night practice later on Thursday.

Archer's best lap time was 1:54.574 for an average speed of 111.858 MPH over the 3.56 mile race course that combines the traditional high banked oval track with a flat infield road course. Wolf Henzler won the GT pole position driving a Porsche 997 with a time of 1:53.336. Henzler and Tafel racing team Porsche are favored to win the GT portion of the race.

"We only had three laps," Tommy Archer said of Thursday's qualifying session. "I was looking for a hole (an open space on the track). Everyone was jockeying for a hole to qualify in and then the yellow came out."

"I did one lap drafting (the #82 Porsche) and then turned a faster lap after that," continued Archer who set his fastest lap on the final lap of the session. "We were happy getting into the top ten and we were the fastest Corvette."

"I think that that was all we had," answered Tommy to the question if additional laps would have helped lower his lap time.

"Whether you are 6th, 9th or 12th it doesn't really matter that much, now we need to concentrate on getting ready for the race," Archer concluded.

During the second session on Friday three cars improved their fastest lap moving the Banner Corvette back to 11th in the GT class and 42nd overall.

"If we were going to improve anything it would have only been one or two positions at best," said crew chief Joe Kantarik of the strategy. "Being only a little over a second off the pole is respectable especially when you consider that we were 5 seconds off the pace when we first came here."

"Eleventh is more than plenty, it's going to be a long race," said Kantarik with a smile. "I am trying not to wear out the crew before the race even begins."

The Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette C6 will driven by Archer, Leighton Reese, on Minnetonka Minnesota, Russ Oasis from Miami Florida and Dino Crescentini of Carson California. The Banner Racing team will begin the 44th Rolex 24 hour race at noon on Saturday January 28th at noon and race until high noon on Sunday.

-banner

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Tommy Archer , Wolf Henzler , Russ Oasis