Daytona 24: CGR No. 02 first qualifying report

New Century to Start from Second Row at Rolex 24 at DAYTONA Johansson Powers New Century Mortgage To Fourth Place Start For Daytona Prototype Debut DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 3, 2005) -- Stefan Johansson parlayed countless hours of seat...

New Century to Start from Second Row at Rolex 24 at DAYTONA
Johansson Powers New Century Mortgage To Fourth Place Start For Daytona Prototype Debut

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 3, 2005) -- Stefan Johansson parlayed countless hours of seat time and decades of racing diversity into a fourth-place starting spot for this weekend's 43rd Rolex 24 At Daytona after ripping off a top time of 1:47.260 (119.485 mph) for New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The Swede's lap was good enough to grid the no.02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley on the second row, putting the 500hp Daytona Prototype in a gaggle of Ganassi Racing machines that occupy spots in each of the first three rows.

With a win this weekend, Johansson could become just the eighth driver in history to win Daytona, Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring, but will have to do it on the strength of a second-row starting position, and with the help of teammates Cort Wagner and Jamie McMurray.

"We're reasonably happy with the fourth place starting position for the no.02 New Century Lexus Riley, but feel we could have been a bit faster had we not misjudged how the tires were coming in," said Johansson, who will make his first Rolex Sports Car Series DP start this weekend. "This team has very high expectations and of course we were aiming for the pole and hoping to get all three Chip Ganassi Racing Daytona Prototypes in the top three, but having all three cars among the top five shows just how determined this team is to fight for the win at Daytona. It will definitely be an interesting race."

After running near the top of the charts throughout the 15-minute qualifier, Johansson flirted with the top spot on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, the session was cut in half as the starter unfurled the red flag at the nine minute mark for a car in the tire wall.

Fans of New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates can catch the no.02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley in action at the Rolex 24 at Daytona beginning Saturday, February 5th at 12:00 pm ET (LIVE, SPEED Channel). Follow the team's progress throughout the race weekend by logging on to the Rolex Sports Car Series website at www.grandamerican.com for free live timing, and keep up with the team's successes throughout the 2005 season by logging onto the official website at www.chipganassiracing.com for news, features, photos and much more.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Stefan Johansson , Jamie McMurray , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates , Cort Wagner
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing