Michael Shank Racing fastest in Thursday practice (Daytona Beach, FL) 25 January 07-- Oswaldo Negri blistered the timesheets in practice for the 45th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Thursday, setting the pace with a 1:43.309-second lap on the 3.56-mile...
Michael Shank Racing fastest in Thursday practice
(Daytona Beach, FL) 25 January 07-- Oswaldo Negri blistered the timesheets in practice for the 45th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Thursday, setting the pace with a 1:43.309-second lap on the 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway in the Fresh From Florida Lexus/Riley. AJ Allmendinger wasn't far behind in the sister Michael Shank entry, ending up fourth in the standings with a 1:43.784-second best lap time.
The practice session was the final chance to make preparations for the afternoon qualifying session, which did not provide the hoped-for results after the team showed such speed in practice. Allmendinger will line up eleventh on the grid for Saturday's 1:30 PM race start as Negri will look to confirm a starting position on the grid during the final qualifying session on Friday after an accident cut short his qualifying effort.
"It's a nightmare, really," said Negri. "I came into turn one, and the ten car had gone off into the grass and the ninety-nine had a big slide going, so I thought they were going to get together, but when I went to the outside to avoid it, I spun on the standing water there and just went nose-first into the wall. I'm really disappointed for Mark and the whole team because we had the pace to do really well here in qualifying."
The pole-setting time was 1:43.475-seconds, nearly two-tenths of a second slower than the time Negri set in practice.
Allmendinger had looked for some minor modifications between the practice and qualifying, but the shortened qualifying and heavy traffic meant that he couldn't match the time he set earlier in practice.
"The car was fine and I think we actually improved between sessions even though the time doesn't show it," said Allmendinger. "We all know how long this race is and how little qualifying matters, so while you always want to put it on pole, this is one race where qualifying matters the least."
Final qualifying will take place at 11:40AM on Friday as Negri will look to secure a spot on the grid for the Fresh From Florida Lexus/Riley.