Daytona 24: Synergy Racing first qualifying report

Burt Frisselle Secures Rx.com Daytona Prototype Spot on Rolex 24 Grid in First Round Qualifying DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 3, 2005) -- Burt Frisselle secured a spot on the starting grid of the Rolex 24 At Daytona for the Rx.com No. 81 BMW...

Burt Frisselle Secures Rx.com Daytona Prototype Spot on Rolex 24 Grid in First Round Qualifying

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 3, 2005) -- Burt Frisselle secured a spot on the starting grid of the Rolex 24 At Daytona for the Rx.com No. 81 BMW Doran JE4 of Synergy Racing during the first round of qualifying at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday. Frisselle overcame an accident that put him into the tire wall, and brought out a black flag during qualifying, to earn the 20th starting position on the grid with a 1:50.334 lap averaging 116.156 mph around the 3.56-mile road course.

Shortly after the 15-minute group qualifying session started for the Daytona Prototypes, Frisselle went off track and hit a tire wall near turn six. Officials brought out a black flag to retrieve the No. 81 BMW, and Frisselle brought it back into the pits with a slightly damaged nose, which was quickly replaced by the Synergy Racing crew.

"I was just going too quickly from the gas to the brake pedal and my foot slipped right off the brake and hit the accelerator," Frisselle said. "And I just went off the track. Luckily, I just touched the tire wall lightly so I didn't do any serious damage. But, it was just an error on my part and luckily it didn't ruin our weekend.

The Rx.com Daytona Prototype was the only Synergy Racing entry to solidify its starting position during first round qualifying. Rolex Series officials only locked in the top-30 positions on the starting grid for Saturday's Rolex 24 At Daytona on Thursday. The remainder of the grid will be solidified following Friday's second round of qualifying, with the best time of the two sessions being used to set the position of the Synergy Racing No. 86 BMW Picchio and Team Seattle No. 80 and No. 81 Porsches.

Peyton Sellers will look to improve upon his time in the No. 86 BMW Picchio DP2 on Friday. Sellers clocked a 1:59.587 lap averaging 107.169 mph during Thursday's qualifying session.

"It was pretty neat (qualify at Daytona for the first time)," Sellers said. "I hate it for the team because we didn't get a good clean lap. There were so many cars out there it looked like you were in traffic every lap. You didn't get a good clean lap to get a time up. Hopefully tomorrow we'll get a good time up and at least complete a lap at where we were in practice today. We're looking forward to (qualifying tomorrow). We'll make a few small changes and we'll be good to go."

Don Kitch Jr. and Dave Gaylord, qualifying drivers in the pair of Team Seattle Porsches, were both very pleased with their lap times. While they did not secure their position on the grid during Thursday's qualifying, something only five GT entries were able to do, the pair felt good about their lap times.

"The laps were very good," said Gaylord, who turned a 1:59.852 lap, while Kitch ran a 2:05.241. "The car was excellent. The team did a very good job setting it up. I was actually driving kind of conservatively--the way we will in the race. I was using third gear in the infield instead of dropping down to second. And I was using fourth over in the bus stop and just working on carrying over my momentum. And, I turned a decent lap. I'm real happy with that."

The second round of qualifying will be held to finalize the starting grid for the Rolex 24 At Daytona at 11:40 a.m. on Friday.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the most prestigious sports car race in North America, drawing top-name drivers from around the world and every racing discipline, including the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, the IRL IndyCar Series and Formula One.

SPEED Channel will broadcast more than 14 hours of the historic 24-hour race live from Daytona, with coverage kicking off at noon on Saturday, Feb. 5 and continuing through the first seven hours of the race. After a one-hour break, the live broadcast will resume at 8 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m. SPEED will return to the action at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 6, running through the checkered flag and victory lane celebration.

Live timing and scoring from the race will be available throughout the entire 24 hours online at www.grandamerican.com. Additional information on the Rolex 24 At Daytona, including ticket pricing and special events surrounding the race, is online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

-sr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Burt Frisselle , Don Kitch Jr. , Peyton Sellers