Daytona 24: Synergy Racing Thursday report

Patrick Huisman earns Rolex 24 At Daytona GT pole, sets track record in EMC Mechanical/Gamewell Mechanical Porsche DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 25, 2007) -- Dutchman Patrick Huisman put the No. 81 EMC Mechanical/Gamewell Mechanical Porsche GT3...

Patrick Huisman earns Rolex 24 At Daytona GT pole, sets track record in EMC Mechanical/Gamewell Mechanical Porsche

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 25, 2007) -- Dutchman Patrick Huisman put the No. 81 EMC Mechanical/Gamewell Mechanical Porsche GT3 Cup of Synergy Racing on the GT pole for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. He shattered Daytona International Speedway's previous GT qualifying record by more than 1.5 seconds with his 1:51.800 lap at 114.633 mph.

Huisman opted to enter the 15-minute group qualifying session late in an effort to avoid traffic, and then took two laps to warm up his Hoosier tires before taking his first fast lap.

"It took me two laps to get decent grip in the front tires. From there the first lap was more or less a safe lap. It was fast, but it was safe. They told me I was P4 and a tenth off, so I really started to push a second quick lap. And although it wasn't really a clean lap, we gained like five tenths," Huisman said.

He brought the EMC Mechanical/Gamewell Mechanical Porsche into the pits following the record-breaking lap and waited for the checkered and to see if his time would hold. Wolf Henzler was the only driver to get close to Huisman's time, picking up the outside pole position with a 1:52.199 lap, nearly fourth tenths off the No. 81 Porsche.

While Huisman set a new track record, he believes the EMC Mechanical/Gamewell Mechanical Porsche has more in it to give. "I'm sure we can drive this car in qualifying a good two or three tenths quicker," Huisman said. "It wasn't the optimum lap, but obviously it wasn't for the other teams either. Of course, the gap is still pretty big to second position."

The four-time Porsche Supercup champion is part of an all-star line-up in the No. 71 Porsche that includes 2006 Porsche Supercup champion Richard Westbrook (England), Porsche Factory driver Richard Lietz (Austria) and former NFL tight end Steve Johnson (Bristol, Va.).

Huisman is considered one of the best endurance racers in the world with victories at Le Mans, Spa, Nurburgring, and Sebring. The only major endurance race still missing from his resume is the Rolex 24 At Daytona--something he hopes to remedy this weekend.

-credit: synergy racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Patrick Huisman , Wolf Henzler , Steve Johnson , Richard Lietz