Daytona II: Heritage Motorsports qualifying report

Heritage captures Daytona pole - OVERALL ! Tommy Riggins out-qualified all challengers, including the prototypes, this evening at Daytona International Speedway, picking up the pole cash award. Riggins lapped the Heritage Motorsports GTS Mustang...

Heritage captures Daytona pole - OVERALL !

Tommy Riggins out-qualified all challengers, including the prototypes, this evening at Daytona International Speedway, picking up the pole cash award. Riggins lapped the Heritage Motorsports GTS Mustang on the twisty 3.56 mile Daytona road course at 1 minute and 49.569 seconds, faster than the second place car by .627 of a second. Second starting position went to the no. 58 Brumos Porsche prototype driven by David Donohue. Not everyone was surprised. Qualifying began at 7PM and ended at 7:35PM ET this evening.

Going back to the first race of the season, the 24 Hours of Daytona, let us recall that the Heritage Mustang, again qualified by Riggins, was second fastest in the entire field. Some said that Riggins then out-qualified all the Daytona Prototypes because it was the very first race for this new prototype formula. Then at Miami, the Heritage car qualified third overall, against four of the new prototypes. By the first turn, the Mustang GTS had passed for second and by lap four took a convincing lead. Now, all the teams have seven races under their belts and the Mustang is still looking comparatively fast.

"It's a pride thing," said Riggins at a press conference after qualifying. "I don't think our race pace can keep up with those guys (Daytona Prototypes). It will pan out in the race. Our Mustang just runs good here. It was just a good lap. I went faster than I thought I would go. I didn't think I would get out of the 50's (1 minute and 50-something seconds per lap)."

There were two practice sessions earlier in the day, back-to-back, starting at 2PM and ending at 5PM. And it was HOT! Both Dave Machavern, driver and team owner, as well as Riggins commented that the track was very slick, oil coming up and out of the sizzling pavement. Track temps went well above 110 degrees today. Driver environments in the cars were even higher.

During qualifying Riggins experienced a blip in the engine, right after his fastest lap. The team diagnosed it as a fuel delivery problem and had to remove the access panel on top of the fuel cell. It's not positioned for easy reach and what's more, a Grand American official had to be present as the fuel cells are sealed. The last practice occurred after this work was accomplished, allowing the team to verify that they had chased down the elusive problem. Night practice on the sake of the un-lighted infield section was from 8 to 9PM.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers David Donohue , Tommy Riggins