Taylor Breaks Daytona Prototype Track Record En Route to Brumos Porsche 250 Pole DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 30, 2005) -- For the second time in as many races, the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley will start from the pole position for tonight's...
Taylor Breaks Daytona Prototype Track Record En Route to Brumos Porsche 250 Pole
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 30, 2005) -- For the second time in as many races, the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley will start from the pole position for tonight's Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway (SPEED Channel, 8 p.m. ET).
However, it is the first Daytona Prototype pole position for driver Wayne Taylor, who claimed the spot in grand fashion at his "home track." The Altamonte Springs, Fla. resident broke Scott Pruett's year-and-a-half old Daytona Prototype track record by turning a best lap at 1:45.783 (121.154 mph) and will head a field of 25 Daytona Prototypes and 28 GT machines when the green flag drops shortly after 7:15 p.m. ET. It was Taylor's first pole position of any kind since a May, 1996 IMSA World Sports Car event at Texas World Speedway.
Taylor's co-driver, Max Angelelli, took his second-career pole position in qualifying for the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen nearly two weeks ago. Taylor and Angelelli are looking for their third-consecutive Rolex Series victory at Daytona, as they are the defending champions of the Brumos Porsche 250 and also won the 2005 season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in February. If they are successful, they will become the first set of co-drivers to win three straight at the "World Center of Racing" since Terry Borcheller and Forest Barber took three-in-a-row with victories in the Paul Revere 250 and Grand American Champions Weekend in 2003 and the 2004 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
"I'm just ecstatic," Taylor said. "This championship is so hard and my teammate is so much faster than everybody and it's so hard for me to keep up to his pace. This will do a lot for my confidence. You know we changed the strategy only yesterday because we were going to have Max start and qualify. But we changed and I was pretty stressed by it. What a great team! For SunTrust, what a great retirement gift for George Koehn (who is retiring from his position as President and CEO of SunTrust Bank, Florida). We're delighted with Pontiac and our Hoosier tires too."
Starting a season-best second will be Cort Wagner, who logged a best time of 1:45.990 (120.917 mph) aboard the No. 02 New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley. Wagner and co-driver Stefan Johansson enter the Brumos Porsche 250 still looking for their first Daytona Prototype victory.
Jorg Bergmeister starts third on the grid in the No. 66 Krohn Racing/TRG Pontiac Riley on the strength of a lap at 1:46.357 (120.500 mph). The German will share his car with 2004 Daytona Prototype co-champion Max Papis, as both drivers look for their first Rolex Series victories of the season.
Luis Diaz will start fourth in the No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley with a lap at 1:46.369 (120.486 mph). Diaz and co-driver Scott Pruett are looking for their fifth-straight Rolex Series podium finish in tonight's race, and they are currently tied for the Daytona Prototype championship lead with Taylor and Angelelli (180-180).
Elliott Forbes-Robinson will roll off the grid from the fifth position in the No. 4 The Boss Snowplow Pontiac Crawford for Howard-Boss Motorsports following a best qualifying lap of 1:46.380 (120.474 mph). EFR and co-driver Butch Leitzinger are both multi-time Rolex 24 At Daytona overall winners, and the duo is looking to improve one position from their second-place finish in the 2005 Rolex 24, when they shared the No. 4 with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup star Jimmie Johnson.
Memo Gidley placed the No. 19 Make A Wish/Air Force Reserve/Commercial Defeasance BMW Riley sixth on the grid for Finlay Motorsports with a lap at 1:46.856 (119.937 mph). NASCAR star Tony Stewart is the highest-qualified NEXTEL Cup driver in tonight's field, as he placed the No. 20 CITGO Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford seventh with a lap of 1:46.924 (119.861 mph).
Italian Rolex Series newcomer Fabrizio Gollin will start eighth in Doran Racing's No. 77 Crown Royal Special Reserve Lexus Doran at 1:47.359 (119.375 mph), followed by Brian Frisselle in the No. 8 Rx.com/Synergy Racing BMW Doran at 1:47.658 (119.044 mph). Five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona overall winner Hurley Haywood completes the top-10 on the grid with a lap at 1:47.887 (118.791 mph) in the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar.
Elsewhere, two-time NEXTEL Cup champion Terry Labonte posted the 11th-quickest time in the No. 44 Loctite/Henkel/DAYTONA USA Pontiac Doran that he will share with his brother, 2000 NEXTEL Cup champion Bobby Labonte. The fourth NEXTEL Cup Series driver in the field, Kyle Petty, is scheduled to be the second driver to drive the No. 7 Tuttle Team Racing Pontiac Riley. The car was qualified by Tony Ave, who will start 16th with a best lap at 1:49.334 (117.219 mph).
Speeds during today's practice and qualifying sessions were up from the Rolex 24 At Daytona, due in large part to the recent repaving of the infield road course at Daytona International Speedway.
DAVIS TAKES FIRST CAREER ROLEX SERIES GT POLE
In GT qualifying for the Brumos Porsche 250, Andrew Davis collected his first career Rolex Series GT class pole position with a best lap of 1:55.920 (110.559 mph) in the No. 73 Tafel Racing Porsche GT3 Cup. Davis and co-driver/car owner Jim Tafel are in search of their first GT class victory. The duo finished a season-best fourth in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, a result they matched two weeks ago at Watkins Glen.
"This is my first Rolex Series GT pole. I think the last pole I actually got was in Grand-Am Cup a couple of years ago. This means a lot me, it really does. I've been after it for the whole year. It's a great car. Tafel Racing, Jim Tafel--my co-driver and team owner--and (team manager) Tony Dowe and the rest of the crew, it's just amazing how well we're doing and how quickly we're making progress. The new pavement helps a lot. I had a good run a couple years ago at the (Rolex) 24 and set the fastest time, but it was on the second day. It's nice to get the real pole."
Ryan Dalziel qualified second in the No. 61 SAMAX Porsche GT3 Cup with a lap at 1:55.972 (110.509 mph) and will share the machine with his brother, John, in the Brumos Porsche 250. For John Dalziel, it will be his first road course event since 2001, as he has competed in ASA stock cars over the past few seasons.
Michael Levitas will start third in the No. 36 Ajilon Consulting/TPC Superchargers Porsche GT3 Cup that he shares with co-driver Randy Pobst. Levitas turned a best lap at 1:56.368 (110.133 mph). Scooter Gabel qualified fourth in the No. 30 Alegra Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup at 1:56.894 (109.638 mph), while Robert Nearn filled out the top five in the No. 88 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup with a best lap of 1:56.992 (109.546 mph).
Tom Milner placed the defending Brumos Porsche 250 GT champion No. 21 BMW Financial Services BMW M3 sixth on the GT grid at 1:57.011 (109.528 mph). Milner will share the car with two-time Rolex Series GT champion Bill Auberlen, who took the class win in the Brumos Porsche 250 last year with then-co-driver Justin Marks.
Jan Magnussen qualified seventh in the GT class in the brand-new No. 64 TRG Pontiac GTO.R with a lap at 1:57.407 (109.159 mph). Cory Friedman will start eighth in the No. 14 Keen Cap/Toptul Porsche GT3 Cup for Autometrics Motorsports with a lap at 1:57.458 (109.111 mph), while Kris Szekeres will start ninth with a lap at 1:57.692 (108.894 mph) in the No. 23 Horizon Motorsports Pontiac GTO. Chris Gleason rounded out the GT top 10 with a lap at 1:57.741 (108.849 mph).