Gollin Qualifies Second at Fontana In Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Lexus ...
Gollin Qualifies Second at Fontana In Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Lexus #77
FONTANA, Calif., April 2 - Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Lexus No. 77 will start second for the second Rolex series race in a row.
Matching teammate Matteo Bobbi's performance at Homestead, Fla. March 4, on Saturday Fabrizio Gollin qualified second for Sunday's Ferrari Maserati 400 at California Speedway.
The race will be televised on SPEED live at 1 p.m. Pacific time, 4 p.m. Eastern.
Both young drivers took their first laps on California Speedway's 2.8-mile "roval" road course yesterday.
Gollin's fastest lap was clocked in 1:33.386 (108.710 mph), just three-hundreths of a second off the lap that Luis Diaz ran to win the pole in 1:33.356 (108.745 mph) in the CompUSA No. 01.
The qualifying session was just 15 minutes, and Gollin was fast immediately. The Crown Royal Special Reserve No. 77 was on top of the scoring pylon at the end of the first five minutes of the session, but a minute later the black flag came out so the track crew could clean up fluids spilled in turn eight when No. 67 (Tracy Krohn), No. 2 (Milka Duno) and No. 25 (Dominic Cicero II) spun.
If the session would have been called complete at that point Gollin would have had the pole, but two minutes later the green waved again. Four minutes into the "second half" of qualifying Gollin slipped to fourth behind Jorg Bergmeister, Diaz and Mike Borkowski. When team owner Kevin Doran told Gollin over the radio that he was now fourth, he responded by moving to the front of the field again with his best lap, the fourth one he ran.
The checkered came out to end the session but as it was waving Diaz stole the pole at the last second, pushing Gollin to second and making it an all-Lexus front row. Bergmeister ended up third and Borkowski will start right behind Gollin in fourth.
All three DORAN JE4s were in the top 10. The Rx.com/Synergy Racing DORAN JE4 BMW No. 8 qualified sixth and the Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 qualified ninth.
Gollin, the 2004 FIA World GT champion, turned 30 on Monday.
Fabrizio Gollin: "Please excuse my English; I am still learning.
"With Doran Racing and the Crown Royal Special Reserve team, every session we get better. Everything is new for Matteo [Bobbi] and me; we have never been to any of the tracks before and we are learning the car. We learn a lot of things every race.
"Matteo qualified second at Homestead; now I qualified second here. It is only our third race with the team, so we are pleased. We made some mistakes at Homestead; we will try very hard not to make mistakes tomorrow.
"We want to work well with Kevin [Doran]. He is a great man and has a lot of experience. But racing in America is all new to us.
"On the first lap we were first. Then Kevin said over the radio that we were fourth, so I had to try harder. Then we were first again, and at the very end we were second.
"The Doran car is a very good car and it is very fast. We are very close to the Riley.
"We must thank TRD [Toyota Racing Development] and Lexus too. They always are improving something. And of course we must thank Crown Royal Special Reserve.
"I knew we must be fast but since we must also start the race with our qualifying tires, I didn't want to use them up. It is part of our race strategy. I had a clean lap. I know I could push more, but I didn't want to take the risk.
"The whole time we have been here we've been working on our race set-up, not our qualifying set-up. We work up [to speed] very methodically. We have a great car for the race.
"Most of the time I am very normal, but during qualifying and the race I must concentrate very hard and I am like a monster. Then I get out of the car and I am normal again. That is just the way I am!"
Kevin Doran: "We thought we had first twice today, but second is good. It's only one second between first and tenth. It's a pretty tight series right now."
For more information, please see www.doranracing.com and www.crownroyal.com. Bobbi's Web site is at www.matteobobbi.com and Gollin's is at www.fabriziogollin.com.
Other interesting information can be found at www.grandamerican.com, www.californiaspeedway.com, www.speedtv.com and www.restartcommunications.com.