By: Grand-Am Rolex Series
Ricky Taylor Captures Third Consecutive Pole Of Season, To Lead Field For Rolex Sports Car Series 250 Driven By VisitFlorida.com
Wayne Nonnamaker Captures First GT Pole In Return To Road America
Ricky Taylor captured his third consecutive Daytona Prototype pole position Friday in GRAND-AM’s return to historic Road America, and will lead the field for Saturday’s Rolex Sports Car Series 250 Driven by VisitFlorida.com.
When I saw the lap time on my dash, I was really shocked.
Taylor and Max Angelelli will be seeking their third consecutive victory in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Chevrolet/Dallara when the two-hour race starts at 11 a.m. CT Saturday.
“Of our three poles this season, this is the most satisfying,” said Taylor, who ran a lap of 2:01.050 (120.387 mph) on the 4.048-mile circuit. “We lost an engine in Wednesday’s testing so we started the weekend a day behind. Then we missed most of Thursday’s practice when it rained most of the day. So today we took a swing at it, and our car felt really good again. When I saw the lap time on my dash, I was really shocked.”
Jon Fogarty, who shares the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet/Riley with Alex Gurney, will start second after running a lap of 2:01.204 (120.234 mph).
“This is the best our car has felt in 2011, and Road America is one of my favorite tracks,” Fogarty said. “I’m very pleased. We just missed the pole by a little bit, but Ricky did a great job. I’m pleased that we have two Chevrolet teams occupying the front row.”
In GT qualifying, Wayne Nonnamaker gave Team Sahlen its first Rolex Series pole, with a lap of 2:14.678 (77.097 mph) in the No. 42 TheRaceSite.com Mazda RX-8 he shares with new co-driver John Edwards. It was his second career pole in the series, as Nonnamaker took the SGS pole at the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway in 2004.
“I knew we had a good car before qualifying, but I’m really surprised where we ended up,” said the 33-year-old driver from North Canton, Ohio. “This is such a fun track and a beautiful facility. It’s been 10 years since we last raced here, and it took awhile to get re-accustomed to the track. I’m very happy that GRAND-AM was able to come back here.”
Jan Magnussen will start second in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro co-driven by Robin Liddell, running a lap of 2:15.273 (107.729 mph) in a bid to win his third pole of the season.
“This is a real driver’s circuit,” said Magnussen, an eight-time winner in Rolex Series competition, who has competed here since 1996. “You get a good feeling here of going fast, and you know that if you mess up, it’s a big penalty. That, to me, makes a good race track.”