Laguna Seca: GM Racing Friday report

Pontiac GTO.Rs Post Fastest GT Laps In Friday Practice Andy Lally of ...

Pontiac GTO.Rs Post Fastest GT Laps In Friday Practice

Andy Lally of #65 TRG Pontiac GTO.R Quickest in Friday Rolex Series GT Class Practice; Max Angelelli Gives Pontiac Best Lap in Daytona Prototype Class

SALINAS, Calif. - Pontiac had the fastest GT class lap of the day in the first of the practice sessions for the sixth round of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Andy Lally, who shares the #65 TRG GTO.R with Marc Bunting, posted a time of 1:33.049 in the morning practice session which was not to be beaten. However, the #98 Pacific Coast Motorsports Pontiac GTO.R - a car which turned its first official Rolex Series practice laps today - almost came close to beating Lally's time in the afternoon session. Co-driver David Empringham ran a fast lap of 133.188 and posted the fastest GT lap of the second session.

"To be honest, we just set up our car like TRG has theirs," said Empringham. "So we can't really boast. We went testing and we somehow led ourselves in the wrong direction from feedback from the car. We came here totally different from them (TRG) not trying to be different but just trusting what we felt in testing. We struggled so badly the last two days and finally put their setup on our car. Now it feels awesome. My teammate Ross (Thompson) is doing well too - the only reason I got a better lap is because I had sticker tires on."

"We're just like everyone else here at Laguna Seca - we're searching for front grip," said Lally. "But Lars (Giersing), our crew chief, has been trying to figure something out and he came up with something really good this morning. We did a light fuel load and sticker tires and put a hard one out to see what we could do. It worked out, but that's about all we've got."

Defending Daytona Prototype co-champion Max Angelelli, in the #10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley, posted the fastest DP lap for Pontiac and fourth fastest overall. A time of 1:24.860 was quick but not quick enough to best the #23 Porsche Crawford of Lucas Luhr and Mike Rockenfeller; the #23 car was fastest in both sessions and quickest overall with a time of 1:24.544.

The #99 GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing Pontiac Riley of Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty (now competing in the Rolex Series exactly one year) was Pontiac's second-fastest car today; the pair were sixth-quickest in both sessions and posted consistent lap times that were within tenths of a second of each other. Fogarty, filling in for team owner Bob Stallings, will be in the car for the remainder of the season.

"We were looking for a driver to fill in for me and we interviewed about ten or so people," said Stallings, who is now focusing on team management duties. "Alex (Gurney) recommended Jon as they were once teammates and Alex knew what a great driver he was. We didn't think we would be able to get him because Jon was committed to ALMS (American Le Mans Series) but it turned out his schedule was still flexible enough. We'll have him for the rest of the year and hopefully beyond."

Qualifying races for the Road & Track 250 take place tomorrow; these points-paying races will determine the qualifying grid for Sunday's race and award teams and drivers points (the same amount as regular races) for their finishing positions.

The Road & Track 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will take place on Sunday, May 7 at 12:00 p.m. PDT (3:00 p.m. EDT). The race will air live on SPEED TV with a repeat on Monday, May 8 at 12:00 p.m. EDT.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Lucas Luhr , Andy Lally , David Empringham , Max Angelelli , Marc Bunting , Mike Rockenfeller , Bob Stallings