Lime Rock: Banner Racing qualifying report

Collins and Magnussen qualify Banner Pontiac GXP.Rs in 3rd and 4th at Lime Rock Lakeville, Connecticut (May 24, 2008): Jan Magnussen and Kelly Collins qualified 3rd and 4th in their Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.Rs today for Monday's Rolex ...

Collins and Magnussen qualify Banner Pontiac GXP.Rs in 3rd and 4th at Lime Rock

Lakeville, Connecticut (May 24, 2008): Jan Magnussen and Kelly Collins qualified 3rd and 4th in their Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.Rs today for Monday's Rolex Grand-Am Series GT Challenge at Lime Rock Park.

Jan Magnussen, of Denmark, initially put the #06 Banner Pontiac GXP.R onto the pole with a time of 52.855 as he eclipsed the time of 53.246 set on the previous lap by Tim Lewis Jr. in the #72 Autohaus Pontiac. But Jan got dropped to 2nd when Lewis lowering that time to 52.393.

Magnussen lowered his best time to a 52.646 moments later but Lewis' time would hold up to win the pole position. On lap 6 Andrew Davis clicked off a 52.616 in the #57 Stevenson Motorsports Pontiac GXP.R taking the second position. Davis would later better that by a few hundredths on lap 13 but it wasn't enough to catch Lewis.

"In the beginning of qualifying I had some clear laps and I was able to get in one fast lap in my Banner Pontiac GXP.R," said Jan Magnussen of his qualifying run. "After that I tried cooling the tires and slow down and get another fast lap in but all I did was move myself back into the traffic. But all in all I am pretty happy with the result. It was the fastest we have run so far and one lap doesn't win the race. We need to be fast over the entire distance and I am confident that we can do that."

Kelly Collins, of Newport Beach California, qualified the #07 Banner Pontiac GXP.R into the fourth position. Collins had trouble getting in a clear lap but in a late surge he steadily dropped his times jumping from 8th to 6th and then 4th recording a 52.758 on lap 13.

"There was traffic but all in all it is good for Pontiac because we have four GXP.Rs up there at the front of the grid," said Kelly Collins. "We did the best we could with what we had but unfortunately we only got in one clear lap."

"You have to take your hats off to those guys," said Banner Racing's team owner Leighton Reese. "Tim (Lewis Jr.) laid down a great lap and Andrew (Davis) did too so they deserve to be on the front row.

"We are definitely happy for Pontiac to have the GXP.Rs qualified in the top four positions but this team and the drivers on it are extremely competitive and I can assure everyone that they were trying their best to win the pole today," said Reese. "They go as fast as they car every time out! That is all these guys do."

Only moments after the conclusion of qualifying Reese indicated that the Banner team was already

"Because we have what I believe is the best driver line up in North America with Kelly (Collins) and Paul (Edwards) and Jan (Magnussen) and Ron (Fellows) driving those two Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.Rs, I think we will be able to bubble up to the front as the race unfolds," said Reese.

Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards will be looking to increase their GT Series points lead and Jan Magnussen and Ron Fellows will try win two straight for the #06 Banner Pontiac at Lime Rock as Round 6 of the Rolex Grand-Am Series GT Challenge goes green here at Lime Rock on Monday May 28th at 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

-credit: br

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Paul Edwards , Jan Magnussen , Ron Fellows , Kelly Collins , Leighton Reese , Andrew Davis , Tim Lewis
Teams Stevenson Motorsports