Papis Makes it Six Out of Seven for CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing in Mid-Ohio Qualifying LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 6, 2004) -- The No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley steamroller continued in today's qualifying session for Saturday's EMCO...
Papis Makes it Six Out of Seven for CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing in Mid-Ohio Qualifying
LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 6, 2004) -- The No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley steamroller continued in today's qualifying session for Saturday's EMCO Gears Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic (SPEED Channel, 8 p.m. ET), as Max Papis posted a new Daytona Prototype track record en route to the team's sixth pole position of the season.
With co-driver Scott Pruett qualifying for Sunday's Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis, the Italian toured the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road circuit in 1:19.496 (102.254 mph), and took his second personal pole position of the season. Papis' previous pole came in qualifying for the Food City 250 at Phoenix International Raceway in April, while Pruett took the top starting spot for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Grand Prix of Miami, the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant and the Paul Revere 250 presented by Brumos Porsche. Papis is hoping the pole will translate to the team's third win of the season and will help him and Pruett build on their championship points lead.
"We are very, very pleased with the balance in our race car," Papis said. "We worked very hard on race setup, but we didn't work that hard with getting the best out of the car. We are pleased with how well we did in qualifying. We are pleased with both cars. With the (team's) No. 02 (car), Jimmy (Morales) is making a lot of progress. As usual, I think it's going to be a very close battle."
For the fourth time in seven races this season, the front row will feature a pair of Riley chassis, as Wayne Taylor put the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley on the outside with a best lap at 1:19.733 (101.950 mph). Taylor is being joined this weekend by Frenchman Emanuel Collard with his regular co-driver, Max Angelelli, honoring another commitment, and the South African is looking to cut into the No. 01 duo's points lead. He currently stands just 11 markers out of the lead.
"I was a bit conservative with qualifying because I had just put the car in the gravel in the last practice session," said Taylor. "I knew we had a car for the front row, maybe even the pole. The tires are only optimum for about three laps. For me, the most important thing is the checkered flag. This is my best qualifying this year. The racing in Grand American is so competitive, you really have to have your act together, so we put more effort into having a good car for the race. Saturday's race will be at 5:30 p.m., so it will be a little cooler, which will be nice, but we're all in the same boat."
Row Two will features another Riley, as Mike Borkowski gave the No. 9 Mears Motorcoach/SpeedSource Pontiac Riley its best qualifying result of the year to date with a third place performance at 1:20.656 (100.784 mph). Local favorites Michael Shank Racing will start fourth following Oswaldo Negri Jr.'s run of 1:20.772 (100.639 mph) in the No. 6 Lexus Doran. Morales filled out the top five in the No. 02 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley at 1:20.785 (100.623 mph).
In all, the top 13 qualifiers broke the previous Daytona Prototype track record of 1:23.132 (97.782 mph) set by Terry Borcheller last year.
AUBERLEN PUTS NO. 21 ON GT POLE FOR FIFTH TIME IN '04
In a continuation of a theme in 2004, GT co-points leader Bill Auberlen placed the No. 21 Prototype Technology Group BMW M3 on the class pole position following a best lap at 1:26.196 (94.306 mph). It is the fifth time that the No. 21 BMW has started from the GT pole position, and was the third time that Auberlen was in the cockpit when it happened.
"This is an odd place," Auberlen said. "We missed practice completely yesterday. We unloaded the car out of the trailer today, and we haven't turned a screw on it all day. It's been able to get the pole, it's able to be quite consistent and good in practice. My teammate, Justin (Marks), is happy with it. I'm kind of happy with it. I've never been to Ohio with a car that I've sort of been okay with. Normally, you are struggling and fighting. My teammate's car, No. 22, Boris (Said)'s car, all they're doing is struggling, struggling, struggling. They're very similar cars, but they must be responding very different. They're struggling and we're not, so we got the lucky coin toss today. I just look to win races, that's it. I just put my head down and go after it. What happens happens, and I just hope for the absolute best."
Jay Policastro qualified the No. 44 Orbit Racing Porsche GT3 RS second on the GT grid courtesy of a 1:27.250 (93.167 mph) lap, and the other points leader, Said, starts third in GT after a lap at 1:27.579 (92.817 mph). The GT class will have a single points leader at the end of the EMCO Gears Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic, as the tie between Auberlen and Said is sure to be broken.
NO. 38 TAKES TOP SGS STARTING SPOT FOLLOWING DISQUALIFICATIONS
The Super Grand Sport (SGS) championship-leading No. 38 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup caught a break in post-qualifying inspection and moved from second to first on the class grid following the disqualification of the No. 41 ORISON-Planet Earth Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup. It appeared that Wayne Nonnamaker would take his second straight class pole in the No. 41 after a best lap of 1:31.498 (88.841 mph), but post-qualifying technical inspection revealed that the ride heights on the No. 41 and the No. 36 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup of Michael Levitas were too low.
As a result, Marc Bunting will start first in class in the No. 38 with a best lap of 1:31.521 (88.819 mph), and the No. 41 and No. 36 cars will start from the rear of the grid. Starting second in SGS will be the No, 42 ORISON-Planet Earth Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup of Joe and Will Nonnamaker following Joe's best lap at 1:32.919 (87.483 mph), and the No. 47 Michael Baughman Racing Chevrolet Corvette of Bob Ward and Michael Baughman starts third. Ward's best lap was 1:33.709 (86.745 mph).