Mont-Tremblant: Heritage Motorsports qualifying report

Heritage Motorsports catches 8th GTS pole of season! Tommy Riggins handily put the Heritage Motorsports Mustang on the GTS pole for the 8th time in 10 races in the 2003 Grand American ROLEX Road Racing series. He obliterated the track record...

Heritage Motorsports catches 8th GTS pole of season!

Tommy Riggins handily put the Heritage Motorsports Mustang on the GTS pole for the 8th time in 10 races in the 2003 Grand American ROLEX Road Racing series. He obliterated the track record for GTS cars by 4.816 seconds with a single lap of 1 minute, 34.307 seconds at an average speed of 101.159 mph. This weekend's 6-hour endurance race will start at 11:00AM eastern tomorrow (Sunday 21 September) and is to be broadcast live on SPEED Channel.

Riggins starting position on the grid (containing 26 cars) will be 5th, behind 4 of the technically advantaged Daytona Prototypes which represent 4 different manufacturers: (in order) Porsche/Fabcar (no.58), Toyota/Doran, BMW/Picchio & Chevrolet/Doran

The Heritage Motorsports Mustang thus starts the race as the highest placed Ford, having out-qualified the Ford/Multimatic Daytona Prototype (DP class), as well as the other Porsche/Fabcar prototype (no.59).

Riggins (Jacksonville, Florida) must be the starting driver tomorrow, because he qualified the Mustang. Vermonter and team owner, Dave Machavern, along with João Barbosa (Portugal) will also share in the endurance driving duties. Barbosa's best practice lap was actually about a second faster than Riggin's qualifier, but because of the points race and the way the rules are structured, Riggins was tapped to turn the qualifying wheel.

"We've been doing a lot of different things with the car, changing the setup. João (Barbosa) has been a big help, because he brings a fresh feel for the car," said Riggins. "Right now I think we have a good setup. I think we can maintain a strong pace for six hours. Our challenge is going to be to keep it running."

Because the GTS cars have had the amount of fuel they carry reduced (after the Paul Revere at Daytona in early July), in comparison with the larger tanks in the Daytona Prototypes, the GTS teams will have to make a higher number of stops than the DP's during the 6-hour enduro. Although the Mustang has once again qualified up among the DP's, there is little hope, therefore, of an overall win on the part of Heritage Motorsports.

The track, Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, due north of Montreal in the province of Quebec, is in the heart of French-speaking Canada, and within sight of ski slopes which over-look the resort of Tremblant Village. Opened in 1964, it has recently come through a thorough renovation (2000). The first-ever Can-Am race happened here, and two Formula 1 Grand Prix, in 1968 and 1970. It challenges drivers with 2.65 miles and15 turns of heavily cambered road course full of interesting elevation changes. Canadians are tremendous fans of world-class road racing and have turned out well for qualifying today.

Weather for the race tomorrow should favor the Mustang GTS, as it expected to be in the 70's and sunny.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Joao Barbosa , Tommy Riggins