Phoenix: Synergy Racing GT qualifying report

Murry Qualifies Points-Leading Synergy Porsche Sixth in Phoenix PHOENIX, Ariz. (September 8, 2005) -- David Murry (Atlanta, Ga.) turned the sixth-fastest time during Rolex Sports Car Series GT qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway on ...

Murry Qualifies Points-Leading Synergy Porsche Sixth in Phoenix

PHOENIX, Ariz. (September 8, 2005) -- David Murry (Atlanta, Ga.) turned the sixth-fastest time during Rolex Sports Car Series GT qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway on Thursday night. Murry piloted the points-leading Synergy Racing No. 80 Porsche GT3 Cup around PIR's tight 1.51-mile road circuit in 63.055 seconds to claim a spot on the third row for Friday night's Phoenix 250, which features the Rolex Series GT cars separate from the Daytona Prototypes for the only time this season.

Murry, currently second in the GT driver standings, will start the No. 80 Porsche and then handoff midway through the 166-lap race to co-driver Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.), who currently sits atop the GT driver standings with an 18-point lead over his teammate and a 21-point advantage on his closest rival for the championship, BMW driver Joey Hand.

"The car is running well and, as always, the Synergy team has done a great job preparing it," Stanton said. "We're optimistic, but I'll also admit the GTOs and BMWs are really fast and they shine on this course with their torque because of the tight turns and stop-and-go. Porsches have always been known for their performance on the longer endurance tracks. Our goal is the run the best race we can.

"The split format is great. I like it, and I think it's what to come as the series gains momentum over the years," continued Stanton. "While its nice, I will miss the Daytona Prototypes because working with them and using them to our advantage was one of David and my strengths. Our strategy is a little different for this race. Our fuel window is very small--only a few laps--if we want to make this a one-stop race, and we have several different strategies ready contingent on how things happen during the race."

Mae Van Wijk (Houston, Texas) qualified Synergy Racing's other Porsche entry--the No. 81 Porsche sponsored by autobysite.com and pipeservicestt.com. Van Wijk, the youngest female driver in the Rolex Series at age 22, turned a 69.143-second lap during qualifying to take the 17th position on the starting grid.

"The track really makes you feel the sides of car," remarked Van Wijk of Phoenix's tight, twisty circuit. "You feel all the weight you are carrying. There's a lot of maneuvering on this track; it keeps you working the whole time. You don't have long straightaways for a break."

In her quest to gain points in the Bob Akin Award standings, Van Wijk has pulled some marathon stints at the wheel of the No. 81 Porsche during past events. The Dutch-born racer will again look to put in extra laps during Friday night's race, but admits the 92-degree temperatures anticipated at the start of the race might force her to turn the reins over to her co-driver Murry a little earlier than at past races.

"I think our strategy will be pretty much the same. The race might be a little warm, so I might not stay in as long as I have been at the past few races. But, I still want to stay in as long as I can," Van Wijk remarked.

-sr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers David Murry , Craig Stanton , Mae Van Wijk , Bob Akin