Segal At Front of the Pack as Rolex GT Action Heats Up In Alabama; Leads opening day of practice, misses pole position by just .027sec. (Birmingham, AL) 18 July 2009--Jeff Segal was looking to make the most of the positive momentum from some...
Segal At Front of the Pack as Rolex GT Action Heats Up In Alabama; Leads opening day of practice, misses pole position by just .027sec.
(Birmingham, AL) 18 July 2009--Jeff Segal was looking to make the most of the positive momentum from some solid finishes in Rolex Sports Car Series competition this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, and the 2007 KONI Challenge Champion has done exactly that in the opening two days of the Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union.
After pacing the first practice session with a fast lap time of 1:27.816-seconds in the No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8 for SpeedSource Engineering, Segal and co-driver Emil Assentato continued to show top-five form as the car scored the fourth fastest time in the second practice session and then went third quickest in the final session before qualifying.
Segal, who has one Rolex GT Class pole to his credit so far, was set to add to that tally until the closing moments of the session in qualifying for Sunday's two hour and forty-five minute sprint race outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Segal's fast lap time of 1:28.579-seconds had him holding pole until the very last moments of the session, which saw the top four GT machines split by just .027 seconds in one of the most competitive GT qualifying sessions in recent memory.
The effort will see him start alongside the sister SpeedSource Engineering machine of Nick Ham as Segal starts the race before handing off to Assentato.
"After having such a hard time dealing with the Porsches the last few races, it's nice to come back to a track where our Mazda RX-8 can really shine," said Segal. "I know that we didn't get the pole today, but three Mazda's in the top four is a good start. "We've been working really hard all weekend to try and make the Pirelli tires last for a long run, and while we may have lost some of the one-lap speed we showed on Friday, I think we'll be pretty strong in the race tomorrow."
The track is one that Segal has a wide range of experience on, having contested not only the GT Rolex event in 2008, but also having made several starts in KONI competition. With Segal and Assentato combining for finishes of 5th, 6th, 5th, and 4th in the last four races, Segal is looking to keep that going in the race on Sunday.
"I'm obviously a little disappointed not to have qualified on pole with such a good car, but the times are so close amongst the top cars that I can't be too unhappy. We missed by just a little bit, but we're staying focused on the long race tomorrow," said Segal. "The last few races the entire No. 69 team has been working really hard to chip away at the leaders. We've made a lot of progress, and we're hoping that we can show that in the form of a podium result tomorrow. We're putting ourselves at the front on a regular basis every weekend, and that's exactly what we need to do to get back to victory lane."
Sunday's Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union is slated for a 3:00 PM EDT race start, with SPEED bringing live coverage of the event.