SCC: Birmingham: Qualifying notes

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 17, 2003) -- Robert Julien and Tim Gaffney clocked the quickest lap times to take the pole positions for the Grand-Am Cup Series Barber Park Twin 200s. Julien will start the Doncaster Racing ...

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 17, 2003) -- Robert Julien and Tim Gaffney clocked the quickest lap times to take the pole positions for the Grand-Am Cup Series Barber Park Twin 200s. Julien will start the Doncaster Racing #119 Porsche at the front of the grid in this afternoon's Grand Sport race, while Gaffney will lead the field to the green on Sunday morning in the Sport Touring race at the wheel of the #2 Team Lexus IS300.

"Unfortunately there was a lot of traffic out there. I don't think any of the cars got a clear lap, but it was good - good enough to get us in the front," said Julien who turned a 1:35.437 lap at 86.759 mph. "This facility is over the top. The gentleman that built it did a more than exceptional job."

While several drivers are worried about rain for this afternoon's race, Julien is not one of them. "We are hoping for rain. We are Canadians; we love the rain," he said.

Fellow-Canadian Devon Powell will start the Powell Motorsports #11 Corvette beside Julien on the front row. Powell clocked a 1:35.755 at 86.471 mph. The Grand Sport II class will be led by David Brown in the Frederick Motorsports #30 Mustang Cobra R this afternoon. Brown put together a 1:40.658 lap at 82.259 mph, which put him at the front of the class after the withdrawal of the SpeedSource #62 Porsche 911.

Gaffney earned his first professional pole for Saturday morning's Sport Touring race with his 1:42.818 lap at 80.531 mph.

"It was a really good lap. The Lexus felt great out there. We put a new set of sticker tires on there and it was just so much better than it was in practice," said Gaffney. "The big thing was I was able to take the kink out there almost flat out. I had just a little lift. And that is where I picked up, I have to believe, a half a second."

Matt Connolly will start the Villaconn International #36 BMW Z3 in the outside pole position for the Sport Touring race after posting a 1:43.951 lap at 80.531 mph.

Howie Liebengood will lead the Sport Touring II class in the HRPworld.com #43 Acura Integra LS. "For the qualifying lap, the HRPworld.com team did a great job. It's nice to get a pole. I haven't had a pole since Watkins Glen last year," said Liebengood, who recorded a 1:49.67 lap at 75.495 mph. "We will see what the weather is like tomorrow and hopefully we can bring the King Motorsports Pennzoil Acura back on the top step of the podium."

Tickets are currently on sale for the Barber 250 at The Park and Barber Park Twin 200s and can be purchased at the gate or by calling 800-240-2300 or 205-327-RACE. Tickets are also available online at www.southtix.com.

Additional information on Barber Motorsports Park can be found online at www.barbermotorsports.com. For more information on the Grand-Am Cup Series, visit www.grandamerican.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Devon Powell , Robert Julien , Tim Gaffney , David Brown , Howie Liebengood , Matt Connolly
Teams SpeedSource