SCC: Daytona: Thursday qualifying notes

Marks Takes Pole For Grand-Am Cup 200 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 3, 2005) -- In qualifying for Friday's Grand-Am Cup Series 2005 season-opening Grand-Am Cup 200, Justin Marks in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 clocked a time of 2:04.019...

Marks Takes Pole For Grand-Am Cup 200

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 3, 2005) -- In qualifying for Friday's Grand-Am Cup Series 2005 season-opening Grand-Am Cup 200, Justin Marks in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 clocked a time of 2:04.019 (103.339 mph) to take the pole position overall and in the Grand Sport (GS) class. Marks will share the front row with Jep Thornton in the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3 who starts second with a time of 2:04.791 (102.700 mph).

"I got lucky with the air today," Marks said. "It's all about the draft here at Daytona. With these long straightaways, you can be struggling for grip and still have a car that can contend for the pole if you get the draft at the right time. We were not a pole-contending car at the beginning of the session. Then, a bunch of guys seemed like they were drafting, and I was able to time a gap right, and the draft just worked huge for us. My co-driver (Bill Auberlen) has a lot of experience driving these cars, and I think that's going to help us, strategy-wise. We have a lot of tools at our disposal to be able to make a strong run for the championship. It's an awesome operation. The team did an awesome job. They have a lot of experience building these M3s."

Qualifying third was Ian James in the debut race for the 2005 Ford Mustang, running a best lap of 2:05.026 (102.507 mph) in the No. 5 Blackforest Motorsports Mustang. Starting fourth will be Jordan Sandridge in the No. 9 Team Salad Racing BMW M3 with a best lap of 2:05.386 (102.212 mph), followed by Jean-Francois Dumoulin in the No. 91 Fiorano Racing Porsche 996 at 2:05.395 (102.205 mph).

In the Sport Touring class, defending class co-champion David Haskell in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 will start first in class thanks to a best lap of 2:12.798 (96.507 mph). Starting second on the ST grid will be Tim Pappas in the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i following a lap of 2:12.994 (96.365 mph).

"It's a good start. We started fourth last year in this race, but finished around 24th. Everybody worked hard over the off season. We need to get a good start, and not begin the year in a big hole like last year. Anything in the top five tomorrow will be nice for us."

Starting third in ST will be Eric Curran in the No. 27 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX-S at 2:13.020 (96.346 mph), while Don Salama took fourth on the class grid in the No. 22 CSL Racing BMW 330i at 2:13.183 (96.228 mph). Daniel Colembie fills out the top five in ST at 2:13.526 (95.981 mph) in the No. 12 TC Kline Racing BMW Z4.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Jordan Sandridge , Ian James , David Haskell , Justin Marks , Tim Pappas , Eric Curran , Jean-Francois Dumoulin , Don Salama , Jep Thornton , Bill Fenton , Daniel Colembie
Teams Turner Motorsport , Automatic Racing , SpeedSource