James Tops Test Day in Preparation for Miami 400k at Homestead-Miami Speedway HOMESTEAD Fla. (April 13, 2007) -- Ian James turned a best lap at 1:28.981 (93.054 mph) in the No. 5 USG Sheetrock/Ramset Tools Ford Mustang GT to lead Grand-Am KONI...
James Tops Test Day in Preparation for Miami 400k at Homestead-Miami Speedway
HOMESTEAD Fla. (April 13, 2007) -- Ian James turned a best lap at 1:28.981 (93.054 mph) in the No. 5 USG Sheetrock/Ramset Tools Ford Mustang GT to lead Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway in preparation for Sunday's Miami GS 400k.
James is sharing the No. 5 machine with Grand Sport (GS) class points leader Tom Nastasi with Blackforest Motorsports. Nastasi--who is also the car owner--won the KONI Challenge season-opening Fresh >From Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway in January co-driving with 2005 GS champion David Empringham.
"Obviously, anytime I get to come race the KONI Challenge Series is a joy," James said. "I've raced with Tom for the last three years. With my Daytona Prototype commitment, I couldn't do a whole year now, but I'm going to try and do as many races as I can. It's great to be back. These cars are so much fun, and it's so close out there. I can't wait for this weekend. They won the first race, so the bar is pretty high here. We'll be trying as hard as we can to make it two-in-a-row. The car is good. It's the first race that we're actually going to be on the KONI shock absorbers to try and use the series sponsor's product, so we're having to dial the car in a little bit. Obviously, the car is fast. There's a few little bits we've got to do overnight, but it's pretty encouraging. I think we can run with anybody this weekend."
Second-quickest on the day was Doug Goad in the No. 9 Spirit of Daytona Racing Pontiac GTO with a lap at 1:29.074 (92.956 mph). Goad's co-driver is Craig Conway. Kris Wilson posted the third-quickest time of the day at 1:29.117 (92.912 mph) in the No. 25 Denon/C-MAX Porsche 997 he is sharing with Dave Riddle.
Fourth was Valerie Limoges at 1:29.260 (92.863 mph) in the No. 4 USG Sheetrock/Ramset Tools Ford Mustang GT she will share in the race with Nastasi, and Don Salama rounded out the top five in the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 at 1:29.321 (92.699 mph). Salama is co-driving with Will Turner, with whom he shared the 2006 Street Tuner (ST) class championship.
In fact, the car that Turner and Salama co-drove to the ST title posted the quickest testing time in class on Friday, as Trevor Hopwood posted a best lap of 1:34.107 (87.985 mph) in the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i. Hopwood's co-driver is Adam Burrows.
"It was good to get back into the car after Daytona," Hopwood said. "We had a good finish there, and it's good to be on top of the time sheets today. It was good. I had a good draft on that lap, so you really can't read too much into it. It handled really well, and we made some changes. We're working on getting better."
Shane Lewis was second-quickest in ST with a lap at 1:34.416 (87.697 mph) in the No. 22 Honda/Red Line Oil Honda Accord for the HART team. Lewis, a resident of nearby Jupiter, Fla., is co-driving this weekend with John Schmitt.
Third-quickest in ST was Travis Walker at 1:34.482 (87.636 mph) in the No. 75 Kensai Racing Acura TSX he is sharing with Beau Buisson, and Ken Dobson held down the fourth spot at 1:34.496 (87.623 mph) in the No. 144 Davis Motorsports Acura RSX-S he will co-drive in the race with Bob Endicott. Bob Beede completed the ST top five with a lap at 1:34.563 (87.561 mph) in the No. 29 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX-S. Beede's co-driver is Bill Fenton.