Marks Takes Fifth Grand-Am Cup Pole of 2005 in Qualifying at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 27, 2005) -- Justin Marks claimed his fifth Grand-Am Cup Series pole position of the 2005 season in today's qualifying session for Sunday's Grand-Am...
Marks Takes Fifth Grand-Am Cup Pole of 2005 in Qualifying at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 27, 2005) -- Justin Marks claimed his fifth Grand-Am Cup Series pole position of the 2005 season in today's qualifying session for Sunday's Grand-Am Cup 200 (SPEED Channel, Sept. 17, 12:00 p.m. ET).
Marks turned a best lap of 1:35.320 (85.279 mph) in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 to secure the pole, and he and co-driver Bill Auberlen head into the Grand-Am Cup 200 looking for their fourth Grand-Am Cup win of the season. It was also Marks' second pole position of the weekend, as he also claimed the inside of the front row for the Rolex Sports Car Series EMCO Gears Classic.
"We've been throwing a whole bunch of things at the car," Marks said. "Nothing that we did got the car headed in the right direction. I knew that we had a shot at the pole. The important thing for me was to get a starting position ahead of the Mustangs. Starting in front of them will be an advantage for us. I'm going to give the car to Bill and hopefully we'll use good pit strategy and come out with a win."
Joining Marks on the front row will be Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 18 Race Prep Motorsports Porsche 996. Pumpelly logged a best lap of 1:35.429 (85.182 mph) in the car he will share with Mike Pickett. Starting third will be Grand Sport (GS) class points leader David Empringham in the No. 05 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT with a lap at 1:35.431 (85.180 mph). Empringham and co-driver Scott Maxwell are looking for their third win of the season.
Craig Stanton qualified fourth in the No. 28 Race Prep Motorsports Porsche 996 with a lap at 1:35.777 (84.872 mph). He will team with Pumpelly, who is pulling double duty in the Grand-Am Cup 200. Adam Pecorari completed the top five in the brand new No. 59 SpeedQuest/Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang GT with a lap at 1:35.972 (84.700 mph). Pecorari co-drives with Romeo Kapudija.
TURNER TAKES ST POLE IN CLOSE QUALIFYING SESSION
In a qualifying session that saw the pole position exchange hands several times in the final minutes, Will Turner placed his No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i on the Sport Touring (ST) class pole position for the Grand-Am Cup 200.
Turner turned a best lap at 1:39.034 (82.081 mph) to take his second-consecutive Grand-Am Cup pole at Mid-Ohio, and the team's second ST class pole of the season. Turner's effort, combined with the performance of Marks in the Grand Sport (GS) session, enabled the team to sweep poles in both classes. Turner will co-drive in Sunday's Grand-Am Cup 200 with Don Salama.
"It's great to be on the pole," Turner said. "The thing is that we want to win. Coming here, we knew this car was going to be good, because it was good last year. We've all worked real hard. As you see in these Grand-Am races are so competitive because everybody's raised the bar a little bit. Hopefully we can stay out of trouble and we can end up on the podium, maybe on the winner's step this time."
Starting second will be Billy Johnson in the No. 06 Compass 360/Racing BMW 330i following a best qualifying lap at 1:39.086 (82.038 mph). Johnson will share the No. 06 machine with Karl Thomson and David Ciekiewicz. In the third spot will be ST points leader David Haskell in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8. Haskell clocked a best lap of 1:39.514 (81.685 mph) in the car he shares with Sylvain Tremblay.
Steve Pfeffer will start fourth in the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i he co-drives with Mike Fitzgerald. Pfeffer turned in a best lap of 1:39.563 (81.645 mph). Eric Curran rounded out the top five in the No. 27 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX-S with a lap at 1:39.780 (81.467 mph), and will share the car with Bob Endicott.