Sheehan puts Audi on front row in Grand-Am Cup GS debut Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada -- Former U.S. Touring Car Championship driver and Grand-Am Cup newcomer Gary Sheehan took second position in this morning's GS qualifying, posting a fast...
Sheehan puts Audi on front row in Grand-Am Cup GS debut
Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada -- Former U.S. Touring Car Championship driver and Grand-Am Cup newcomer Gary Sheehan took second position in this morning's GS qualifying, posting a fast lap of 1:47.839, which puts him on the front row for his debut Grand-Am Cup race. Sheehan temporarily held pole earlier in the session with a lap of 1:47.990, which held until late, when teammate and primary-driver Anders Hainer dove in with a 1:47.609 to snatch P1 on his second lap of the session. This stellar performance by both drivers makes it an-all Audi front row for the S4's of Istook-Aines Motorsports. During the qualifying session, Sheehan and his teammate Hainer were the only two drivers to break into the 1:47's. They will be followed on the grid by Borcheller/Powell in third at 1:48.108 in the Cadillac CTS-V, and Cronin/Hayner in fourth at 1:48.195, in a Nissan 350Z. Craig Stanton/David Murry round out the top 5 in their Porsche 996 with a lap of 1:49.002.
"I'm really excited to be on the front row for my first Grand-Am Cup race", an elated Sheehan said. "It's more than I could have imagined. It's especially cool that I'm up there with my teammate Anders in the other Audi. This is a huge testament to how well prepared the Istook-Aines cars are. This team has done a fantastic job. We struggled a bit in early practice, but they've really got the car setup dialed in."
When asked about his predictions for this afternoon's race, Sheehan responded, "I just want to get a good clean start and run a clean race. It will be a long one, and anything can happen. I'm very excited, of course, but I really want to just maintain focus, drive consistent laps, and enjoy this opportunity. If we can get a good result then that makes it even better."
Although this is Sheehan's first race in Grand-Am Cup, it is not his first time at Le Circuit de Mont-Tremblant. This is the track where Sheehan began his racing career by attending his first professional racing school back in 1992. For more on Gary, visit www.teamsmr.com
The all-wheel-drive, twin-turbo Audi S4 has consistently been a front running car in the series and is a great match for Sheehan: Gary has been competing and winning in a Subaru Impreza WRX in the U.S. Touring Car Championship over the past three years with great success, most recently finishing second in championship points in 2003. The two cars have similar AWD drive trains, use turbocharged engines, and are set-up with Stoptech^Ù brakes.
The Grand-Am Cup is the premier production car-based endurance racing series in North America. The field is made up of two classes: Sport Touring (ST) and Grand Sport (GS). GS is the more powerful class of the two and is filled with ultra-performance cars such as the BMW M3, Cadillac CTS-V, Nissan 350Z, Ford Mustang Cobra, Porsche 996 and Acura NSX.
The 95-lap race is scheduled to start at 2:00pm eastern time, Saturday May 22, 2004. Spectators will be treated to a full day of Grand-Am cup and Rolex Series practice and qualifying prior to the race start. The race will be broadcast by Speed Channel on Sunday, May 30th at 12:00pm. For more information regarding the race schedule and Grand-Am, visit the Grand American Road Racing website at www.grand-am.com