SCC: Utah: Qualifying notes

Law Scores Pole for Inaugural Grand-Am Cup 200 at Miller Motorsports Park TOOELE, Utah (August 31, 2006) -- In qualifying for the first-ever Grand-Am Cup Series race at the 4.486-mile Miller Motorsports Park, Darren Law clocked a best lap at ...

Law Scores Pole for Inaugural Grand-Am Cup 200 at Miller Motorsports Park

TOOELE, Utah (August 31, 2006) -- In qualifying for the first-ever Grand-Am Cup Series race at the 4.486-mile Miller Motorsports Park, Darren Law clocked a best lap at 3:09.967 (85.013 mph) to take the pole position for Friday's Grand-Am Cup 200 (SPEED, September 23, 1:00 p.m. ET).

Law co-drives the No. 2 Feeds The Need Racing Ford Mustang GT with 2003 Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype champion Terry Borcheller. The duo is looking for its first Grand-Am Cup victory of the season. Borcheller earned his best result of the season with a third-place run at Barber Motorsports Park last month, while Law's best results of eighth came at Phoenix International Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This will be their first race together.

"Terry's been doing a great job setting up the car," said Law. "It is really coming along. When we first got out there, we had a little bit of understeer, and with such a long track and so many corners, one mistake can cost you a whole lap and a lot of time. We waited a little bit there to get a clean run, and fortunately, we got one."

Anders Hainer qualified second in the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 with a lap at 3:09.967 (85.013 mph) in the car he shares with road racing great Boris Said. Hainer, who led the Grand-Am Cup Series Grand Sport (GS) driver standings at one point this season, currently trails points co-leaders Patrick Long and Brent Martini by seven points heading into Friday's penultimate race of the season. He and Said are looking for their first victory of the season, but the duo has finished inside the top five in each of their last three races together.

"The car really started to come to me after the first few laps," said Hainer. "We came up on a few cars that slowed us a bit, and it took until the final lap before to put a solid run together. This is a very important race in the championship picture. The (No.) 81 and (No.) 49 cars have been great all year, but I think this Turner Motorsport team has worked so hard this year, that to win it would be outstanding."

Wayne Nonnamaker will start third in the No. 42 Team Sahlen Porsche 996 following a best qualifying lap at 3:10.189 (84.913 mph). A two-time Grand-Am Cup Series class champion, Will Nonnamaker and his father, Joe, will co-drive the No. 42 machine in Friday's race as they go in search of their first Grand-Am Cup Series victory together since 2003.

"We only had time for four laps," said Nonnamaker. "We got caught out in some traffic in our first couple, and only managed one clean run. The Porsche seems to be doing pretty well at this track and we should have a good race car tomorrow. This team has done a great job."

Ian James put the No. 6 USG Sheetrock/Ramset Tools/OMP Ford Mustang GT that he shares with David Empringham fourth on the grid with a lap at 3:10.454 (84.795 mph). Starting fifth with be James' Blackforest Motorsports teammate Alex Tagliani in the No. 5 USG Sheetrock/Ramset Tools/OMP with a lap at 3:10.478 (84.785 mph). Tagliani, a veteran of Champ Car World Series competition, is co-driving the No. 5 machine with Tom Nastasi.


Erstwhile Grand-Am Cup Street Tuner (ST) class points leader Jamie Holtom put himself and his No. 01 GM Performance Division/SCADAPACK Chevrolet Cobalt SS co-driver, Eric Curran, in a prime spot to retake the points lead by claiming the provisional class pole for Friday's Grand-Am Cup 200.

The 18-year-old Holtom clocked a best lap of 3:15.676 (82.532 mph) to score his second pole of the season. Holtom and Curran own a class-leading four victories in 2006 and the duo opened the year with six-consecutive top-four results. However, results of 28th and 18th in their last two races dropped the No. 01 teammates out of the championship lead.

"It's great," Holtom said. "I sure had a great lap out there. It's great to get the pole in the first time that Grand-Am Cup came here, and it's definitely great to get the pole anytime. The car was just on rails, which makes the driver's job just much easier. When you look at the performance we've had this year, we've had two bad results in the last two races, but it's good to get our championship hopes back here."

Starting alongside Holtom will be ST points co-leader Will Turner aboard the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW 300i. Turner posted a best qualifying lap at 3:16.634 (82.130 mph) to secure the second spot on the grid, and heads into Friday's race with co-driver Don Salama looking for their first victory of the season, but the duo has finished inside the class top-five in all but one of eight races to date.

"Until that qualifying session, I thought it was going to be really important to stay in front of the Cobalts," Turner said. "But after qualifying, I realized that our car is no match for the Cobalts, just because they have so much speed on the straights, so it doesn't really matter where we qualify. This track is going to be tough to pass on in the corners, but the straights are so long that whoever has the most horsepower is going to be able to make the pass."

Holtom's Georgian Bay Motorsports teammate Daniel Colembie put the No. 00 GM Performance Division/SCADAPACK Chevrolet Cobalt SS third on the grid with a best lap at 3:17.001 (81.977 mph). Colembie and Jim Holtom--Jamie's father--head into the race looking for their first victory of the season. Their best result of second came in Round 3 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May.

"I lost my ABS on my fast lap," Colembie said. "As soon as I touched the brake, I flat-spotted the tires, but overall it was not too bad. I love this track. It is very difficult to learn and it's going to be very unpredictable. I think a lot of people underestimate the amount of time it takes to get comfortable here and the grip level isn't great, but that just makes it a lot of fun. If you get in a rhythm, you can go pretty fast. I'd call it a racer's track."

Qualifying fourth was defending ST champion David Haskell in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 with a lap at 3:17.171 (81.907 mph). Haskell's co-driver is team owner Sylvain Tremblay. Will Nonnamaker--whose brother, Wayne, qualified third on the GS class grid--put the No. 41 Team Sahlen Dodge SRT4 fifth on the ST grid. Nonnamaker's best lap was 3:18.370 (81.412 mph) in the car he shares with Joe Sahlen.

-credit: garra

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Alex Tagliani , Wayne Nonnamaker , Will Nonnamaker , Ian James , David Haskell , Terry Borcheller , Darren Law , David Empringham , Tom Nastasi , Sylvain Tremblay , Patrick Long , Eric Curran , Will Turner , Don Salama , Brent Martini , Anders Hainer , Daniel Colembie , Joe Sahlen
Teams Turner Motorsport , Team Sahlen , SpeedSource