The SportsRacer Light qualifying was not without its drama. Rich Grupp set the fastest lap late in the sesson, 1:05.033/84.197 mph, but Oberto regained the pole moments later by three-tenths of a second. There was a change in GTU qualifying.
The SportsRacer Light qualifying was not without its drama. Rich Grupp set the fastest lap late in the sesson, 1:05.033/84.197 mph, but Oberto regained the pole moments later by three-tenths of a second.
There was a change in GTU qualifying. The No. 66 Porsche qualified by Kevin Buckler failed a routine post-qualifying inspection, when the fuel did not conform to Grand-Am specifications. This puts the No. 81 G&W Porsche of Mike Fitzgerald on the pole. It’s his second pole of the season (Mid-Ohio) and fifth overall and fourth consecutive for the G&W team.
DIDIER THEYS (No. 27 Doran Lista Special) – I thought the Riley & Scott chassis would have an advantage here, because their suspension could absorb the bumps better. I’m surprised our car did so well here. There was a little understeer early today, but I felt comfortable in the car, there was good grip, and I’m looking forward to a good race tomorrow. We ran 40 laps with the same set of tires this morning, and we were running some decent lap times. I’m surprised with the chassis. I did not expect to be this confident at this track. I think for the race, what we learned this morning running so many laps will help us.
JAMES WEAVER (No. 16 Dyson Racing Riley & Scott Ford) – The original plan was for Butch (Leitzinger) to start the car. But Pat Smith (team manager) explained that if Butch started and broke down, I would get no points. Didier and I are battling for the championship, and I didn’t want to take any chances.
LARRY OBERTO (No. 22 Archangel Motorsports Nissan-Lola) – They told me we were on the pole, and then a few minutes later, they said “P-2.” But we were able to get P-1 back with another good lap a few minutes later, and then there was a caution which prevented them from getting it back. The Spencer-Grupp car is running real strong, and they’ll keep us honest
JON FIELD (No. 37 InterSport Banana Joe’s Judd Lola B2K10) – There’s no question, it’s going to be very close. My frustration is that we were being real patient in qualifying, and our tires would come in on the sixth or seventh lap, and then our system went into alarm with a water pressure problem. We got it sorted out, and then I got caught up with one of the SportsRacer Lights cars that messed up my fast up. I came in, and hoped to get a fast lap at the end of the session, but the No. 8 car spun, so I never got a good lap. And the best lap I did get was so easy, and the telemetry was close to Oliver’s (Gavin) fastest lap this morning. We could have won the pole – but we’ll probably have a good race. It’s amazing that all the cars are so close.
With the top seven Grand American Road Racing Association cars qualifying within seven-tenths of a second, Didier Theys managed to edge James Weaver for the pole position for Sunday’s Players Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.
Theys ran a fast lap of 1:00.025 on the 10-turn 1.5-mile circuit, 91.222 miles per hour in the Doran Lista Special as a large crowd cheered on under sunny skies. Weaver, the Grand-Am points leader, was a mere seven-thousanths of a second behind in the Dyson Racing Riley & Scott Ford, at 1:00.032, 91.211 mph.
Local favorite Claude Bourbonnais was third fastest, six-hundredths of a second back in the Creighton Ford Lola B2K10, 90.979 mph, followed by the Ferrari 333SP of Ralf Kelleners, 90.647 mph. George Robinson qualified fifth in the Informix Software Riley & Scott Judd, 90.228 mph, followed by Elliott Forbes-Robinson in the Dyson Riley & Scott Ford, 90.093 mph, and the InterSport Banana Joe’s Ford-Lola B2K10 of Jon Field, 90.058 mph.
“I’m surprised with the result,” Theys admitted after winning his third Informix Way Fast Award of the season. “We expected the Riley & Scott chassis to have an advantage here, but we ran 40 laps this morning on the same set of tires, and ran some decent lap times. Honestly, I did not expect to be this confident at this track.”
All five Grand-Am classes will take the green flag at 3:15 p.m. for a 92-lap race, the eighth event of the inaugural Grand-Am season.
Larry Oberto earned Archangel Motorsports its sixth Way Fast Award for the SportsRacer Lights class, running a lap of 84.628 mph in their Nissan Lola. The session provided drama when Rich Grupp ran a lap of 84.197 in the Spencer Motorsports Maza-Kudzu late in the session, but Oberto rose to the challenge and regained the pole moments later.
Terry Borcheller brought Steve Saleen his fifth Way Fast Award in the GTO class, with a lap of 81.884 in a Saleen SR, while Jon Leavy won his first American GT pole, 81.202 mph. Mike Fitzgerald was awarded the G&W Motorsports team’s fifth Informix Software pole with a lap of 80.162 mph in a Porsche GT3R, after the apparent pole run of Kevin Buckler in the Racer’s Group Porsche was disallowed due to a fuel violation during a routine post-qualifying inspection.
Sunday’s event will be the eighth on the inaugural Grand-Am schedule, with only the August 25-27 Bosch Sports Car Summerfest at Watkins Glen International remaining. For additional information, check the official web site of Grand Am, www.grand-am.com.