Utah: Series qualifying report

Championship-Leading Rojas Wins DP-Leading Fourth Pole Of Season To Lead Field For Season-Ending Utah 250 At Miller Motorsports Park Curran Scores Second Straight GT Pole For Whelen Corvette SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Sept. 10, 2010) - In a year...

Championship-Leading Rojas Wins DP-Leading Fourth Pole Of Season To Lead Field For Season-Ending Utah 250 At Miller Motorsports Park Curran Scores Second Straight GT Pole For Whelen Corvette

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Sept. 10, 2010) - In a year where everything has been working out for the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley team, a late setup change helped Memo Rojas score his Daytona Prototype-leading fourth pole position in qualifying for Saturday's season-ending Utah 250 at Miller Motorsports Park.

"We learned an important lesson in the previous practice about what we need to put on the car for this race, and luckily we nailed that change," said Rojas, who ran a lap of 1:43.377 (106.144 mph). "I'm not going to tell you what it was, but it worked out for us. We were OK in practice, and then our engineer Brad Goldberg made a great call for qualifying and it worked out for us."

Rojas will be joined on the front row by Jon Fogarty, who ran a lap of 1:43.433 (106.086 mph) in the No. 99 GAINSCO Chevrolet/Riley co-driven by Alex Gurney. The race will take the green flag at noon MT. (SPEED live, 2 p.m. ET).

Rojas and co-driver Scott Pruett enter the finale with a GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 eight victories in 11 races. The pair clinched the championship at the previous race in Montreal, giving Ganassi his fourth DP team title since 2004. However, Pruett was concerned after Friday's opening practice session on Miller's 3.048-mile perimeter circuit, a change from the 4.486-mile layout used in previous events.

"For some reason, we've never been able to get our arms around Miller Motorsports Park, and even though we're racing on a new layout, we're still chasing it," Scott Pruett said earlier in the day. "We're OK right now, but we hope to come to better grips with it by race time tomorrow."

Ricky Taylor qualified third in the No. 10 SunTrust Ford/Dallara, 1:43.565 (105.752 mph) and will be joined on the second row by Burt Frisselle, who ran 1:43.760 (105.752 mph) in the No. 61 Pacific Mobile/BioSign Ford/Riley. Antonio Garcia, Brian Frisselle, Darren Law, Matt Bell, Terry Borcheller and John Pew rounded out the top 10 qualifiers.

Eric Curran gave the Marsh Racing its second consecutive pole in qualifying for the production-based GT class. He ran a lap of 1:51.659 (98.271 mph) in the No. 61 Whelen Engineering Corvette, following up Boris Said's pole from the previous race at Montreal.

"This Whelen Corvette is awesome," Curran said. "The guys have been working hard all year and they deserve this so much. It's been a long season, and they've fought real hard since the beginning and had a lot of issues trying to get the car up to speed. Now here we are, with two poles in a row."

Adam Christodoulou was second in GT qualifying with a lap of 1:52.556 (97.487 mph) in the No. 68 MazdaSpeed Motorsports Development Mazda RX-8. Andrew Davis, Johnny O'Connell and Andy Lally rounded out the top five qualifiers.

Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal enter the finale with an eight-point lead in the GT championship standings over SpeedSource teammate Sylvain Tremblay (318-310). Tremblay qualified sixth in the No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8, while Assentato will start 12th in the No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8.

Saturday's schedule opens with final practice at 8:15 a.m. MT. The Utah 250 will be followed by a Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at 4:45 p.m. MT.

-source: grand-am

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Antonio Garcia , Boris Said , Jon Fogarty , Johnny O'Connell , Scott Pruett , Emil Assentato , Andy Lally , Terry Borcheller , Darren Law , Memo Rojas , Eric Curran , Andrew Davis , Jeff Segal , John Pew , Brian Frisselle , Matthew Bell , Ricky Taylor , Adam Christodoulou
Teams SpeedSource