Watkins Glen: GM Racing qualifying report

Pontiac Racers Rule Front Spot At The Glen GAINSCO On Pole In DP, Banner On Pole In GT Pontiac power will pace the field in both the Daytona Prototype (DP) and GT races for the Sahlen's Six Hours at The Glen Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series ...

Pontiac Racers Rule Front Spot At The Glen
GAINSCO On Pole In DP, Banner On Pole In GT

Pontiac power will pace the field in both the Daytona Prototype (DP) and GT races for the Sahlen's Six Hours at The Glen Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve race to be run tomorrow at Watkins Glen International.

Alex Gurney drove the No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley to the pole position in DP with a time of 1:43.075. In GT, Paul Edwards gave Banner Racing and the No. 07 Pontiac GXP.R their first pole of the season and the first for the new GXP.R.

Gurney and co-driver Jon Fogarty were once again the fastest in each practice session in the DP category. The duo has consistently out paced the field by nearly a half-second. The Texas-based team has their third pole position on the year and will be looking for their second win.

"My first timed lap was the fastest," Gurney said. "I went out early and posted the time, which turned out to be a good move as guys were going off of the track and bringing dirt onto the racing line. The car was good right off of the trailer and the crew is really on top of the set-up. Jon and I have been fast all weekend, now we need to translate that speed to the race and be in contention with an hour to go and hopefully race for another win."

In the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac, Max Angelelli qualified fourth with a time of 1:44.529. Team owner Wayne Taylor and newcomer Jonathan Cochet will join Angelelli for the six-hour.

"We struggled," Angelelli said. "We are really having trouble with the front-end grip when we go to power. The only positive from today was that it did not rain. We have three drivers and anything can happen in the race, so we have some work to do tonight to get a better car for tomorrow's race. The guys will come up with something."

The CITGO Pontiac DP entry of Thomas Enge and Patrick Carpentier will start eighth tomorrow morning. Enge put in a lap of 1:45.183, but was disappointed.

"We went faster in practice yesterday," Enge said. "I think the conditions have changed with the heat and we developed a lot more push in the car since this morning. The more I tried to push the worse it got. We are close to having a good race set-up and in a six-hour race that is what we are focusing on, so we are looking forward to tomorrow."

Nic Jonsson in the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley will start from the third row in sixth. Jonsson, teamed with owner Tracy Krohn, also was fighting a mishandling car in qualifying.

"We are still working on the car," Jonsson said. "We missed some of the afternoon practice and that set us back a little. We really couldn't tune the car for the heat, but we are pretty close. The car was really pushing so there was not much I could do. The track also seemed a little greasy, probably because to the heat. We don't really have a qualifying setup, we prefer to focus our efforts on the race."

The Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R piloted by Paul Edwards will start from the pole position in GT for the first time this year. The California native was fastest in the first practice yesterday and was able to back-up the effort this afternoon. Kelly Collins will share the driving duties in the 07.

"We made a lot of changes to the car today," Edwards said. "Although we were quick off the trailer yesterday, the Banner guys really had to hustle on the setup today as it is almost 15-degrees warmer than yesterday. On my fast lap, I went off of the track in turn 11 and into the grass, I kept my foot in it and the time held up. It is nice to get the first pole for the team and this new GXP.R. Now we have to go six-hours for a win."

In the team Banner GXP.R, driver temp Andy Pilgrim had the duty of qualifying. The Florida resident posted a lap time of 1:54.876 that will see him start eighth. He joins Lime Rock winners Tim Lewis Jr. and Leighton Reese this weekend.

"We had a better car than this morning," Pilgrim said. "We mulled over changing the right rear spring, but ran out time. So we may have left a couple of tenths in the paddock. The car was pretty good, but as soon as you got heat in the tires you have really one lap to get it right and then the handling falls off. I also had some traffic, so I am not at all disappointed."

Racers Edge Motorsports Lawson Aschenbach qualified the No. 30 GXP.R in fourth with a time of 1:54.672.

"I had a tough time with traffic in qualifying," Aschenbach said. "I did my fast lap on my sixth circuit, usually you get the most from the tires on the second or third lap. I really could not get a clean run with the traffic. We also had a slight steering issue that kind of zaps your confidence, but fourth isn't a bad place to start for a six-hour race."

The green flag will drop on the Six Hours of The Glen on Saturday, June 9 at 11:00 a.m. The race will be televised on SPEED Channel in two segments. The first will start at 11:00 a.m. EDT the second segment will rejoin the action at 2:30 p.m. and go to the finish.

-credit: gm racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Nic Jönsson
Teams Krohn Racing , Racers Edge Motorsports