Watkins Glen: Porsche qualifying report

PORSCHE EARNS 75TH ROLEX GRAND-AM GT POLE AT THE GLEN Farnbacher Loles Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Entries Qualify 1-2 in GT at Watkins Glen; Porsche Daytona Prototypes Lag Behind Leaders in Qualifying WATKINS GLEN, NY (June 5) - The Farnbacher Loles ...

Farnbacher Loles Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Entries Qualify 1-2 in GT at Watkins Glen; Porsche Daytona Prototypes Lag Behind Leaders in Qualifying

WATKINS GLEN, NY (June 5) - The Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche Motorsports customer team qualified its two Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars 1-2 in the GT class Friday for Saturday's Sahleen's Six Hours at the Glen, the sixth race of the 2009 season for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 at legendary Watkins Glen International.

Dirk Werner (Germany) qualified the #87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in a GT track record 1:51.007 110.263 mph. The old record was 1:52.239 (108.996 mph) around the 11-turn, 3.4-mile road course. He will co-drive the six-hour race with Eric Lux (Jacksonville, FL) in quest of their second GT victory of the season.

The effort marked the 75th time Porsche has earned the pole in Rolex Grand-Am GT competition.

The drivers will take the green flag for the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at 2:15 p.m. ET on Saturday. The event will air live on SPEED TV from 2 to 4 p.m. (ET) and will resume from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, the three Porsche-powered Daytona Prototypes were disappointed in their qualifying efforts.

Timo Bernhard (Germany) qualified the #12 Verizon Wireless Penske Porsche Riley sixth at 1:41.648, well off the record pace of pole sitter Scott Pruett (Auburn, CA)'s lap of 1:40.744 in the #01 Lexus Riley. Bernhard will team with fellow Porsche works driver Romain Dumas (France) in Saturday's race.

The twin Brumos Porsche team took 11th and 17th on the grid, with Darren Law (Phoenix, AZ) posting a best lap of 1:42.706 that put the #58 Brumos Riley he will share with David Donohue (Malvern, PA) and Buddy Rice (Phoenix, AZ) 11th on the grid. JC France (Ormond

Beach, FL) qualified the #59 Brumos Porsche Riley 17th at 1:45.890. By Grand-Am rules, France will start the race in the car he will share with Joao Barbosa (Portugal), Terry Borcheller (Vero Beach, FL) and Hurley Haywood (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl).

This race marks the 40th anniversary of Haywood's first professional racing history in 1969 here at Watkins Glen in a Porsche 9111R.

The race will be broadcast live on Speed from 2-4 pm ET and rejoined live from 6-8:30 ET. Live timing and scoring, notes and results will be available on www.grand-am.com, with regular weekend updates also posted on www.twitter.com/RolexSeries.

Werner and Lux enter the race second in the GT driver point standings, just one point behind TRG pilot Spencer Pumpelly (Mason Neck, VA), but Pumpelly's new teammate, John Potter (Salt Lake City, UT) qualified the #66 Porsche 911 GT3 just 14th at 1:56.000.

"Obviously, qualifying went very, very well," Werner said. "On my out lap, the car felt very good, and on my first flying lap, the Pirelli tire temps were just right for a fast lap. We wanted to start up front so stay out of trouble. We had trouble at the start last year.

"In qualifying you want to be fast.  In the race, you want to be safe.  Our car has been good
since we unloaded.  We have done very little to the car since we got here."

Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) qualified the second Farnbacher Loles Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car second in GT at 1:51.019, also under the previous track record. He has missed the last two Rolex Grand-Am races due to other commitments after finishing fifth with Lux at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Virginia International Raceway.

"My tires didn't immediately come up to temperature," Henzler said, "but I was able to set my time on my second flying lap. I have some concerns for the race to keep up that pace, though."

TRG, another key Porsche Motorsports customer team, had issues during GT qualifying. The #67 TRG Porsche 911 GT3 missed the qualifying session after extra driver RJ Valentine (New York) crashed during practice. The team will make repairs overnight and the car will start at the back of the pack with regular drivers Andy Lally (Dacula, GA) and Justin Marks (Rocklin, CA).

Meanwhile, the Daytona Prototype teams realize they will need to depend on strategy, and not just speed, to do well in Saturday's race.

"We have no chance with speed," Bernhard said. "There are a lot of uphill climbs at this track, and uphill acceleration is where we miss the RPMs (the Porsche Riley is capable of 9,600 RPM, but is limited to 8,900 RPM by recent Grand-Am rule changes). We are on a good page with the chassis, and we have a great crew that is doing everything they can to give us a winning race car. With a good strategy, clean racing and few yellows, we have a good chance of winning."

-credit: porsche motorsport

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Andy Lally , Hurley Haywood , Darren Law , JC France , Timo Bernhard , Joao Barbosa , Buddy Rice , Justin Marks , Spencer Pumpelly , Romain Dumas , Wolf Henzler , Dirk Werner , John Potter