Watkins Glen: qualifying report

Angelelli Takes First Rolex Series Pole; Ends Pruett and Papis' Pole Streak at Watkins Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 19, 2004) -- In dominating fashion, Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series rookie Max Angelelli snapped a four-race pole-winning...

Angelelli Takes First Rolex Series Pole; Ends Pruett and Papis' Pole Streak at Watkins Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 19, 2004) -- In dominating fashion, Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series rookie Max Angelelli snapped a four-race pole-winning streak by No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley teammates Scott Pruett and Max Papis, and put the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley on the pole position for Sunday's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen (SPEED Channel, Live, 11 a.m. ET).

While Papis' session ended after just two laps with a drivetrain problem and left the No. 01 machine 11th on the grid, Angelelli clocked a Rolex Series track record lap at 118.144 mph (1:43.602) -- more than two seconds quicker than his next closest competitor -- and earned his and the team's first-ever Rolex Series pole position. Angelelli and co-driver Wayne Taylor will be looking for their second win of the season and their first win since Round 3 at Phoenix in tomorrow's race.

"I'm fairly happy," Angelelli said. "It's my first time here and I really like the track. It's an amazing place and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow, we plan to push from the first to the last lap."

Starting a season-best second will be Cort Wagner in the No. 81 Rx.com/G&W Motorsports BMW Doran following a lap of 115.667 mph (1:45.821). Wagner's performance eclipsed the team's previous best starting position of sixth at Phoenix, putting Wagner and co-drivers Brent Martini and Kelly Collins in an excellent position as they go for their first Daytona Prototype win of the season.

"I'm really, really happy for the whole Rx.com G&W Motorsports crew," Wagner said. "They deserve this after all the trouble we had a Mont-Tremblant. It was a good qualifying session. The conditions were great. I got a little held up on my fast lap, but what can you do? It still got me on the front row. The car feels really good. The guys did a great job setting it up."

While his teammates saw their record-tying consecutive pole streak end at four, No. 02 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley driver Luis Diaz gave the car its best starting position since it rolled off from the outside of the front row at Phoenix in April. Diaz turned a best lap today of 115.654 mph (1:45.833), and he and co-driver Jimmy Morales enter tomorrow's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen looking to top their previous best result of fourth at Phoenix.

"It was a little bit hard, because I got a lot of traffic on my good lap, but I think my team did a great job," Diaz explained. "I think we've got a very good race car, and that's the most important thing for us."

Darren Law put the defending race champion No. 58 Red Bull Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar fourth on the grid following a best lap of 114.721 mph (1:46.694), and Oswaldo Negri Jr. filled out the top five in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Lexus Doran at 114.639 mph (1:46.770).


Bill Auberlen took his second GT pole position of the season and extended the No. 21 Prototype Technology Group BMW M3's class pole streak to four consecutive races after clocking a best lap at 106.552 mph (1:54.874) in qualifying for the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen. Auberlen and co-driver Boris Said -- who leads the GT driver standings -- will also be looking to extend the team's race-winning streak to four straight in tomorrow's race.

"The track was still a little bit damp (from earlier rains), and it was a little hair-raising in a few spots," Auberlen said. "I got a little sideways a few times at a high rate of speed. With some quick steering, I was able to get it back, but you had to put it on the limit to get it there. The plan for tomorrow is to run a nice, conservative pace for six hours. I'll start driving a tank of gas, Boris will take over for gas and tires, and hopefully, I will get in again. The trick here is to stay out of trouble, keep it going, don't lose a lap and get it on the podium."

Auberlen's teammate Joey Hand will start second in GT after logging a best qualifying lap of 106.465 mph (1:54.874) in the No. 22 Prototype Technology Group BMW M3, and Anthony Lazzaro claimed the third spot on the GT grid following a best lap of 106.322 mph (1:55.122) in the No. 30 Risi Competizione Ferrari 360GT.


Super Grand Sport (SGS) points leader Randy Pobst put the No. 36 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup in the catbird seat for another top-two SGS finish after taking his second class pole position of the season with a best lap at 103.157 mph (1:58.654). Pobst and co-driver Michael Levitas have not failed to finish outside the top-two through the first four races of the season, and they will be joined by Porsche hotshoe Mike Rockenfeller for tomorrow's race.

"Wow! We gave it our all for Team Turbo Performance," Pobst exclaimed. "We've got a lot of good competition, but Mike Levitas has found a secret to the setup on these cars with the Hoosier tires. I had a lap that was pretty good, but I knew I made a mistake coming out of the Boot (the Turns 6-7-8-9 complex), so I went out again and I tried to fix that. It wasn't perfect, but it was about 99 percent. That was enough for the pole today at The Glen, and I love being first."

The SGS polesitter's team car starts second in class after Andy Lally turned in a best lap of 102.609 mph (1:59.288) in the No. 38 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup, and David Murry placed the No. 16 AASCO Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup third on the SGS grid at 101.984 mph (2:00.019) for the team's first Rolex Series start since Round 3 at Phoenix in April.


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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , David Murry , Bill Auberlen , Joey Hand , Anthony Lazzaro , Randy Pobst , Kelly Collins , Luis Diaz , Andy Lally , Darren Law , Max Angelelli , Michael Levitas , Jimmy Morales , Brent Martini , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Chip Ganassi , Mike Rockenfeller , Michael Shank , Cort Wagner
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Risi Competizione , Michael Shank Racing