Watkins Glen: Qualifying summary

All-Dyson front row for 6 Hours of The Glen Start; five track records shattered in qualifying. WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 22, 2002) - It will be a battle of Dyson Racing Team entries entering turn one at the start of the 6 Hours of The Glen on ...

All-Dyson front row for 6 Hours of The Glen Start; five track records shattered in qualifying.

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 22, 2002) - It will be a battle of Dyson Racing Team entries entering turn one at the start of the 6 Hours of The Glen on Sunday. Butch Leitzinger captured the pole position in Dyson's #20 Ford-powered Riley & Scott, while James Weaver earned the second position on the front row in Dyson's #16. Defending race winner Didier Theys qualified third in the Doran Lista Racing #27 Judd-engined Dallara.

Leitzinger shattered the former track record set by Weaver in 2000 by 4.340 seconds with his 1:39.104 lap at 123.507 mph. "The car has worked very well all weekend," the polesitter said. "As we kept going through yesterday's session and this morning's session, James suggested a couple of changes to make to our car after he had tried them on his car, and I put them on for qualifying and they just worked. It's a nice team effort. James has opened up his notebook and let us look over his shoulder and gave us a lot of answers to the test."

Weaver tried to one-up his teammate, but came up 0.460 second short with his 1:39.564 lap time at 122.936 mph. Leitzinger and Weaver ran the first two seasons of the Rolex Sports Car Series together, but will face off against each other for the first time in more than five years on Sunday.

"We always work really closely together and there's no #1 car, #1 driver and #2 car, #2 driver or any of that nonsense," commented the two-time Rolex Series champion. "We all just want to do the best we can so that's one of the advantages of having a two-car team; is that you can learn twice as much because we can both fiddle with our cars and then compare notes and see which set-up works best and we look at the data."

Points leader Theys will start the six-hour race from the second row. He clocked a 1:39.846 lap at 122.589 mph in the Doran Lista Dallara, which is sporting a new 5.0-liter Judd engine this weekend. Buddy Rice will be beside him at the start line in the Miracle Motorsports #6 Ford Riley & Scott.

Terry Borcheller saw his GTS track record broken in the first qualifying session, only to earn another track record in the second session - this time in the SportsRacing Prototype II class. Borcheller, who currently leads the SRP driver points, posted a 1:45.328 lap at 116.208 mph in the #8 Nissan-powered Lola of Rand Racing. The lap was 3.371 seconds quicker than the record set by Larry Oberto in 2000.

Borcheller's Rand Racing teammate, Nic Jonsson, will start beside him on the third row after recording a 1:46.762 lap in the #7 Nissan Lola during qualifying.

Borcheller's GTS record fell at the hands of Chris Bingham in the Park Place Racing #5 Saleen S7R. The class points leader earned the top GTS position with his 1:49.048 lap at 112.244 mph, which came late in the qualifying session. Though Bingham had a firm hold on the GTS pole with an earlier lap, his goal was to be the fastest among all the GT division classes in the session.

"I ran one really good lap and I thought that would be a pole. (The team) called me on the radio and said we were second (overall) so bring it in," explained Bingham, who won the GTS class at both Rolex Series events at The Glen last season. "I said give me one more lap, because I really wanted to be fastest in GT. They said go ahead but if I stuff it, it's my fault."

Bingham was able to take the top GT division spot away from Rob Morgan, who previously held it in his American GT entry. Morgan's 1:49.927 lap at 112.244 mph earned his Morgan Dollar Motorsports #47 Corvette the class pole and the new track record in its debut race.

"We have a new car this weekend," remarked Morgan, who will compete against his teammates in the #46 Corvette. "It's the same basic chassis as the 46, but we've done a lot to lighten the car up. We put it on bigger wheels, and it seems its helped it out a lot."

Morgan broke the AGT track record by 0.882 seconds previously held by Irv Hoerr, whose #29 Mustang qualified fourth in the class today.

Joao Barbosa picked up the GT pole and track record in the Perspective Motorsports #24 Mosler MT900 R. He clocked a 1:51.856 lap at 109.426 mph, besting the previous record held by David Murry by 0.687 mph.

The green flag will fall on the 6 Hours of The Glen on Sunday at 11 a.m. For tickets, reserved camping, and additional information about the Sports Car Grand Prix contact The Glen ticket office at 607-535-2481 or log on to the official Watkins Glen website at www.theglen.com. More information on the Rolex Sports Car Series can be found online at www.grand-am.com.


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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Nic Jönsson