Watkins Glen: Saturday qualifying report

Angelelli Takes Second Career Rolex Series Pole for Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 11, 2005) -- For the second year in-a-row, Italian driver Max Angelelli will start the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Sahlen's...

Angelelli Takes Second Career Rolex Series Pole for Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 11, 2005) -- For the second year in-a-row, Italian driver Max Angelelli will start the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen from the pole position after posting a best lap of 1:45.687 (115.814 mph) in qualifying for Sunday's race at Watkins Glen International (SPEED Channel, Part 1 -- 10 a.m. ET, Part 2 -- 12:30 p.m. ET).

Angelelli's pole-winning lap in the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley came as time expired in the qualifying session and capped a flurry of fast times at the end of the session. It was the second pole position of Angelelli's Rolex Series career and came one year after his first. Last year, Angelelli and co-driver Wayne Taylor finished second in the race, which the duo is hoping to top this year. The duo is currently locked in a battle for the Daytona Prototype championship with No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley co-drivers Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz, who they lead by five points (155-150) heading into the race.

"I am really happy," Angelelli said. "It took so long because our car was performing really well with old tires so, I needed just to drive and drive and drive to use the tires a little bit more. It's really well balanced with old tires so it's kind of strange but this is how it works here. "It's my first pole of the year. Finally Scott (Pruett) let me get it. Thank you, Scott. I appreciate that. Now we'll see tomorrow."

For the first time in his Daytona Prototype career, Pruett will start the race from somewhere other than the pole position in the No. 01 machine. Pruett stood atop the time charts through most of the session and improved his lap times on each lap, ending up with a best qualifying lap of 1:45.959 (115.516 mph). While he missed out on the pole position, it must be noted that last year, Pruett's co-driver Max Papis started a season-worst 11th due to an electrical problem in qualifying and the duo charged to the victory. Pruett is looking for a repeat performance this weekend with co-driver Luis Diaz.

"We gave it all we had for qualifying," Pruett said. "The CompUSA guys gave us a good car. We have been concentrating on race setup, so we have a great race car, but fell a little short on the qualifying. It will be a long race tomorrow and the heat is definitely a concern."

Michael McDowell will start a career-best third in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen on the strength of a best lap at 1:46.139 (115.320 mph) in the No. 19 Make A Wish/Air Force Reserve/Commercial Defeasance BMW Riley for Finlay Motorsports. On two different occasions in the final five minutes of qualifying, McDowell was in line for a front row starting position, only to be knocked off by Angelelli. Nevertheless, he and co-driver Memo Gidley are in good position to score their first career Rolex Series victory.

Stefan Johansson will start fourth in the No. 02 New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley for the fourth time in six races thanks to a best lap of 1:46.391 (115.047 mph). Johansson and co-driver Cort Wagner finished on the podium for the first time this season with a second-place performance at Mont-Tremblant last month, and are looking to make it two podiums in-a-row this weekend.

Mike Borkowski completed the top five on the starting grid with a lap at 1:46.511 (114.918 mph) in the No. 6 Mears Motor Coach Pontiac Riley for Michael Shank Racing. For Borkowski--who won this race in 2003 alongside then co-drivers David Donohue and Scott Goodyear--it was his second top-five qualifying performance of the year. He looks for another victory in Sunday's race with co-drivers Paul Mears Jr. and Duncan Dayton.


Randy Pobst turned the fastest lap during GT qualifying in TPC Racing's No. 36 Ajilon Consulting Porsche GT3 Cup, but Andy Lally will start from the front of the GT field as it was revealed in post-qualifying technical inspection that the ride height on the No. 36 machine was too low. As a result, Lally--who originally qualified second with a best lap at 1:57.262 (104.382 mph)--will have the front row to himself in the No. 65 Auto Gallery/TRG Porsche GT3 Cup. After leading the point standings through Round 3, Lally and co-driver Marc Bunting have not finished inside the class top 10 in their last two starts. Last year, Lally and Bunting won the Super Grand Sport (SGS) class in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen on their way to the SGS driver championship.

"I feel sorry, honestly, for Randy, because I love doing battle with him every time we get a chance," Lally said. "We've had such good battles in the past. The neat thing is this is two poles in-a-row for Team TRG. It's a neat feeling. We got it at Mont-Tremblant and now here for the Six Hours of The Glen. The team put together a fantastic car and I owe a lot of thanks to them for that. (Marc) Bunting and I will just look forward to keeping our nose clean and staying out front tomorrow."

Starting second will be David Murry in the No. 80 Synergy Racing Porsche GT3 Cup with a lap at 1:57.734 (103.963 mph). It was Murry's best qualifying performance of the season and puts him and his co-driver, GT points leader Craig Stanton, in good position to score their first GT class victory of the season after a string of top-four finishes.

Third on the grid will be Bill Auberlen in BMW Team PTG's No. 21 BMW Financial Services M3 with a best qualifying lap at 1:57.798 (103.907 mph). Auberlen won the GT class in last year's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen and goes for a second-straight win with co-drivers Joey Hand and Kelly Collins. Tom Milner will start fourth in the No. 16 F1 Air BMW M3 for BMW Team PTG with a best lap of 1:58.039 (103.695 mph), and will be followed by Wolf Henzler in the No. 14 Keen Cap/Toptul Porsche GT3 Cup for Autometrics Motorsports with a lap at 1:58.105 (103.637 mph).


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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Stefan Johansson , Scott Goodyear , Memo Gidley , Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , David Murry , Bill Auberlen , Joey Hand , Randy Pobst , Kelly Collins , Luis Diaz , Andy Lally , David Donohue , Michael McDowell , Max Angelelli , Mike Borkowski , Craig Stanton , Paul Mears Jr. , Marc Bunting , Chip Ganassi , Wolf Henzler , Michael Shank
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing , Autometrics Motorsports , Michael Shank Racing