Daytona Friday qualifying results and notes

IMSA FINALE AT DAYTONA IMSA ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING QUALIFYING RESULTS (top 3 and class poles) 1. (70GS) Varde/Trombley, Mazda RX-7 Turbo, 2:08.151, 100.00 mph (establishes event record and also breaks track record for Grand...

IMSA FINALE AT DAYTONA IMSA ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING

QUALIFYING RESULTS (top 3 and class poles) 1. (70GS) Varde/Trombley, Mazda RX-7 Turbo, 2:08.151, 100.00 mph (establishes event record and also breaks track record for Grand Sports class); 2. (3GS) Cochran/Murry/Walton/Knowles, Pontiac Firebird, 2:08.307, 99.885; 3. (1GS) Pilgrim/Lemler/Goad/Conway, Pontiac Firebird, 2:08.482, 99.749; 34. (84S) Van Cleef/Henderson, Toyota Supra, 2:31.544, 84.569 (wet); 35. (28T) Collins/Kleinubing, Honda Prelude Si, 2:32.796, 83.876 (wet); 42. (76C) Daughtery/Goddard, Nissan 240SX SER, 2:36.786, 81.741 (wet); (70 cars with times).

NOTES TOURING KELLY COLLINS (No. 28T Passen Motorsports Honda Prelude Si) -- I'm doing double-duty this weekend and I'm pretty busy right now (Collins is driving the No. 78 GTS-2 Porsche in Sunday's three-hour Exxon Series race). We've kicked it off on a pretty good foot by winning the pole but making the transition between the automobiles I'm driving is the toughest thing -- the speed of the cars and the difference in the braking points. As much as it's been raining today the transition between wet and dry has been pretty overwhelming, too. I just went for it on the last lap. We had dry tires that were worn out. I came in for wet tires and we made just one lap and went for it! (ON RACE STRATEGY.) Our first driver (Pierre Kleinubing) is very quick. When I get in there I'll get in and go man go! People used to treat three-hour and six-hour races like endurance races but they're not any more. They're sprint races because we only need one fuel stop. This is my third pole of the year. I got one in Grand Sports. I ran a development car for BMW here in February but we were down on horsepower and this is a horsepower track.

COMPACT DAVID DAUGHTERY (No. 76C Red Line Nissan 240SX) -- We actually went out on dry tires. We came in, changed to rains and did one lap. That was it, we won the pole! Timing can be everything. I was fortunate, because I came out right behind the cars that had set the fastest time to that point -- both the Touring and Compact classes. I followed them and knew I had to go faster so I closed in just a little. That was good enough to take pole. (ON RACE STRATEGY.) We've got the Nissan 240SX where it needs to be. We hope to take a win with one of the two team cars (No. 78).

EXXON SERIES QUALIFYING

QUALIFYING RESULTS (top 3 and class poles -- only front row locked- in) 1. (20WSC) Leitzinger/Paul Jr/Wallace, Ford R&S Mk. 3, 1:51.366, 115.08 (wet); 2. (30WSC) Papis/Moretti/Theys, Ferrari 333 SP, 1:51.392, 115.05 (wet); 3. (5GTS-1) Brassfield/Cunningham, Oldsmobile Aurora, 1:50.346, 116.14 (dry); 12. (98GTS-2) Pilgrim/Schumacher, Porsche 911, 1:58.319, 108.31; (55 cars with times).

NOTES

EXXON WORLD SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP BUTCH LEITZINGER (No. 20 Rain-X Ford R&S Mk. 3) -- Finding the right combination was the toughest thing. I thought I'd missed my chance because we went out on slicks at first. I thought I was clever to do it, but it definitely wasn't the right choice. Andy (Wallace, teammate) couldn't get his intermediates up to temperature, either. I did my fast lap on rain tires. It was very odd, but the track would be alternately wet and dry. Usually it drains very well but there was no sun to help it dry. I like driving in the rain, because you can get the car sideways without burning the tires up. We run as fast on the banking in the wet as we do in the dry, but your stopping distance is not the same so you've got to be cautious coming off the banking. The biggest thing with the rain is it might keep the crowds down, but I remember watching my dad's (Bob Leitzinger) racing and when it rained that was when all the action happened. Max (Papis) and I had a good fight for pole. First I had it, then Max came by. For three consecutive laps I'd be first for half a lap, then he'd beat it. I figured it was him I was fighting because I could watch his relative position on the track, and the guys were signalling me. (ON RACE STRATEGY.) To come here for a three-hour race is great. At the 24-hour, the team owner has the choke collar on you to be conservative. Here, we can run hard the whole way. I'm glad we're back here because at Daytona you can run the car to its full potential as it was intended. Each of the drivers will run an hour- and-a-half and it'll be 10/10ths the whole time.

MAX PAPIS (No. 30 MOMO Ferrari 333 SP) -- Qualifying was a strange session. I went out on slicks, but we had to come in and change to intermediate tires. When we did that we had to trim the wing and we didn't have the right (gear) ratios for that wing angle. On my last lap, the team had me on the pole at the start/finish line, but there were three slower cars in front of me. They slowed down in turn one, where the timing beacon is, and I could not go to the accelerator like I needed to. It was a pleasure to battle for pole with Butch, but I was sad to see Wayne Taylor in the pit, to not accept the battle. I would never do it, because when you go for the pole there is no compromise. I would've stayed home, instead. I wanted to go faster than the pole for the 24 hours (WSC track record by Didier Theys in February, 1:41.224, 126.610 mph). Maybe tomorrow at 11:50 when the checkered flag comes down (for final qualifying) we will have done it. (ON RACE STRATEGY) We have a great car for the race. For me, winning this race is everything. Daytona is where my American dreams began, in January and February (Papis finished second in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and set the race lap record). Driving over from Orlando (airport) I thought about that and how happy I was to be here. I thought of everything I've done this year. It was nice to evaluate who's stepped forward and back. (IF IT RAINS.) For me, if it's all dry or wet it makes no difference. This condition (wet) is a lot of fun because the car is sideways a lot. With all the traffic you can't drive as you like, because you can get involved in someone else's accident.

EXXON SUPREME GTS-1 DARIN BRASSFIELD (No. 5 Total Tel Oldsmobile Aurora) -- Irv (Hoerr) and I were able to do what we've wanted to do all year -- unleash 'em. We're running the motors harder than we've ever run 'em and throwing sticker tires at it trying to go as fast as we can -- both of us, racing each other as hard as we could and I ended up getting the pole so I'm satisfied. Qualifying was really the first time I'd been in the car today, because of the weather. I've been here enough at Daytona that I know my way around and I'm really comfortable in the car. I went out and ran as hard as I could. It was good enough for the pole and it was the provisional fastest lap of the day! The track was wet in spots but for the most part it was dry so we went on slicks. It was slippery the first few laps but once you figured out where the wet stuff was it was OK. (ON RACE STRATEGY.) It's a three-hour race so you have to be a little conservative. But Daytona is a wonderful place to be for this length of a race because the track is real easy on cars and tires. We don't use brakes a lot and have a lot of time to cool them down. There'll be a lot of traffic because Daytona brings out everybody, so we'll try to keep our noses clean and be cautious. No team orders whatsoever! We're going after each other. Me and Irv have a big bet going: He took the No. 1 car and I took the No. 5, he took Jon Gooding and I took Brian Cunningham. We're racing for a dollar and a beer! This is all out! Irv and I won't start -- we'll get in at the end and we hope we'll have a battle. It's a two-stop race for us. Brian has to run an hour to get points.

EXXON SUPREME GTS-2 ANDY PILGRIM (No. 98 American Signature Porsche 911) -- The car is one race old -- we ran it at Mosport (Canada). Second time out for the car, first time on the pole, that's not bad! The car is very neutral, which is what you want here. If you can be neutral in the infield and through the fast stuff you've got a good Daytona car, for sure. Qualifying was a bit damp coming out to the banking in NASCAR (turn) one and you got a little bit of a slide there. We went on slicks. We almost got the pole in the Pontiac (third in Endurance Championship qualifying) too. I've been running the different cars for two or three years so it's not that big a deal. You've just got to remember which car you're in and where you can and can't brake! I think my first pole here was in the Daytona 24- Hour in '93, in the Invitational GT class driving a Corvette. (ON RACE STRATEGY.) Getting Larry (Schumacher) the championship is most important and getting Porsche the manufacturers' championship is very important, too. Anything I can do to help Larry win is my job. I'll probably start and finish. Larry will run the hour in the middle, but we'll have to have yellows (full-course cautions) cooperate to do that.

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Didier Theys , Wayne Taylor , Pierre Kleinubing , Brian Cunningham , Bob Leitzinger