Daytona Thursday qualifying report

BALDI WINS SECOND POLE POSITION FOR ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Italian Mauro Baldi established a new Exxon World Sports Car track record at Daytona International Speedway Thursday as Scandia Motorsports and Ferrari's fleet of 333...

BALDI WINS SECOND POLE POSITION FOR ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Italian Mauro Baldi established a new Exxon World Sports Car track record at Daytona International Speedway Thursday as Scandia Motorsports and Ferrari's fleet of 333 SPs, as expected, dominated front row qualifying for Saturday's Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Baldi, who has seen both highs and lows at the "World Center of Racing," was clocked at 1:43.326, an average speed of 124.035 mph, around the 3.56-mile course. He drove Scandia's #33 car.

Teammate Fermin Velez, who held the previous mark of 1:45.934/120.981, for the open-cockpit catetgory that was introduced to Daytona in the '94 Rolex 24, was less than .2-seconds behind Baldi, at 1:43.461, 123.873.

Gianfranco Brancatelli provisionally qualified third in the Euromotorsport Ferrari; as only the top two positions were locked- in on Thursday. Defending WSC champion Wayne Taylor was fourth- quickest in the Momo Ferrari. James Weaver brought Rob Dyson's new R&S Mk. III into fifth spot at 1:45.785, at this point the last car to break the previous WSC qualifying mark.

Baldi qualified on the pole for the 1988 Rolex 24, when he also finished second in a BFGoodrich Porsche 962. However, he suffered a broken foot the next year when the brakes failed as his Momo Porsche entered the East Horseshoe turn in the infield.

The provisional pole winner for the Exxon GTS-1 division was Irv Hoerr, who was clocked at 1:51.447, 114.996 mph, in the #4 Brix Racing Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. The provisional pole winner for the Exxon GTS-2 division, at 1:59.653, 107.110, was the Porsche 911 RSR shared by Enzo Calderari, Lilian Bryner, Enzo Calderari and Renato Mastropietro.

Final qualifying will be held on Friday afternoon. No less than 70 cars are on hand, including at least 19 World Sports Cars. Included in that number are two Kremer K8 Le Mans WSCs; one being fielded by the Kremer Brothers and the other, Konrad Motorsport.

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers James Weaver , Wayne Taylor , Rob Dyson , Mauro Baldi , Fermin Velez , Enzo Calderari , Lilian Bryner , Gianfranco Brancatelli , Renato Mastropietro