'We weren't the best, but we also weren't the worst'
The SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports Viper GTS-R teams qualified sixth and ninth respectively Saturday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where both Viper teams spent the majority of the day's two practice sessions working through various setup options for today's Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
The slippery Laguna Seca circuit, and the team's ongoing search to hit the setup, kept SRT from challenging for the top-five in qualifying, but No. 91 SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R driver Dominik Farnbacher turned in a solid run to take the sixth grid spot. Farnbacher's top lap time of 1:23.076 (96.981 mph) was just seven tenths of a second behind the GTLM class pole winner's time on the 2.238-mile road course.
Jonathan Bomarito qualified the No. 93 SRT Motorsports Vipers GTS-R (above) ninth with a top lap time of 1:23.341 (96.673 mph). Not even a home-track advantage for the Monterey native could overcome the team's search or grip and setup, but the SRT Motorsports crew and drivers quickly zeroed in on what they believe will be the correct overnight fix for tomorrow's race.
Sunday's race, the second in an IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship doubleheader and the fourth GTLM round of the season, starts at 2:45 p.m. PDT with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 5:30 p.m. EDT/2:30 p.m. PDT. The two-hour sprint will be for GTLM division cars, including the SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-Rs, which will share the track with the Prototype class. The day's first two-hour sprint will be for the PC and GTD classes and can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 at 1p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT.
"We weren't the best, but we also weren't the worst," Farnbacher said. "We were right in the middle. We analyzed some data earlier and saw there is still a lot to improve. I could really feel a big peak with the tire this time where I couldn't at the previous race tracks and it really helped me to get a good feel for the car. It was still lacking like seven tenths, but most of that can be gained on the braking side and we'll make a setup change for the warm-up and we'll see if we have a good car for the race. I think the race will be good, we'll have a good car for the race and I'm looking forward to it."