Grand AM » 23 June 2007
Fogarty secures DP pole at Mid-Ohio.
Jon Fogarty gave the #99 Bob Stallings Racing GAINSCO Pontiac Riley its seventh consecutive front row start Friday in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series qualifying for Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The pole was the teams fourth in Daytona Prototype competition of 2007.
Fogarty, who co-drives with Alex Gurney, recorded a time of 1m 18.374s (103.718 mph), completing only three laps during the 15-minute session late Friday afternoon.
Fogarty outlasted Christian Fittipaldi, who consistently notched faster lap times throughout the session. It also broke Max Papis' three-year qualifying track record by more than a second.
Fogarty and Gurney, the only two Daytona Prototype drivers with multiple Daytona Prototype victories in 2007, have each scored two poles this season. The pair also has momentum on their side as they combined to win the recent Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen earlier this month at Watkins Glen International in New York.
“It was close,” said Fogarty, who finished third last year at Mid-Ohio. “Christian Fittipaldi kept getting faster and faster in the #39 car, but we didn't want to run on our race tyres for too long, so we had to get it done early. The car was very good. I'm happy for the GAINSCO Auto Insurance team.
“Alex (Gurney) and I both work in concert for getting the car good. I can't take all the credit. It's good to start up front, because I think track position will be pretty important here.”
The run was a good one for the #39 Cheever Racing Crown Royal Special Reserve Porsche Fabcar, which was involved in a six-car incident in Thursday's promoter test day following a short period of rain.
Like several others in front of him, Fittipaldi – who co-drives with Harrison Brix – hit a slick spot in Turn 9 of the 13-turn track, sliding off and hitting the #05 Luggage Express Team Sigalsport BMW Riley. The Porsche came to a stop before being rear ended by another car, forcing the #39 to hit the BMW again.
The crew began working on the car immediately after the incident and did not complete their work until 3:30 am Friday.
“I was a little bit surprised at the #99, but we got beat fair and square,” said Fittipaldi, who was among the fastest in Friday's two practice sessions. “We definitely had it all together for qualifying, but I'm still happy, considering all the problems we've had. It was a great effort from the team. We basically had to rebuild this car completely yesterday. I think it's a good position to start for the race.”
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