If qualifying is any indication, things are shaping up for a 'banner weekend' for Banner Racing as its two Pontiac GXP.Rs line up on the front row for Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Series race at Barber Motorsports Park.
Kelly Collins placed the #07 Pontiac on pole for the GT-only race, extending the car's record to four poles in the past five races. However, despite the qualifying success, the team of Collins and Paul Edwards is still searching for their first win of 2007.
"I was going to try to go by [Craig] Stanton, but he took off, so I decided to give him some ground and give me something to chase after," Collins revealed, "The car is the best it's been in the past two days. We were good this morning, but then went the wrong direction this afternoon, so we went back to this morning['s settings], used a softer front bar, and ran consistent laps and ran it as hard as we could until we ripped the tyres off.”
Starting alongside Collins on the front row will be the second Banner Racing entry driven by Leighton Reese. Reese and Tim Lewis Jr, after Reese qualified the #06 in a time of 1min 29.738secs.
“For my personal ego, we'd like to be P1, but if the #06 or #07 does well, it's a victory for Pontiac and a victory for Banner,” Reese said, “That's all we care about right now. Good job for Kelly Collins, he ripped off a flier, and we squeaked one out over Craig Stanton and the Farnbacher guys. It should be a good battle tomorrow.”
Stanton, co-driving the #85 Farnbacher Loles Motorsports Porsche GT3 with Ian Baas, fell just short of Reese to qualify third, while Nick Ham will start the #70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 alongside the American veteran. Ham and co-driver Sylvain Tremblay have won three times this season, but remain involved in a close race for the GT title.
Eric Curran's #03 Georgian Bay Motorsports Corvette provides the fourth different engine manufacturer in the top five, while series points leader Dirk Werner will take the #87 Farnbacher Loles Motorsports entry from seventh.