After struggling for pace on the opening day of practice for the Porsche 250 at the undulating Barber Motorsports Park, Gainsco backed teammates Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty his the sweet spot on Friday.
The American duo were second fastest at the conclusion of Friday's Daytona Prototype activities at the 2.3-mile road course in Alabama and feel confident that they can challenge for pole position on Saturday.
Their overnight search for speed yielded a best time of 1min 22.089secs on Friday in the #99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Riley-Pontiac, just five hundredths slower than practice pacesetters Colin Braun and Nic Jonsson in the Krohn Racing entry.
Both drivers are now confident that they've made major strides in the set-up of the #99, as they worked with team engineer Kyle Brannan to make the GAINSCO car more stable throughout the twisting and rolling circuit. A few small tweaks are on tap for Saturday, as the team searches for even quicker times to help Fogarty in his quest to record his fourth consecutive pole and ninth consecutive front-row start.
“We've been learning the whole time,” stated Gurney. “Yesterday we were really scratching our heads. But we have been improving the GAINSCO car every session, and we improved it quite a bit more in the afternoon. Jon, Kyle and I really worked to perfect the balance, because this track is very complex and technical. There are a lot of corners that fall away, some tough power-down spots, high speeds and big elevation changes.
“The challenge is to find the best compromise that creates a stable car. We still wonder about the ultimate speed of the 75 car, but we seem to have our main championship rivals, the 01 and the 10, covered so far.”
“We've been playing a bit of catch-up with the 75 car, (Krohn Racing) and we really had to chase things all over the map today,” added Fogarty. “But I think we found things which we can use to find even more speed tomorrow. Getting on the front row would be great, we can start off the race smooth, open up a gap to our rivals, have good pit stops and see what the race brings us.”