Grand AM »

Gurney paces Grand-Am practice in Mexico.


Returning to scene of his team's first win, and the result that kick-started an eventual title charge, Alex Gurney set the fastest lap deep into second Rolex Series practice to keep the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley on top of the pile in Mexico.

Gurney, who claimed his first Rolex Series victory at the circuit last year with co-driver Jon Fogarty, logged a time of 1min 20.536secs with only three minutes remaining on the opening day at the 2.5-mile, 14-turn Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, setting the #99 up as one of the favourites to take Friday's pole position.

“I knew we would be up there," Gurney, who shrugged off the effects of a heavy cold, admitted, "We made probably six or seven good changes and kept improving it and, at the end there, it was the best it had been. We are pretty happy, but we know the other guys are not going to slack off, so I am sure it will be very close at the top. But so far, so good.

“I would imagine you will see some [1min] 19s before the end of the weekend. The track will clean up some more and, obviously, the tyres are giving us that little bit more grip, so it will keep coming around.”

Ryan Dalziel and Burt Frisselle also proved quick in the session, which saw six drivers unofficially besting last year's qualifying record of 1min 21.221secs. Dalziel, whose #2 SAMAX team recently switched to BMW engines, notched a time of 1min 20.880secs near the end of the session, while Frisselle accepted third fastest in the #47 Doran Racing Ford-Dallara which, prior to Thursday, had never been on a race track at speed.

“It's exciting for this team to be able to take a brand new car to the racetrack and put it in the top five," Frisselle said, "It doesn't get any better than that. My brother set the fastest lap earlier today and we were in the top three, so hopefully we will have a great battle on Saturday with a couple of Frisselle brothers fighting for a podium.”

Rounding out the top five were Oswaldo Negri's #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley and Marc Goossens' #91 Bob Stallings/Riley-Matthews Motorsports Pontiac Riley.

GT class action saw points co-leader Spencer Pumpelly go quickest with a time of 1min 27.835secs, under last year's qualifying record, but the American had had to battle with Kelly Collins and Lawson Aschenbach for top honours throughout the session.

Collins, the 2006 race co-winner, was second in the #07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R he shares with Paul Edwards, while Aschenbach – in his first Rolex Series trip to the Mexican track – was third in the #72 Autohaus Motorsports Pontiac.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Gurney/Fogarty/Vasser/Johnson - GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: Grand-Am media]
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (left) to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Gurney and Jo Fogarty, drivers of the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP (right) finish in second place. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Alex Popow and Sebastian Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Ford Riley, celebrate in Victory Lane after wininng the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Alex Popow and Sebastien Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Soloson Ford Riley, celebrate after winning the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Fogarty/Gurney - GAINSCO Racing [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty - GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
The GAINSCO Racing entry at Daytona [Pic credit: Brian Cleary]
The GAINSCO entry at night at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am]
The #99 GAINSCO Racing entry [Pic credit: grand am]
The Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Alex Lloyd [Pic credit: Mark Weber]
#99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley - Fogarty/Gurney/Johnson/Vasser [Pic credit: Grand Am]
#99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley - Fogarty/Gurney/Johnson/Vasser [Pic credit: Grand Am]
#99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley - Fogarty/Gurney/Johnson/Vasser [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Fogarty/Gurney/Vasser/Johnson - GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: grand-am.com]
Fogarty/Gurney/Vasser/Johnson - GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: grand-am.com]
Auberlen/Hand/Wallace/Long - Alex Job/Ruby Tuesday Crawford-Porsche   [pic credit: grand-am.com]
Fogarty/Gurney/Vasser/Johnson - GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: grand-am.com]
Alex Gurney - GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing   [pic credit: grand-am.com]

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.