Marc Goossens posted the quickest time in the opening practice session for the latest round of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at Infineon Raceway, running a lap of 1min 26.995secs in the #91 Riley-Matthews Motorsports Pontiac Riley.
Goossens and co-driver Jim Matthews won earlier in the season at Mexico City - one which was part of five consecutive top-ten finishes that boosted them to second in the team point standings - but they have only one top-ten finish in the last six races and will be looking to get back on form in Saturday's race.
"Unfortunately, we don't get any points for leading practice, so we hope to be there on Saturday afternoon," Goossens said. "We know we're strong, but in the last couple of races we haven't have luck on our side. We had a good session. The car wasn't that good at the beginning, but we worked on it and put ourselves on top of the time sheets."
Michael Valiante also produced a strong showing during the session as he posted a lap of 1min 27.180secs in the #10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Dallara – a car that has yet to win a race this season. The SunTrust team has started from the pole three times this year - twice by Valiante and once by Max Angelelli - and the team's best finish was third in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.
"The car is good, and the team has done a great job to give us a great car right out of the box," he said. "Now we can use the precious track time to learn more about the car. We haven't won this year, but everyone seems to lose the fact that we came out with a brand-new car. We've shown that we're fast enough to win, but it's a brand new car and we haven't been to any of these tracks with it before. I think we're ready to win."
Third, with a lap of 1min 27.374secs was Scott Pruett in the #01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Pontiac Riley. He and Memo Rojas have won six races this season and hold a 49-point lead in the championship standings, but are coming off their worst outing of the campaign - 13th in the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen.
"Every time we get a setback, that helps us focus and put everything together," Rojas admitted. "We always work hard, but a setback helps us to refocus. Hopefully, it will help us here, as well."
Nic Jonsson was fourth in the #76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola followed by Bill Auberlen in the #23 Ruby Tuesday Porsche Riley. Bill Lester in the #3 Southard Motorsports Lexus Riley and Mark Patterson in the #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley were involved in separate off-track incidents near the end of the session but hope to return to action after repairs to their respective machines.