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Goossens tops Infineon practice.

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.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Goossens/Matthews - Riley-Matthews Motorsport
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. GRAND-AM Championship Weekend Presented by BMW at Lime Rock Park. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. Continental Tire Sports Car Festival. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Action. VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at Road America. Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series [Pic credit: Grand AM]
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Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype 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. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
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)
John Edwards and Robin Liddell, drivers of the # 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R., race to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Grand Touring (GT) class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Matt Bell, drivers of the # 9 Camaro GS.R, race to second place Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas, Scott Pruett and Charlie Kimball, co-drivers of the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley celebrate their win in victory lane at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Rolex Series action [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
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)
The winning #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford Riley car is brought into victory lane after a gruelling 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona. [Picture Credit: Daytona International Speedway]
Action Express win the Rolex 24 [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Derek Johnston [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Wilkins/Frisselle - AIM Autosport [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Spencer Pumpelly - TRG Porsche [Pic credit: Grand Am]

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