Grand AM »

Rojas, Ham double up with Laguna poles.

As temperatures warmed dramatically from opening practice, so did Memo Rojas' form, as the #01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing driver ran a lap of 1min 19.874secs to capture pole position for Sunday's Grand-Am Rolex Series Verizon Wireless Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Rojas became the first multiple Daytona Prototype pole winner of 2009, and added a third career pole to his personal tally, with top spot in California, doubling up on his only other qualifying effort this season, at Virginia International Raceway.

"We were really struggling yesterday, and our car was out of the window of where we wanted it to be," the Mexican said, "We took really strong decisions with the set-up to begin this morning, and it worked. My hat's off to this team. Even though we struggled yesterday, we didn't panic, and we took the right direction pretty quick. Then we won the pole."

Rojas said that Friday's cooler temperatures had played a role in the TELMEX team's struggle but, while it was 57 degrees Friday afternoon, it warmed up to 85 degrees for qualifying.

"It was the cold temperatures that messed us up yesterday," he said, "We didn't have the tyre pressures set up for that kind of weather, and we were lost with that. Now that it warmed up, we took the right direction and the car was great."

Brian Frisselle ran a lap of 1min 20.254secs to put the #10 SunTrust Ford Dallara on the outside of the front row.

"The car was awesome out there today, it was very consistent," Frisselle said, "I ran three laps that were similar to my qualifying time - that points out we should have a pretty good race pace. The car has given me a great car that we can win the race with tomorrow."

Starting on row two will be Jon Fogarty, in the #99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley co-driven by Alex Gurney, and Mark Wilkins, in the #61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley he shares with Burt Frisselle.

"It's a tough field out there," Wilkins noted, "We have to work harder and harder to bring our A-game to every event."

Rounding out the top ten starters will be Romain Dumas(Penske Racing #12 Porsche Riley), Nic Jonsson (#76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola), Mark Patterson (#60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley), the impressive Ricky Taylor (Beyer Racing #13 Pontiac Riley), John Pew (# 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley) and Daytona 24 Hours winner Darren Law (#58 Brumos Porsche Riley).

The Acxiom GT class also saw its first two-time pole winner of the season, with Nick Ham putting the #70 Castrol Syntec/Mazda Mazda RX-8 out front with a lap of 1min 27.251secs.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
#01 Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley - Montoya/Pruett/Rojas [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. Continental Tire Sports Car Festival. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
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)
Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty - GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Henri Richard/Rene Villeneuve - Polizei 144 TRG Porsche GT3   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Romain Dumas/Timo Bernhard - Verizon Wireless Team Penske Riley-Porsche   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
The #01 Chip Ganassi entry at Daytona [Pic credit: Brian Cleary]
The #02 Chip Ganassi entry at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Brumos Racing and Ganassi battle for victory at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am]
The #01 Chip Ganassi entry at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am]
The #01 Chip Ganassi entry at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am]
The #01 Chip Ganassi entry leads the Brumos pair onto pit road [Pic credit: Grand Am]
The #01 Chip Ganassi Racing entry at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
The #01 Chip Ganassi Racing entry [Pic credit: Grand Am]
The #01 Chip Ganassi entry [Pic credit@ Grand-Am]

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 - 2017 Crash Media Group

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