Law wins pole for Grand Prix of Miami
6 March 2010
Darren Law - with some help from Brumos Racing official Hurley Haywood - ran a lap of 1 minute 11.806 seconds (115.311 mph) to capture the pole for Saturday's Grand Prix of Miami, round two of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
Law led a nine-driver assault on Jon Fogarty's five-month-old Homestead-Miami Speedway Daytona Prototype track record in preparation for the two-hour, 45-minute race that takes the green flag at 5 pm [local time] on Saturday.
Fogarty qualified second in the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet, 1m 11.839s (114.311 mph), followed by Brian Frisselle in the #6 The Pit Stop on Norris Lake Ford Riley, 1m 12.079s (114.874 mph); Memo Rojas in the #01 TELMEX BMW Riley, 1m 12.166s (114.735 mph); and Ricky Taylor in the #10 SunTrust Ford Dallara, 1m 12.282s (114.551 mph).
Also eclipsing the former track record were Ryan Hunter-Reay in the #95 Crown Royal Cask #16/US Bank BMW Riley, Mark Wilkins in the #61 Pacific Mobile Ford Riley, Buddy Rice in the #90 Spirit of Daytona Porsche Coyote, and Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Terry Borcheller in the #9 Action Express Racing Porsche Riley.
Haywood won last October's Grand Prix as a late substitute in the #59 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley, co-driving with Joao Barbosa. One of America's most successful endurance racers, Haywood retired from active competition following the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona - a race he won a record five times. He remains active in the sport as an official with Brumos Racing.
"Prior to going out, Hurley told me to get in the car and visualise the track," said Law, who won his only prior pole position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2005. "I kind of blew it off, but I did get in the car early and tried to visualise it. Then we went out and won the pole, and Hurley's taking all the credit for it."
Fogarty had a personal streak of winning the pole in his last five qualifying attempts, while he ended 2009 by winning the pole in six of the last seven races, including the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"We would like to be on the pole, but it's a good starting position," said Fogarty, who shared the 2007 and 2009 Daytona Prototype championships with Alex Gurney. "I'm a little disappointed that we didn't maximize qualifying, but we were also trying to conserve our tyres and not put a lot of laps on them. We only ran one quick lap. The Brumos guys are right there and super fast. "
Paul Edwards meanwhile won the GT pole in the #07 Mobil 1 Corvette with a lap of 1m 18.123s (106.322 mph). Eight drivers were under Nick Ham's 2009 track mark in the 15-minute session.
Edwards will be joined on Saturday by Scott Russell. The motorcycle legend missed Friday's Homestead activities to participate in SPEED's coverage of the Daytona 200 By Honda - America's premier motorcycle race. Russell won that event five times.
"We couldn't do three laps in a row at Daytona without it breaking down," said Edwards. "Today, we ran all day without a problem. The car's fast. We're getting the car very well balanced. The team's done a remarkable job to get the car where we didn't have a hiccup in it. That gives me a lot of confidence."
SpeedSource claimed the next three positions and Mazda the next four. Jonathan Bomarito made his qualifying debut as regular co-driver in the Rolex 24 class-winning SpeedSource #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 by winning the outside pole with a lap of 1m 18.132s (105.975 mph).
John Edwards qualified third in the debut of the SpeedSource #68 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Mazda RX-8, 1m 18.137s (105.968 mph), followed by Emil Assentato in the SpeedSource #69 FXDD Mazda, 1m 18.144s (105.958 mph) and Todd Lamb in the #30 Racers Edge Motorsports Mazda RX-8, 1m 18.219s (105.857 mph).
Also under Ham's old track record were Andrew Davis in the #57 Stevenson Automotive Group/Vin Solutions Camaro, James Gue in Dempsey Racing's #41 Global Diving Mazda RX-8 and Luke Hines in the #48 Miller Barrett Racing Porsche GT3.