Rolex 24: Alex Gurney on pole at Daytona

Rolex 24: Alex Gurney on pole at Daytona

IMSA

Rolex 24: Alex Gurney on pole at Daytona

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GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing driver Alex Gurney won the pole today for the 52nd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The 39-year-old Californian topped the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship field with a lap of 1:38.270, which was over two-tenths of a second clear of second-place qualifier Richard Westbrook, who had led both practice sessions earlier in the day.
 
“I’m really happy and excited about it all,” Gurney said. “When we pulled the fuel out the time came and it was nice to put one in there.”
 
Gurney’s GAINSCO-sponsored team is only confirmed for five races this season. He admitted securing today’s pole position at Daytona could only help their chances of adding more events to the schedule.
 
“It’s been a difficult offseason,” he admitted. “Big thanks to Bob Stallings and everybody on the team. We worked through Christmas and New Years … this means a lot to all of us and our entire team. We’re always trying to find more ways to keep going – so starting well and finishing well is the best place to be.”
 
It was Gurney’s sixth career pole in American sports car racing, and his second pole in the Rolex 24 after qualifying in the top spot in 2007.
 
Westbrook’s time of 1:38.487 in his No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP secured the second position on Saturday’s starting grid. Scott Mayer made his final qualification lap count in the No. 78 Starworks Motorsports Riley DP with a time of 1:38.525, which elevated his team to the third overall position.
 
(Marshall Pruett photos)

Colin Braun, who had paced the Prototype Challenge (PC) class in the both the day’s practice sessions, drove his No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09 into the PC pole position with a top lap of 1:41.777.

 
“We were able to pull one out of the bag there,” Braun said. “It comes down to the finer details and the guys did a good job. It’s great to be on the pole here … but as soon as the green flag drops everybody forgets it.”
 
Braun was followed by Renger van der Zande, whose lap of 1:41.815 in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport entry was good enough for second in class. Longtime open-wheel veteran, and former Indianapolis 500 polesitter, Bruno Junqueira rounded out the top three qualifiers in the PC class with a lap of 1:41.932 for RSR Racing.Marc Goossens captured the pole position in GTLM with a top lap of 1:44.506 in the No. 91 SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R. Nick Tandy posted a lap of 1:44.582, which put his No. 911 Porsche 911 second in class.
 
“(Being on pole) is not the most important thing, but it obviously helps,” Goossens said. “What’s good for us is that after a year and a half of hard work we’re at this level … we kept the momentum going from how strong we were last year.”
 
Jonathan Bomarito (1:44.617) of SRT Motorsports rounded out the top three qualifiers in GTLM, which had a total of nine cars make a qualifying attempt.
 
The No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe did not make a qualification attempt due to an electrical issue. The Corvette Racing entry will start Saturday’s race near the rear of the field, in the 66th overall position.
 
The GTD class was led by Paul Miller Racing driver Christopher Haase, who captured the pole position in his No. 48 Audi R8 LMS with a lap time of 1:48.973.
 
“For qualifying we said we would be more aggressive,” Haase explained. “I’m really happy to be on the pole, but everybody knows in a 24 hour race being on pole is not important; you have to finish the race after 24 hours.”
 
Haase was followed by Toni Vilander, whose time of 1:47.028 put his No. 48 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia in the second position on the grid. Oliver Jarvis rounded out the top three qualifiers in the GTD class with a top lap of 1:47.050 in the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8 LMS. A total of 28 entries qualified for Saturday’s race in the GTD class.
 
There will be another practice session this evening from 6:30 – 8:00 pm (ET) and one hour-long session at 11:30 am (ET) Friday. 
 
Pos  Cl   Drivers                                     Team/Car                 Time
 1.  P    Gurney/Fogarty/Gidley/Law                   GAINSCO Corvette         1m38.270s
 2.  P    Westbrook/Valiante/Rockenfeller             Spirit Corvette          1m38.487s
 3.  P    Mayer/Popow/Hartley                         Speedworks Riley-BMW     1m38.525s
 4.  P    Barbosa/Fittipaldi/Bourdais/Friselle        Action Express Corvette  1m38.658s
 5.  P    Frisselle/Friselle/Martin/Giroix            Action Express Corvette  1m38.838s
 6.  P    Dixon/Kanaan/Franchitti/Larson              Ganassi Riley-BMW        1m38.948s
 7.  P    Taylor/Angelelli/Taylor/Taylor              Taylor Corvette          1m39.023s
 8.  P    Meyrick/Legge/Rossi/Chaves                  DeltaWing                1m39.270s
 9.  P    Pruett/Rojas/McMurray/Karam                 Ganassi Riley-Ford       1m39.424s
10.  P    Pew/Negri/Allmendinger/Wilson               Shank Riley-Ford         1m39.761s
11.  P    Graf/Luhr/Brundle                           Pickett ORECA-Nissan     1m39.829s
12.  P    Curran/Said/Smith/Papis                     Marsh Corvette           1m40.570s
13.  P    DeFoor/Pace/Beck/Hinton                     Highway Riley-BMW        1m41.587s
14.  PC   Bennett/Gue/Braun/Wilkins                   CORE FLM                 1m41.777s
15.  PC   Schultis/Lux/van der Zande/Bird             Starworks FLM            1m41.815s
16.  P    Brown/van Overbeek/Pagenaud/Lazzaro         Extreme Speed HPD        1m41.885s
17.  PC   Ende/Junqueira/Heinemeier Hansson           RSR FLM                  1m41.932s
18.  PC   Ostella/Matos/Drissi/Casagrande/Campos      Performance FLM          1m42.053s
19.  P    Sharp/Dalziel/Brabham                       Extreme Speed HPD        1m42.157s
20.  PC   Cumming/Tagliani/Mitchell/Daly              RSR FLM                  1m42.187s
21.  PC   Rayhall/Kovacic/Bielefield/Kearby/Kasemets  BAR1 FLM                 1m42.416s
22.  PC   Montecalvo/Jeannette/Cheng/Guasch           PR1 FLM                  1m43.156s
23.  P    Pla/Rusinov/Yacaman/Webb                    OAK Morgan-Nissan        1m43.420s
24.  PC   Popow/Fuentes/Tutumlu/Marcelli/Kaffer       Starworks FLM            1m44.126s
25.  GT   Farnbacher/Goossens/Hunter-Reay             SRT Viper                1m44.506s
26.  GT   Tandy/Lietz/Pilet                           CORE Porsche             1m44.582s
27.  GT   Bell/Bomarito/Wittmer                       SRT Viper                1m44.617s
28.  GT   Gavin/Milner/Liddell                        Corvette                 1m44.729s
29.  GT   Long/Christensen/Bergmeister                CORE Porsche             1m44.746s
30.  GT   Mucke/Turner/Lamy/Stanaway/Dalla Lana       Aston Martin             1m45.439s
31.  GT   Muller/Edwards/Rahal/Werner                 RLL BMW                  1m45.667s
32.  GT   Auberlen/Priaulx/Hand/Martin                RLL BMW                  1m45.672s
33.  GT   Krohn/Jonsson/Bertolini/Dumbreck            Krohn Ferrari            1m46.863s
34.  GTD  Miller/Rast/Haase/Bell                      Miller Audi              1m46.973s
35.  GTD  Balzan/Westphal/Vilander/Case               Corsa Ferrari            1m47.028s
36.  GTD  Putman/Espenlaub/Jarvis/Walker              Fall-Line Audi           1m47.050s
37.  GTD  Longo/Serra/Negrao/Gomes                    Corsa Ferrari            1m47.052s
38.  GTD  Block/Carter/Davis/Davison                  TRG Aston Martin         1m47.055s
39.  GTD  Tucker/Sweedler/Bell/Segal/Pier Guidi       Ferrari                  1m47.062s
40.  GTD  Keating/Bleekemolen/Bleekemolen             Riley SRT Viper          1m47.255s
41.  GTD  Tucker/LaMarra/Borcheller/Cosmo             Level 5 Ferrari          1m47.348s
42.  GTD  Norman/Stanton/Siedler/Bernhard             Park Place Porsche       1m47.354s
43.  GTD  Rotenberg/Zlobin/Mediani/Salo/Aleshin       SMP/ESM Ferrari          1m47.361s
44.  GTD  Lockie/McIntosh/Nimkroff/Riddle             TRG Aston Martin         1m47.404s
45.  GTD  Cameron/Dalla Lana/Farfus/Palttala          Turner BMW               1m47.418s
46.  GTD  Foster/Dempsey/Davis/Lieb                   Dempsey Porsche          1m47.490s
47.  GTD  Amos/Bamber/Blum/Imperatori/Zitza           Muehlner Porsche         1m47.561s
48.  GTD  Potter/Lally/Henzler/Dumolin                Magnus Porsche           1m47.572s
49.  GTD  MacNeil/Keen/van Gisbergen/Lewis            Alex Job Porsche         1m47.647s
50.  GTD  Snow/Heylen/Seefried                        Snow Porsche             1m47.649s
51.  GTD  Cisneros/Giermaziak/Nielsen/Thiim           NGT Porsche              1m47.742s
52.  GTD  Lindsey/Estre/De Phillippi/Hart/Vess        Park Place Porsche       1m47.749s
53.  GTD  James/Farnbacher/Holzer/Riberas             Alex Job Porsche         1m47.952s
54.  GTD  Canache/Pumpelly/Pappas/Winkelhock          Flying Lizard Audi       1m48.045s
55.  GTD  Faulkner/Huisman/Faieta                     GB Porsche               1m48.049s
56.  GTD  Neiman/von Moltke/Latif/Albuquerque         Flying Lizard Audi       1m48.140s
57.  GTD  Welch/Sofronas/Stippler/Basseng             GMG Audi                 1m48.381s
58.  GTD  Griffin/Cioci/Rugolo/Gerber                 Spirit of Race Ferrari   1m48.438s
59.  GTD  Engelhart/Ineichen/Bachler/Willsey          Dempsey Porsche          1m48.741s
60.  GTD  Randall/Farano/Wilden/Empringham            Corsa Ferrari            1m48.758s
61.  GTD  Doyle/Gewirtz/Kvamme/Michaelian             Muehlner Porsche         1m48.821s
62.  P    Tremblay/Long/Hinchcliffe                   Speedsource Mazda        1m49.734s
63.  P    Miller/Nunez/Vautier                        Speedsource Mazda        1m50.251s

IMSA TUNE-IN:

Tune in for the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona at the following times:

Saturday, Jan. 25

2-4 p.m. ET on FOX (Live)
4-9 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2 (Live)
 
Overnight (Jan. 25-26)
9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ET on IMSA.com (includes live images, in-car cameras and announcers)
 
Sunday, Jan. 26
7 a.m. – 3 p.m. on FOX Sports 1 (Live)

Tune in for the Daytona season opener at the following time:

Friday, Jan. 24

6 p.m. on FOX Sports 2 (Same Day)

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