Ganassi's Rojas Captures Pole Position For Crown Royal 200
Tremblay Breaks Seven-Year-Old Mark In GT Qualifying
By: WGI Staff on 8/6/2010
Rojas will join Scott Pruett in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW/Riley at the front of the grid for Round 10 of the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.
Series championship standings co-leader Memo Rojas ran a lap of 1:05.470 (134.718 mph) Friday on the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen International short circuit to capture the pole for Saturday's Crown Royal 200.
Rojas will join Scott Pruett in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW/Riley at the front of the grid for Round 10 of the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16. The race takes the green flag at 6 p.m. Saturday (SPEED, live).
"It's great to win the pole," said Rojas, who shares a 19-point lead with Pruett over Ryan Dalziel in the Daytona Prototype class standings (267-248). "It's been a great season so far. We focus on doing the best we can, and I'm really overwhelmed by the number of wins we have so far this year. Now this pole position is in a good way to start the weekend."
Mark Wilkins was second with a lap of 1:05.642 (134.645 mph) in the session that was black-flagged nine minutes early due to an incident when Mark Patterson spun in the Inner Loop and was collected by Buddy Rice. Both cars are expected to be repaired for the race.
"It was a tough session because of the incident, and it would have been interesting to see how it would have worked when everyone got their tires up to speed," Rojas said. "I think we were on the right page. I think we might have run a 1:04.6, but that's just quick thoughts."
Rojas and Pruett are seeking their seventh victory of the season, which would tie the single-season record set in 2007 by Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty. The Ganassi duo won the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen in June, their third consecutive victory in the event on the Watkins Glen International 3.4-mile long circuit. It was the third pole position of the season for Rojas, breaking a tie with Ricky Taylor in that category.
Pruett did double-duty on Friday. In addition to practicing the DP car, he took a few laps in the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice. Pruett is on standby in case regular driver Jeff Gordon's wife goes into labor this weekend.
Taylor qualified third with a lap of 1:105.788 (134.067 mph). He will be joined on the second row by Jon Fogarty, who qualified with a lap of 1:06.020 (133.795 mph) in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet/Riley he drove to victory with Alex Gurney in the series' previous race, at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Sylvain Tremblay ran a lap of 1:11.762 (122.906 mph) to capture the GT class pole in the No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8, erasing Cort Wagner's mark set in 2003 in a Ferrari 360GT.
"The car was good from the first session, and we just kept tweaking and tweaking it," said Tremblay, who is eight points (262-254) behind SpeedSource teammates Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato. "The team is firing on all rotors - not cylinders - right now. After the history we had at New Jersey (SpeedSource swept the GT podium), we're proving that wasn't a fluke. We're here for real, and we're out to chase this championship."Andrew Davis qualified second with a lap of 1:11.785 (122.866 mph) in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro, followed by motorcycle legend Scott Russell, who ran 1:11.852 (122.752 mph).