Thursday
Mar222007

GRAND AM NEWS: Donohue Leads First Practice for Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami

Photo by John Thawley HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 22, 2007) – In a practice session that included a rain shower for the final 30 minutes, David Donohue piloted the No. 58 Red Bull/Brumos Racing Porsche Riley to a best lap of 1:14.593 (111.002 mph) and led the opening day of Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve practice for Saturday’s Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami (SPEED, Live, 2:00 p.m. ET).

Donohue heads into Saturday’s race looking for his first Rolex Series victory since the 2003 season. His co-driver, Darren Law, started the No. 58 machine from the pole position for the Rolex Series event at Homestead-Miami Speedway two years ago. Donohue and Law have run among the front-runners in both Rolex Series events thus far in 2007, with a best result of sixth earlier this month in Mexico City.

“Brumos Racing has always run strong here in particular, both here and Daytona, so we’re optimistic” Donohue said. “Finishing first in practice on Thursday isn’t necessarily an indication of what’s going to happen at this time on Saturday but it doesn’t hurt. We haven’t had much testing time compared to other guys. I have to emphasize that it’s the first practice on Thursday and the session was shortened by rain. We still have work to do with the car.”

Second-quickest in the session was Oswaldo Negri Jr. in the No. 60 NetApp/TSP/Michael Shank Racing Lexus Riley. Negri posted a best lap at 1:14.787 (110.714 mph) in the car he is sharing with Mark Patterson. The Brazilian, who makes his home in Miami, and Patterson are looking for their second Rolex Series victory on Saturday.

“I’m happy we had a chance to get some laps in when it was dry out there and that Mark also got some dry laps in as well,” said Negri. “We were first on the first day at Daytona, second on the first day in Mexico, and now second today, so obviously the guys are doing a great job and we have fast cars everywhere we go. This race is important to me not just because I’ll have a lot of friends and family out here, but also because we should have a good chance this weekend to make up more ground in the championship, and we are really focused on that.”

Negri led a two-car assault on the top three for Michael Shank Racing, as Ian James wound up third on the day in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Lexus Riley. James turned a lap at 1:14.928 (110.506 mph) and will share the ride with Henri Zogaib. The duo is looking for its first Rolex Series victory on Saturday.

“Michael Shank Racing has been doing a great job with our shock program, and even though this isn’t the bumpiest of tracks, our car has such a good balance here,” said James, who took 10th in the Mexico City round with co-driver Henri Zogaib. “When we tested here in November, it was the first time I’d been on this track in a Daytona Prototype, so now I am feeling right at home and this is obviously a good way to start the weekend off.”

Miami Beach resident Max Papis was fourth-quickest in the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley with a lap at 1:14.931 (110.502 mph). However, shortly after his quick lap Papis spun into the gravel trap at Turn 8. Papis and 18-year-old co-driver Colin Braun finished second in the Mexico City 400k.

Max Angelelli rounded out the top five in the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley at 1:15.079 (110.284 mph). Angelelli and co-driver Jan Magnussen have finished third in both of the first two races this season and have finished inside the top five in their last nine Rolex Series events as co-drivers.

The top eight times in the session were covered by less than one second.

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    GRAND AM NEWS: Donohue Leads First Practice for Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami - Imported 2009-10-23 - Sports Car Insider | No Nonsense Sports Car Enthusiasm
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    GRAND AM NEWS: Donohue Leads First Practice for Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami - Imported 2009-10-23 - Sports Car Insider | No Nonsense Sports Car Enthusiasm

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