Friday
Mar232007

GRAND AM NEWS: Magnussen Claims Second Career Rolex Series Pole in Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami Qualifying

Photo by John Thawley HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 23, 2007) – For second time in his Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve career, Danish racer Jan Magnussen will start from the pole position when the field takes the green flag in Saturday’s Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway (SPEED, Live, 2:00 p.m. ET).

Magnussen clocked a best lap at 1:14.321 (111.409 mph) in the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley he is sharing with 2005 Daytona Prototype co-champion Max Angelelli. Magnussen and Angelelli head into Saturday’s race still looking for their first victory of the season, but have finished third in the first two races of the 2007 Rolex Series campaign. The duo has also finished inside the top-five positions in its last nine races as co-drivers dating to last season.

“I’m very happy with how things went both this afternoon and this morning,” Magnussen said. “For qualifying, we made some great improvements on the car. To be on pole for this race is very important for us especially since it’s a very big weekend for SunTrust with a lot of guests and a lot of very important people. Hopefully, we can take this pole position and turn it into a win this time. We’re tired of being in third”

Starting second will be Jon Fogarty in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley following a best qualifying lap at 1:14.509 (111.128 mph). Fogarty and co-driver Alex Gurney claimed their first Rolex Series victory three weeks ago in the Mexico City 400k and are looking to make it two-in-a-row this weekend. It is also the third-consecutive race in which the No. 99 machine will start from the front row, as Gurney started the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona from the pole position and Fogarty started second in Mexico City.

“It feels great to have achieved the third straight front row start for the GAINSCO Auto Insurance team,” Fogarty said. “The car was good. It is my first time competing here in Daytona Prototypes, and my first time here in a long time, actually six years or so. We knew we would be quick but are especially pleased because the car was good all nine laps. It didn’t fall off at all which means I think we have a very good race car.”

Starting third will be defending Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami champion Patrick Long in the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford. Long turned-in a best lap at 1:14.559 (111.053 mph) in the car he will co-drive with defending Daytona Prototype champion Jörg Bergmeister. It is the best starting position of the season for the No. 23 machine.

“I’m very happy with third place,” Long said. “The team did an awesome job of staying persistent and improving the car every time we’ve gone onto the track. We actually focused on race setup during practice, so to be this far forward in qualifying is a nice surprise. Hopefully, we can make it last throughout the race and lock in a podium finish.”

Starting fourth will be 18-year-old Colin Braun in the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley with a lap at 1:14.698 (110.846 mph). Braun, who is making his first start at Homestead-Miami Speedway since 2005, is sharing the car with 2004 Daytona Prototype co-champion and Miami Beach resident Max Papis. Braun and Papis narrowly missed taking their first win of the season earlier this month at Mexico City and finished second.

Darren Law completed the top five in the No. 58 Red Bull/Brumos Racing Porsche Riley. Law turned a best lap at 1:14.712 (110.826 mph), and is sharing the No. 58 machine with David Donohue. Law is looking for his first Rolex Series overall race victory, while Donohue is looking for his first win since 2003. The top-eight cars qualified within one second of the pole winner.

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