Saturday
Jul142007

GRAND AM NEWS: Collins Earns Third Grand-Am Rolex Series GT Pole of 2007 Saturday at Iowa Speedway

Photo by John Thawley NEWTON, Iowa (July 14, 2007) -- Kelly Collins and the No. 07 Banner Racing/Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R mustered their third pole in the last four Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve GT races Saturday morning and will lead the field to the green flag in Saturday afternoon's two-and-a-half hour race at the 1.3-mile, nine-turn stadium road course at Iowa Speedway.

Collins, who co-drives the No. 07 with Paul Edwards, lapped the track at 45.465 seconds (102.936 mph) during the 15-minute qualifying session, a tenth of a second better than fellow front row starter Dominik Farnbacher. The German clocked a time of 45.582 seconds (102.672 mph) during the final minutes of the session in the No. 85 Farnbacher Loles Motorsports Shoes for Crews/Recaro Porsche GT3 but could not knock Collins from the top spot. Farnbacher is driving with Ian Baas for the second straight race.

"Qualifying turned out good for us," Collins said. "I got parked out there by the (No.) 87 early; I am not sure he was using his mirrors. This is the third of the season for the Banner (No.) 07. It is important to start at the front here, it is nearly impossible to pass. I will have Leighton behind me coming to the green so we should be able to control the start of the race."

Both cars and all four drivers are looking for their first GT victories of 2007. Their team cars, which have each won races this season, also posted top-five qualifying results. Leighton Reese, co-driving the No. 06 Banner Racing/Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R with Tim Lewis Jr., will start third after a time of 45.815 seconds (102.150 mph). Bryce Miller, sharing the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Motorsports Marquis Jet/IPC/Recaro Porsche GT3 with Dirk Werner, will start fifth after a time of 45.982 seconds (101.779 mph).

In between and starting fourth will be Nick Ham, co-driving the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazdaspeed Mazda RX-8 with team owner Sylvain Tremblay. Ham posted a time of 45.875 seconds (102.016 mph) and together with Tremblay hopes to make it two straight GT victories. The pair won the GT portion of the Brumos Porsche 250 on July 5 at Daytona International Speedway.

Saturday's race is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.

« TEAM NEWS: A BUMP IN THE NIGHT ENDS KRIS SZEKERES TRIP IN IOWA | Main | GRAND AM NEWS: Pruett, Rojas Set Grand-Am Rolex Series Overall Victory Records in Daytona Prototype Race at Iowa Speedway »

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