Friday
Jul202007

GRAND AM NEWS: BRAUN QUICKEST IN DAYTONA PROTOTYPE PRACTICE

Photo by John Thawley The No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley topped the charts in each Daytona Prototype practice session in preparation for Sunday’s Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve race at Barber Motorsports Park.

Eighteen-year-old Colin Braun posted a fast time of 1:22.037 (100.930 mph) in Friday’s afternoon session, while teammate Nic Jönsson doubled up the success of the No. 75 machine posting the fastest time in the morning session. Braun – driving with then-teammate Jorg Bergmeister – captured the win in last year’s Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at the Birmingham track.

“We were out there running through our program of changes we wanted to run through,” Braun said. “The car was really good. We’re really working hard to make sure we’ve got a good race car. I don’t think we have that much for them (No. 99 car). Everybody put new tires on at the end of practice, so lowering our time was not a huge surprise. We at Krohn Racing had a good test here, and the guys are working really hard this weekend, working really well together. I think we just have a good car. Nic had the fast time this morning on new tires, and I got in later.”

Alex Gurney, driving the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stalling Racing Pontiac Riley, led for most of the afternoon session until his fast time was eclipsed by Braun on his session’s last lap. Gurney’s time of 1:22.089 (100.866 mph) was less than a five hundredths of a second behind Braun’s time.

“We’ve been learning the whole time; yesterday, we were really scratching our heads,” said Gurney. “The No. 75 car has been very quick all weekend. We definitely have been improving the GAINSCO car every session, and we improved it quite a bit more in that last session. Jon Fogarty, (team engineer) Kyle Brannan and I really worked to perfect the balance, because this track is very complex and technical. The challenge is to find the best compromise that creates a stable, drivable car.”

The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley of Max Angelelli ran third fastest, turning a time of 1:22.510 (100.356 mph). Angelelli currently sits second in the points championship behind Scott Pruett and needs a strong finish to close the gap. Angelelli will team this weekend in the No. 10 machine with Memo Gidley.

Two Lexus Rileys followed the Pontiac trio in the top-five of today’s practice sessions, led by the No. 19 Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Z-Line Designs/Mission Residential Pontiac Riley driven by Michael Valiante in a time of 1:22.857 (99.931 mph) in fourth. Valiante and teammate Rob Finlay are coming off of a strong second-place effort last week at Iowa Speedway.

Rounding out the top five in Daytona Prototype practice is the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Lexus Riley driven by Oswaldo Negri. Negri lapped the circuit in 1:22.868 (99.918 mph) and will team this weekend with Mark Patterson.

The Daytona Prototype class will qualify Saturday at 10:25 a.m. CT for Sunday’s Porsche 250 with the green flag waving at 2:00 p.m. CT (Live on SPEED).

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