Street and Race Technology (SRT) have claimed the first pole position of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship era on the banking of Daytona.
Scoring a time of 1:44.506 the #91 SRT Viper of Marc Goossens got first place in the GTLM class by the slimmest of margins – only one tenth of a second over Nick Tandy in the factory Porsche.
The second, #93, car also pulled off a good qualifying performance with Jonathan Bomarito just over one tenth away from pole position.
It’s the first time since 2000 that a Viper has hit the speedway and the team will be hoping they can emulate their last appearance which culminated with an overall victory whilst racing in the GT-S category.
Pole sitter Goossens said: “The car felt good all day long and we’ve been working both on speed and trying to make the car easier in traffic, which we tried in the earlier sessions. It’s always hard to find out what the others have up their sleeve for qualifying, but we kind of knew early on we had a good car. We didn’t know if it was good enough to be third or first. We were on a good run at the end of last year and we carried that into this year and our team has only gotten stronger in all different areas and it’s just awesome to be here with SRT Motorsports on pole for the first race of the year. There’s no better way to start the season! It was a good run by the 93 (Jonathan Bomarito) too and you can tell it’s very close in GT and it could go any way. Having the pole is not the most important thing for a 24-hour race, but it helps – it boosts the confidence for the whole team. I think it’s a good starting point to get a good first 24-hour race.”
SRT Lead Engineer, Bill Riley, was full of praise for the dedication of his team: “It was really good to get the No. 91 on the pole and get the No. 93 Viper GTS-R up there. It gives us a lot of momentum going into the race. We kept the drivers in the car all day to work on setup. We tuned the car and worked really hard between the Roar and now to improve the cars and we did with setup and different changes. The guys really haven’t had a day off since we left Daytona, or left Petit (Le Mans) for that matter. It’s really good to have it all pay off. Now we just have to put our heads down and work on execution and hopefully have a nice, clean race and go from there. Right now, it really couldn’t be better.”