Spirit of Daytona Racing’s blue #90 will lead the Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype contingent to the green flag for the Rolex 24 at Daytona courtesy of Richard Westbrook qualifying fifth fastest.
The Briton – at the start of a full season with Troy Flis’ team – set a best time of 1:41.844 during the fifteen minute session to take the spot on the inside of third row. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver, and reigning series champion, Scott Pruett set the pole position time of 1:40.553 in his BMW-Riley.
“Obviously it’s nice to be fifth,” said Westbrook. “Doesn’t really matter for a 24 hour race, but what’s really worrying is the gap to the BMW’s. It took a real good lap and a real good tow to even get within 1.3 seconds of them. I’m pleased. The team gave me a great car, I can’t fault the car, and we’re the first Corvette DP so that’s all we can do. I’m pleased for our new sponsor VisitFlorida.com. We’re starting at the front end of the grid, and I think we’re going to have a really good race, actually. I knew the gap was going to be big, but I didn’t think it was going to be that big. But there’s not a lot we can do about the competition—it’s best not to focus on them.”
“We’ll see, when the green flag falls,” said team owner Flis. “I think we’ve got a good driving racecar. I don’t think we had anything for them for the pole. We’ve just got to go out there and do the best we can do. It’s a long race, so looking at that is the biggest thing. We are proud to be the fastest Chevrolet today, but of course the race is what everyone is concentrated on. Hopefully we can just go out there, stay clean and stay out of trouble and be ready to race on Sunday afternoon.”
Westbrook will share driving duties in the #90 with Antonio Garcia, Oliver Gavin and Ricky Taylor, who will be Westbrook’s regular teammate during the season.