Jon Fogarty claimed a record 24th career Rolex Series pole position in claiming the top spot from qualifying for the series’ first ever race at the Circuit of the Americas.
Not only did his lap of 2:00.179 guarantee the Californian that tiny part of history but it delivered pole position at the home race of his GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team to cap off a day when his co-driver Alex Gurney had paced the first practice session for the two hour, 45 minute race, the second round of the Rolex Series season.
Fogarty was a relative late comer to the battle for pole in the 15 minute Daytona Prototype only session. Ganassi’s Memo Rojas and Wayne Taylor Racing’s Jordan Taylor took turns being on provisional pole as lap times edged towards the 2:00 mark.
At one juncture Taylor looked to have taken a big step towards securing pole, improving on his own benchmark pulling the gap between he and Rojas’ best efforts to four tenths – enough room for Fogarty to slot into second in his first move towards the top of the timesheets.
However, Rojas leapt up to pole over the pair of Corvette DPs only for Fogarty then Taylor to leapfrog him back again with laps as the session wound down.
Burt Frisselle qualified fourth fastest in the Action Express Racing #9 he will co-drive with Joao Barbosa. Ricky Taylor – Jordan’s older brother – was fifth fastest for Spirit of Daytona Racing, Gustavo Yacaman, newly confirmed as a full season driver of Michael Shank Racing alongside Antonio Pizzonia completed the top half dozen.
Ferrari teams locked out the front row of the GT class. Throughout their 15 minutes session Alessandro Balzan and Max Papis in 458 for Scuderia Corsa and R.Ferri/AIM Autosport respectively were seemingly one step ahead of the rest of the class, able to remain clear throughout the session as times improved.
Of the two Ferraris Balzan was consistently the faster. He ended the session with a best time of 2:08.846, Papis a 2:09.205 in the car he will share with defending class champion Jeff Segal in tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) race.
Andrew Davis was the best of the rest in third for Brumos Racing, though his best time was nearly a second slower than Papis outside-of-the-front-row effort. John Edwards was fourth fastest in Stevenson Motorsports’ Chevrolet Camaro, Boris Said fifth fastest in another Chevrolet product in the shape of Marsh Racing’s Corvette.