Cameron Wins Team Sahlens’ First Rolex Series Pole

by James Broomhead
Cameron won pole in a rare qualifying outing (Credit: Grand-Am)

Dane Cameron won his, and Team Sahlens, first Daytona Prototype pole position, setting the fastest lap by over a half second to earn the right to lead the Rolex Series grid for the start of the Sports Car 250 at Road America.

Normally in their debut season in the premier class the team have opted for Wayne Nonnamaker to take qualifying duties, but following final practice – in which he was faster than his teammate in the #42 BMW-Riley – the made the change for the session.

It was an off-the-cuff decision,” said Cameron. “Team Sahlen has always been strong at Road America, and we unloaded much closer [to an ideal setup] than usual and we were quick right out of the gate.”

Cameron’s lap of 2:00.028 snapped Jordan Taylor’s pole streak at three, though the Wayne Taylor Racing driver kept up his run of front row starts.

Memo Rojas and Sebastien Bourdais filled the second row for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and 8Star Motorsports respectively.

Brickyard Grand Prix winners – and championship leaders – Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow will only start from seventh on the grid in the #2 Starworks Motorsport BMW-Riley.

From the GT session is was Leh Keen who emerged on top. Keen, another rare qualifier in the Rolex Series, not having run the time trials since the start of the 2010 season, is one of nine drivers scheduled to race in both the Rolex Series and the American Le Mans Series with the two series sharing the Wisconsin track for the weekend in the build-up to the off-season merger that will create the United Sports Car Racing series.

In the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 he will share with Alessandro Balzan Keen shattered the GT qualifying record (set by Wayne Nonnamaker when Team Sahlens raced Mazda RX-8s in the class) with a 2:11.183 lap. Despite the record breaking pace Paul Dalla Lana was only a tenth slower in the Turner Motorsports BMW, the Park Place Motorsports Porsche third fastest.

GT title rivals Stevenson Motorsports and Magnus Racing – separated by just four points in the standings in favour of the Porsche team – will start from fourth and fifth.

Tom Long won his fourth GX class pole of the season in the #70 Mazda 6 that will be co-driven by Sylvain Tremblay for the race.

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