All Pontiac Front Row In Mexico City

03.03.2007: All Pontiac Front Row In Mexico City

GXP.R GT Cars Qualify In Top Five

Pontiac driver Colin Braun qualified his Krohn Racing Daytona Prototype (DP) car on the pole for tomorrow's running of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Mexico City 400k.

Eighteen year old Colin Braun was able to back-up his quick morning practice time and post lap of 1:21.221 and 111 mph to take the pole position for tomorrow's two-hour-and-thirty-minute race. For Pontiac it is the second pole in DP in as many races.

"We had a good car all day," Braun exclaimed. "We made some changes from yesterday's practice and we were right on. I was actually able to go faster in this morning's practice than I qualified, so the heat is affecting the car a little, that will give us some good data for tomorrow's race. We did well here last year with a second place finish and we will be looking to improve that by one tomorrow."

The Pontiac powered GAINSCO No. 99, that sat on the pole at the Rolex 24, qualified second with a time of 1:21.494. Jon Fogarty posted the lap.

"I am happy with my qualifying effort, being my first visit to the track," Fogarty said. "It is important to start upfront in these sprint races in this series. It is a fun track, long straight and nice rhythm section in the back, which is fun if your car is setup right. This race is a lot different than Daytona, here you are pretty much running a qualifying lap every time around. You simply have to run fast, have good pit work and stay clean to do well."

Teammate to Braun in the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley is owner Tracy Krohn. Krohn qualified 11th with a time of 1:22.949.

"The car has gotten progressively better with every session," Krohn commented. "I have been working hard looking at video and studying data as well as getting solid coaching from my teammates. I have a lot of laps here so this is a good track for me. The car is especially good under braking into turn one and four. The 76 is real comfortable to drive."

Venezuelan driver Milka Duno, the only female competing this weekend, drove her No. 11 CITIGO Pontiac Riley to a 13th place qualifying position with a time of 1:23.944.

"The car was very good for qualifying," Duno said. "Patrick and I worked hard with the engineers and we got the car a lot better for qualifying. We knew it would be a little hotter and we put the right set-up under the car. This morning the car was real unstable and the guys did a good job to get it comfortable."

Starting alongside Duno in the seventh row is Jim Mathews. Mathews clocked a time of 1:24.143 behind the wheel of his No. 91 Pontiac Riley.

"I had a pretty good run," Mathews said. "The air temp was hotter and the track started to get slippery, so we were sliding more than we were earlier in the day, so every lap is different. This is my first visit here and I like the track, so we are looking forward to a good race tomorrow."

In GT, the Banner Racing GXP.R racers will share the third row of the grid for the start. Kelly Collins qualified the No. 7 GXP.R in fifth with a time of 1:29.584.

"The car is handling great," Collins explained. "We are really good through the esses and off of the last turn. We are giving away some horsepower so they tend to catch us three-quarters of the way down the straight. Like Daytona we will need to keep the wheels turning, have a good pit stop and run a clean race."

In the companion No. 06 Banner Pontiac, team owner Leighton Reese put in his fast time of the weekend with a run of 1:29.604.

"It was nice to get into the 29s," Reese said. "There was a lot of craziness going on in front of me during qualifying with guys going off. I was able to get a small tow off of another car and took it deep into one and that is where the time came from. We are running totally different setups on the two cars, so we will compare notes this afternoon. I am happy with the effort, this being my first visit to the track."

The race from Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City will be televised live on the SPEED Channel starting at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 3rd.

Grand-Am Top Ten Mexico City Daytona Prototype Qualifiers:

1. Braun, Papis, Pontiac Riley
2. Fogarty, Gurney, Pontiac Riley
3. Pruett, Rojas, Lexus Riley
4. Auberlen, Alhadeff, BMW Riley
5. Fittipaldi, Cheever, Porsche Fabcar
6. Taylor, Angelelli, Magnussen, Pontiac Riley
7. Law, Donohue, Porsche Riley
8. Bergmeister, Long, Porsche Crawford
9. Goeters, Gidley, Ford Doran
10. Lewis, Ruhlman, Lexus Riley

Top 10 Grand-Am GT Mexico City Qualifiers:

1. Tremblay, Ham, Mazda RX-8
2. Keen, Farnbacher, Porsche GT3
3. Werner, Miller, Porsche GT3
4. Lux, Henzler, Porsche GT3
5. Edwards, Collins, Pontiac GXP.R
6. Lewis, Reese, Pontiac GXP.R
7. Swartztbaugh, Davis, Porsche GT3
8. Bunting, Cicero, Corvette
9. Assentato, Longhi, Mazda
10. Lacey, Wilkins, Porsche GT3

Pontiac Powered Grand-Am Teams Entered for Mexico City:

#06 GT, Banner Racing, Pontiac GXP.R, Leighton Reese, Tim Lewis
#07 GT, Banner Racing, Pontiac GXP.R, Paul Edwards, Kelly Collins
#10 DP, SunTrust, Max Angelelli, Jan Magnussen, Wayne Taylor,
#11 DP, SAMAX, Milka Duno, Patrick Carpentier
#41 GT, Team Sahlen GTO, Baughman, Sahlen, Nonnamaker
#75 DP, Krohn Racing, Colin Braun, Max Papis
#76 DP, Krohn Racing, Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson
#91 DP, Riley-Mathews Motorsports, Jim Mathews, Marc Goosens
#99 DP, Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing, Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty

- Kyle Chura, Jim Hopson-


03.03.2007 / MaP

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