LEXINGTON, OHIO (JUNE 19, 2009) – Qualifying for Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic presented by Key Bank, Round 6 of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, nearly came down to a dead heat before Jon Fogarty put down a tie-breaking lap of 1:18.059 (104.136 mph) Friday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Fogarty and Alex Gurney will be seeking a record third consecutive victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in Lexington, Ohio, in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley in. The two-hour, 45-minute race takes the green flag at 5 p.m. ET Saturday (SPEED, live).
In GT qualifying, Eric Lux was awarded the pole position with a lap of 1:25.892 (94.640 mph) in the No. 86 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3. Teammate Leh Keen led qualifying with a lap of 1:25.257 (95.344 mph) in the team's No. 87 car, but the time was disallowed in post-qualifying inspection.
With time winding down in the 15-minute Daytona Prototype session, Fogarty and Memo Rojas were tied with identical laps of 1:18.439 (103.632 mph). Fogarty broke the logjam on his penultimate lap to earn his ninth career pole, but first since 2007 in Infineon Raceway.
"It was pretty crazy, turning identical times, but I think Memo did his fast lap first so the pole would have gone to him had the tie been maintained," Fogarty said. "I pushed a little bit harder. The car seemed to be getting better as the run went along, so it came kind of naturally. I didn't have to take a whole lot of risk for the time to come down. It's interesting, because usually that isn't the case. Quick times are generally turned in earlier in the session."
Gurney and Fogarty currently lead the Daytona Prototype competition with two victories this season in the No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley. Rojas and co-driver Scott Pruett won their first race of the season in the No. 01 TELMEX Lexus Riley in the most recent race at Watkins Glen International to gain a share of the Daytona Prototype point lead with Brian Frisselle and Max Angelelli, co-drivers of the No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara, with 140 points.
Rounding out the top 10 qualifiers were Mark Wilkins, Brian Frisselle, Nic Jonsson, Romain Dumas, Guy Cosmo, John Pew, Mark Patterson and Darren Law.
Eric Lux Captures Second GT Pole After Teammate Disallowed
Lux was awarded his second career Acxiom GT pole when teammate Keen's record-eclipsing lap was disallowed due to a height infraction. The two drivers teamed to win last year's GT race at the 2.258-mile circuit, but are driving different cars this season. Lux will share the team's No. 86 Porsche GT3 with Dominik Farnbacher, while Keen currently shares the GT point lead with Dirk Werner after the pair won two races this season in the team's No. 87.
"It was really difficult trying to get the car ready for qualifying today, with rain in our first session today," Lux said. "We were still struggling with the car at the end of practice, so the team and (chief engineer) Lars Giersing did a great job guessing on the setup, and it worked. I cooked the tires before the black flag midway through the session, and was worried we wouldn't be able to go faster after it went back to green. So I gave it everything I had to try to be on the front row, and I guess it was just enough."
Rounding out the top 10 were Tom Sutherland, Andrew Davis, Kelly Collins, Justin Marks, Nick Ham, Emil Assentato, John Potter, Duncan Ende and Patrick Dempsey.
Rolex Series competitors will have a final 30-minute practice session beginning at 9:40 a.m. Saturday. Activities also include a Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Series Grand Sport race at 1:45 p.m. The weekend also includes a KONI Challenge Street Tuner race at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge was also on track Friday with Andrew Caddell securing the top spot in qualifying after posting a lap average of 84.947 mph. Caddell’s time was a new Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course track record. Ted Anthony, Jr. will flank Caddell on the grid, turning in a lap of 84.353 mph.
The clean-diesel burning machines of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup will hit the track for their qualifying session Sunday at 8:30 a.m.
A comprehensive motorsports facility, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course features a permanent road-racing circuit with two primary configurations: a 2.4-mile, 15-turn, and a 2.25-mile, 13-turn circuit. The park-like, 330-acre complex in Lexington, Ohio also features an amateur motocross venue. Located 60 miles north of Columbus and 75 miles south of Cleveland near Mansfield, the track has been called the most competitive in the U.S. and annually hosts a diversity of locally, regionally and nationally sanctioned racing events for amateur, club and professional drivers and riders. Tickets are available online at www.midohio.com, by phone 1-800-MID-OHIO or at the gate.