Grand Am: Rolex 24 Qualifying Report
Richard Westbrook led the Corvette Daytona Prototype entries in qualifying for the 51st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Englishman, who won the first-ever race for the Corvette DP, put the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP in the fifth starting position for the legendary race that begins Saturday at 3:30 p.m. E.T.
Additionally, Alex Gurney qualified the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing “Red Dragon” Corvette DP in the eighth starting position, and Stephane Sarrazin was ninth in the final order behind the wheel of the No. 3 8 Star Motorsports Corvette DP. The remaining Corvette DPs qualified as follows: Christian Fittipaldi, No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP – 11th; Max Angelelli, No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP – 12th and Joao Barbosa, No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP – 13th.
The No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette Dallara DP of Wayne Taylor Racing will start the 51st Rolex 24 At Daytona Saturday from the outside of the sixth row after GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series qualifying Thursday at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Max Angelelli, the Italian veteran co-driving this season for the first time with 21-year-old Jordan Taylor and also this weekend with reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 42.547 second at 124.977 mph on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn superspeedway road circuit. It was the 12th-best lap among 57 car-and-driver combinations that will take the green flag for this weekend’s traditional, season-opening endurance marathon.
Scott Pruett (BMW) won the pole for the Rolex 24. Nick Tandy (Porsche) was the fastest GT qualifier, and Jade Buford (Aston Martin) won the pole for the BMW Performance 200.
Richard Westbrook - nr90 Spirit of Daytona (5th):
“It’s a 24 hour race so qualifying is not as important as it normally is. The car felt really good. We are no match for the BMW’s at the moment, but I think we will be a lot closer in the race. It’s nice to be the first Corvette and it’s just good to start a 24 hour race at the right end. We didn’t really know where we were going to be after practice, but really happy. Really happy for our new sponsor Visitflorida.com and to be the first Chevy is good.”
“The main problem is getting it set up for a 24 hour race because you need a car that is good over a distance not just for one lap. That is why qualifying you shouldn’t really take too much notice of the positions because it doesn’t necessarily mean that is the race is going to pan out. We are pretty confident.”
Max Angelelli - nr90 Velocity Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette (12th):
“What you see is what we’ve got, at this point,” said Angelelli, who won the 2005 Rolex 24 alongside team owner Wayne Taylor and Emmanuel Collard en route to that year’s Rolex Series championship. “This is how it was at the test and this is how it is here today. It’s not the greatest feeling in the world, but it is reality and we will do our best with what we have in the race and see where we end up. That’s really all there is to say, at this point.”