Rojas Red Hot At Mid-Ohio
Memo Rojas was fastest in Friday’s qualifying for the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He won the pole with a track record lap in the final minute of the 15-minute session to take the pole from Ricky Taylor.
While Taylor will start Round 7 of the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season from the second starting position, his younger brother Jordan Taylor captured his third pole of the season for the production-based GT class. The race will take the green flag at 5 p.m. ET (SPEED, live).
Rojas toured the 2.258-mile, 13-turn circuit in 1:17.523 (104.856 mph), driving the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley. Rojas and co-driver Scott Pruett are seeking their fifth victory of 2010, and hold an 18-point lead (190-172) in the Daytona Prototype standings over Ryan Dalziel. David Donohue was the former track record holder, with a 2008 lap of 1:17.883 (104.372 mph).
“When you think you are already on the limit, pulling out an extra tenth is really tough,” said Rojas, who joined Pruett in winning last year’s event at Mid-Ohio.
Ricky Taylor dominated the 15-minute Daytona Prototype session, breaking the record three times in the No. 10 SunTrust Ford/Dallara before he was bumped to second in the closing moments. His best lap was 1:17.530 (104.847 mph).
“I heard them saying on my last lap, ‘He’s got you by seven-thousandths,’ and I pushed a little too hard and made a little mistake,” Taylor said of his last lap.
Burt Frisselle qualified third in the No. 61 Pacific Mobile/BioSign Ford/Riley, running a lap of 1:17.911 (104.334 mph). He will be joined on the second row by Jon Fogarty, 1:17.994 (104.223 mph) in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet/Riley.
Brian Frisselle was fifth-fastest, running 1:18.019 (104.190 mph) in the No. 6 Pit Stop On Norris Lake Ford/Dallara. It was the team’s first race in the new Dallara, which replaced the team’s Riley that was destroyed in a fire at Watkins Glen.
Buddy Rice qualified sixth in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Porsche/Coyote, 1:18.878 (103.055 mph), with the 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner coming off the team’s best finish, third.
Jordan Taylor won the pole in GT, running a record lap of 1:24.140 (96.610 mph) in the No. 30 3Dimensional.com/IDEMITSU Mazda RX-8, his third pole of the season. Unlike his older brother, Jordan Taylor’s best lap stood up throughout the GT session.
“I knew Joey Hand was going to be very fast, and the other Mazdas are always quick, so I just tried to lay down a good lap early in the session and let everyone fight for it,” Jordan Taylor said. “I was lucky to get a good lap early in the session, and I was able to stick with it.”
Hand qualified second in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M6, 1:24.253 (96.481 mph), driving a car that was rebuilt from a practice incident that forced the team to miss the race at Watkins Glen.
Adam Christodoulou took third in qualifying with a late lap of 1:24.387 (96.328 mph) in the No. 68 MazdaSpeed Motorsports Development Mazda RX-8. He will be joined on the second row by Scott Russell, No. 07 Mobil 1 Corvette, 1:24.461 (96.243 mph).
Saturday’s Rolex Series activities begin with final practice at 8:40 a.m. ET. The schedule also includes a two-hour, 30-minute Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at 1:15 p.m.No Comment