Fogarty On Grand-Am Pole
Jon Fogarty and Boris Said used Chevrolet power to lead a record-breaking pair of qualifying sessions Friday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and capture respective poles for Saturday’s Montreal 200, Round 11 of 12 in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.
The two-hour race takes the green flag at 2:15 p.m. ET (SPEED, live).
Fogarty ran a lap of 1:31.524 (106.556 mph) to capture his second Daytona Prototype pole of the season in the No. 99 GAINSCO Chevrolet/Riley. In the production-based GT class, Said gave Marsh Racing its first Rolex Series pole with a lap of 1:38.895 (98.614 mph) in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette.
“It was a really good run for us,” said Fogarty, who extended his series record to 16 career poles. “Circuit Gilles Villeneuve presents interesting challenges. You have to have the balance when your tires are good, but you have to get to that point without overheating your brakes – like getting all the stars to align. I was able to run clear laps and go hard, let things cool, and then go hard again. Each time I was able to improve and the time just came – not necessarily from pushing harder, but with the balance of the car.”
Fogarty will be joined on the front row by Memo Rojas, who ran a lap of 1:31.839 (106.190 mph) in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley shared by points co-leader Scott Pruett. Rojas and Pruett have won seven of 10 races this season, and will be looking to break a tie for the all-time single-season record shared with Fogarty and Alex Gurney. They also lead the championship standings by 26 points (302-276) over Ryan Dalziel.
Ricky Taylor qualified third in the No. 10 SunTrust Ford/Dallara, a two-time Montreal 200 winner co-driven by Max Angelelli. He will be joined on the second row by Burt Frisselle, driving the lone Canadian-based DP, the No. 61 Pacific Mobile/Bio Sign Ford/Riley.
Brian Frisselle, who won the past two years at Montreal, hit the wall in Friday morning practice and did not qualify, although the No. 6 Pit Stop of Norris Lake Ford/Dallara co-driven by Michael Valiante will start at the back of the grid.
Said prevailed in a terrific back-and-forth battle with Andrew Davis in GT qualifying before claiming the pole on his final lap.
“I got Andrew and I was going to quit the session, but they said do one more after he nipped me so I went for it,” explained Said, driving for the third time this season with Marsh Racing. “The guys have been developing this car with every race, and they’re getting it better and better with each week. GM’s got good power; it handles really well and it has awesome brakes.”
Davis and co-driver Robin Liddell won the past two runnings of the Montreal 200 for Stevenson Motorsports in a Pontiac, but they are still looking for their first victory in the No. 57 Camaro.
“I thought I had the pole going in, but it was a great battle – and a great driver to battle with Boris Said,” Davis said. “I hate to come up so short, but even though we’ve won this race the last two years, this is our best starting position so we’re really hoping for a good run tomorrow. We’ve got a strong car and I know we’ve got the strongest team.”
Motorcycle veteran Scott Russell qualified third in the No. 07 Banner Racing Corvette shared by Paul Edwards, and will be joined on the second row by Adam Christodoulou, driving the No. 68 MazdaSpeed Motorsports Mazda RX-8.No Comment