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Dalziel Puts HPD On Pole At Indy

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Thursday, July 24 2014

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Ryan Dalziel on Thursday drove the Extreme Speed Motorsports No. 1 Patron HPD ARX-03b Prototype to the pole for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Dalziel, who won the pole with a best lap of 1:17.603, will share Brickyard Grand Prix driving duties on Friday with 2001 Indianapolis 500 polesitter Scott Sharp.

“We were really good in the first practice, but we didn’t know what to expect,” Dalziel said. “We didn’t expect the track to be this hot this time of night or for the times to be done so early in the session, usually for us we keep plugging away. Had we reversed and gone back out we would have pushed even harder on those early laps. It was a good day – it’s National Tequila Day. We could not have asked for anything better.”

The 2-hour, 45-minute Brickyard Grand Prix starts at 5:45 p.m. (ET) Friday on the 14-turn, 2.435-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Johannes van Overbeek qualified second at 1:17.879 in the No. 2 Extreme Motorsports Patron HPD ARX-03b that he’ll share Friday with Ed Brown. Indy Lights veteran Gustavo Yacaman was third at 1:17:908 in the No. 42 Oak Racing Morgan Nissan that he’ll share with Ho Pin Tung.

Colin Braun won the pole position for the third time this season in the PC class with a fastest lap of 1:19.849 in the No. 54 CORE Autosport ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet that he’ll share with Jon Bennett. Qualifying second in the PC class was six-time Indianapolis 500 starter Bruno Junqueira with his time of 1:20.076. Junqueira will team up with Duncan Ende in driving the No. 09 RSR Racing Linospresso USA ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet in tomorrow’s race.

“It was a good run,” Junqueira said. “I had four or five laps 1 minute, 20 (seconds) flat, I couldn’t go below the 20. It was a very close qualifying. The team did a good job to improve the car from practice. The car wasn’t good. But the car was decent in qualifying, and I’m happy to start on the front row. This is the first time I’ve been here on the road course. I’ve always been on the oval for the Indy 500. It’s a very nice track, very nice pavement – very smooth. I like the track.”

GT Le Mans

Giancarlo Fisichella captured Ferrari’s first GT Le Mans pole in TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competition in GT Le Mans during qualifying for Friday’s Brickyard Grand Prix.

Fisichella lapped the reconfigured 14-turn, 2.439-mile circuit in one minute, 22.378 seconds (106.587 mph) in the No. 62 Risi Competizione entry. In the class, the top-seven qualifiers were separated by less than 0.4 seconds. A Formula One veteran, Fisichella previously made eight starts in the U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis, finishing third in 2006 while driving for Renault.

“The Formula One car and the GT car are very different,” said Fisichella, who also earned his first pole in IMSA competition. “The configuration of the circuit is good for us. I did a perfect lap, I am confident with the car and I am comfortable in the car.”

Three makes took the first three positions with the BMW Z4 GTE of John Edwards qualifying second at 1:22.442 (106.504 mph). Joining Edwards will be co-driver Dirk Mueller in the No. 56 BMW Team RLL entry. The No. 93 SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R will roll off third with Jonathan Bomarito posting a qualifying lap of 1:22.491 (106.441 mph). Bomarito and co-driver Kuno Wittmer are coming off of back-to-back podium finishes at Watkins Glen International and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

GT Daytona

The BMW Z4 of Dane Cameron that earned the top spot in GT Daytona. Cameron clocked a best lap of 1:26.058 (102.029 mph) to take the class pole 0.091 seconds ahead of the Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R of Jeroen Bleekemolen.

“We came without any expectations and not really sure what to expect and we were pleasantly surprised with what the new layout brought for us and how the car felt,” said Cameron, who is co-driving with Paul Dalla Lana. “It was there and we capitalized on it.”

Bleekemolen’s lap of 1:26.149 (101.921 mph) was good enough for the front row in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R he shares with co-driver Ben Keating. Bleekemolen and Keating are looking for their second consecutive victory, having won two weeks ago at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Townsend Bell qualified the GTD class-leading No. 555 REVO/Robert Graham/Royal Purple Ferrari 458 Italia third for him and co-driver Bill Sweedler, 1:26.220 (101.837 mph). Bell ran in his eighth Indy 500 in May, and ran competitively until a late-race incident led to a 25th-place finish.

The Brickyard Grand Prix will go green Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET (LIVE, FOX Sports 1).

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Thursday, July 24 2014
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