Motorsport News - US
Gurney, Fogarty on pace at Montreal 200 with second quickest time in opening practice
17th August 2012
No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance/BobStallingsCars.com Corvette Daytona Prototype fastest until final minutes of afternoon practice
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, clocked in second fastest in a tight field of Daytona Prototypes in opening practice Thursday for this weekends Montreal 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where Gurney turned a top lap time of 1:33.722 (104.057 mph) in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette Daytona Prototype in the second and final session of the day.
GAINSCO, Gurney and Fogarty are the defending Montreal 200 winners and hope to convert Thursdays encouraging start into a repeat race win Saturday and the teams first victory of the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season.
Round 11 of 13 races on the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series schedule, the Montreal 200 is a timed two-hour sprint that can be seen in same-day coverage on SPEED this Saturday, August 18, at 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT.
We are pretty pleased, times are pretty tight at the top, and we seem to be getting it done a little differently here relative to the Ford-powered cars, Fogarty said. We have a good balance, we are just going to tune on it, but to be honest, we are never going to catch the Fords down the straights, but we think we can match their lap times.
GAINSCO held the top time with just minutes remaining in the final session of the day only to be edged by local favorite and debuting Daytona Prototype driver Alex Tagliani who put in a last-minute flying lap of 1:33.518 (104.284 mph) in the No. 2 Ford Riley. Ryan Dalziels No. 8 Ford Riley followed GAINSCO while the No. 01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing BMW Riley was fourth fastest. The GAINSCO/BobStallingsCars.com No. 99 was the fastest Thursday of the five Corvette prototypes entered at Montreal but may still be losing some top speed to the Ford teams.
It was really good, we made a lot of good changes, kept improving the car and we seemed pretty good on old tires, Gurney said. So far we are pretty happy but we definitely disagree with the series and I dont see any justification for the Ford having 400 hundred more revs (engine revolutions per minute) than us, and I am hoping that they reevaluate that area.
GAINSCO finally conquered Montreal last year after doing everything but win on the on the challenging 15-turn road course on Montreals Ile Notre Dame since the GRAND-AM Rolex Series debuted there in 2007. The team finished second in 2010 at Montreal and third in 2007 and 2009. Fogarty also has a record four pole qualifying efforts at Montreal part of his current all-time series-leading tally of 22 Daytona Prototype poles including each of the last three events at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and the first race in 2007.
We are going to focus on our package and maximize it, thats how we are going to approach it here and we always have, Fogarty said. We have got something for them in the corners but they have something for us on the straights. Its a little tough to race like that but, like I said, if we can maintain a good pace around here I think we will be in good shape.
The 2.709-mile Circuit Gilles Villeneuve felt just as familiar to GAINSCO Thursday as it always has in the teams five previous visits.
They said it was a little different with the curbs but actually it seemed the same as last year to me, Gurney said. The track was good, we are in good shape so far, and luckily we rolled off the trailer pretty good so it is just little tiny tuning things from here on out.
Last years Montreal win from the pole, the 15th career victory for the team, was also the last time the No. 99 GAINSCO Red Dragon won a race in the competitive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype division.
The Montreal 200 continues Friday with final practice and qualifying tomorrow afternoon. Saturdays only GRAND-AM Rolex Series on-track activity is the actual Montreal 200 that starts at 11:15 a.m. local time. Same-day coverage of the race can be seen on SPEED later in the day on Saturday, August 18, at 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT.
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