Grand-Am Rolex Series Qualifying Record Thursday at Watkins Glen for First Career Pole
One week after winning first Rolex Series Daytona Prototype race, Frisselle takes first series pole
One week after scoring his first Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 victory, Brian Frisselle captured his first career pole position Thursday in qualifying for the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen, shattering the Watkins Glen International 2.45-mile short course record in the process.
Frisselle ran a lap of 1:05.243 (135.187 mph), and will lead the 20-car Daytona Prototype field Friday for Round 12 of the Grand-Am Rolex Series, a 200-mile race with a two-hour limit, which starts at 6:37 p.m. (SPEED, 8 p.m. ET). It was the second pole position for the No. 61 AIM Autosport Exchange Traded Gold Ford Riley, as Mark Wilkins qualified fastest for July’s Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway. They are coming off a victory in last Friday’s Montreal 200 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
David Donohue, a three-time Daytona Prototype pole winner in 2008, was second fastest with a lap of 1:05.740 (134.165 mph) in the No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley. Donohue and co-driver Darren Law seemed headed to victory last weekend at Montreal, but ran out of gas just short of the finish and finished third.
Sharing the second row will be Michael Valiante, who turned a time of 1:06.027 (133.582 mph) in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Dallara he co-drives with Max Angelelli, and Jon Fogarty, who posted a lap time of 1:06.163 (133.307 mph) in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley he co-drives with Alex Gurney. Fogarty set the track record last year with a lap of 1:07.020 (130.603 mph), and he and Gurney are the defending race winners.
Memo Rojas, the series point co-leader with Scott Pruett, rounded out the top five in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley. Rojas and Pruett earned one of their season-high six victories in June’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
Rounding out the top 10 were Mark Patterson, Bill Auberlen, Christian Fittipaldi, Ricky Taylor and John Pew. The top 13 qualifiers – which also included Shane Lewis, Nic Jonsson and Andy Lally – were all faster than the previous track record.
Friday’s activities at The Glen include practice and qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and practice for the Nationwide Series. The Crown Royal 200, an 82-lap race with a two-hour time limit, is set to take the green flag at 6:37 p.m. ET.
ROLEX SERIES FRONT ROW STARTER QUOTES
Brian Frisselle (No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley): “We definitely have momentum on our side. If you look at the last few races, Mark won the pole at Daytona, we were leading the race at Barber before our engine failure and we won last week at Montreal. It’s finally coming together. We’ve been strong, but we got the monkey off our backs with our first win. That definitely helped the team. Now, everyone’s ready to go after it.”
David Donohue (No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley): “We’ve got a lot of resolve. Losing that way makes us more motivated. It’s been a while since we won a race (2003 at Mont-Tremblant, Canada), but in our hearts, we’ve won several races.”