for Rolex 24 At DaytonaNo. 17 FOAMETIX/Burtin Racing Porsche GT3 is fifth best Porsche on GT gridDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 26, 2012) – The No. 17 FOAMETIX®/Burtin Racing with Goldcrest Motorsports Porsche GT3 ran among Porsche’s elite and qualified in the top-10, as the fifth-fastest Porsche, in qualifying Thursday for this weekend’s 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona. Live coverage of the Rolex 24 At Daytona begins on Saturday 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT., on SPEED.Team driver Martin Ragginger attacked the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway (DIS) road course with the same vigor he has all month, clocking in with a top lap time of 1:49.891 (116.625 mph) to rank ninth in the No. 17. FOAMETIX was a key part of a strong group of six Porsches in the top-10 as the fifth fastest GT3 in qualifying.Team owner/driver Claudio Burtin is co-driving the No. 17 with Ragginger, Jack Baldwin, Bryan Sellers and Sebastian Asch. Each driver spent time in the car as the team prepares for its fifth attempt at the day-long endurance event.“We are happy to start this Rolex 24 in the top 10,” Ragginger said. “We finished the test session in the top 10 and we’re starting the race from the top 10, so things look pretty good so far. We stayed near the top and I think everybody on the team improved their lap times, everybody did a good job.”
Burtin is pleased with the team’s efforts after the Thursday practice and qualifying sessions at Daytona. Burtin noted the intensity of the competition and has a plan in motion for the remaining practice sessions before Saturday’s big race.
“We’re very happy with our top-10 qualifying effort,” Burtin said. “It is a long race and the conditions were kind of tough and hot, so that makes for a difficult qualifying session. This is a good starting position and I’m looking forward to the race. It was a little racy out there today, but I think every session was progressively more competitive leading up to qualifying. We’re just trying to take care of the car right now and the important thing is starting the race in one piece and then race for 24 hours. We’re happy for Porsche qualifying on pole and taking over six of the top-10 spots on the grid, including our top-10 qualifying effort. The Rolex 24 is a long race and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens on Saturday and Sunday.”
Showing their competitive spirit, both Ragginger and Burtin know they have the driver lineup and crew to show the rest of the field that this yellow and green Porsche will be a contender throughout the entire 24-hour event.
“Congratulations to the Porsches qualifying on pole and in the other top spots,” Ragginger said. “We’ll fight them and the rest of the competition in the race. It is a long race, we have a good driver lineup, we have a good crew around us and I want to see us do well in race. I think we have a good chance to be in the front."
The Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend continues on Friday with two final practice sessions. The 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona starts on Saturday, January 28 at 3:30 p.m. local time.