Jon Fogarty showed why he is the top qualifier in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series history on Friday, waiting until his final lap to capture the TOTAL Pole Award for Saturday's Grand-Am of The Americas presented by GAINSCO and TOTAL.
After hanging back for much of Friday's 15-minute Daytona Prototype qualifying session, Fogarty unleashed the Dallas-based No. 99 “Red Dragon” GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP with a lap of 2:00.179 (101.848mph) on the 3.4-mile Circuit of The Americas – extending his record to 24 career poles.
“This is a new circuit, and a clean slate for everyone,” said Fogarty, who co-drives with Alex Gurney. “It's a testament to the hard work by everyone on the team. I took it easy early in the session. I wanted to get out in front at the start, but when I didn't, I fell back. Then I couldn't find a good place, I kept being caught in traffic. I was running out of time before I finally got a clean lap – just as the tires were coming up to temperature. It was a close call.”
Jordan Taylor qualified second in the No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP co-driven by Max Angelelli with a lap of 2:00.039 (101.797mph). Reigning Rolex Series co-champion Memo Rojas will start third in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW Riley, qualifying at 2:00.289 (101.755mph). Rojas and co-driver Scott Pruett are seeking their fourth consecutive DP championship this season.
It will be an all-Ferrari front row in GT. Alessandro Balzan took his second career Rolex Series pole in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458, 2:08.848 (94.997mph). He will co-drive with Alessandro Pier Guidi. Max Papis will start second after running a 2:09.205 (94.733mph) lap in the No. 61 R. Ferri/AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 co-driven by defending GT champ Jeff Segal.
Dr. Jim Norman followed up his GX class victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona by winning his first career pole, running 2:21.682 (86.391mph) in the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman. He will partner with Austin resident Jeff Mosing.
Texas native Jade Buford put together a clean lap of 2:20.830 to capture his second career – and second consecutive – Grand Sport pole for Saturday's Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race. Buford co-drives the No. 55 Multimatic Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage with Scott Maxwell. He will share the front row with Lawson Aschenbach, who ran 2:20.938 in the No. 01 CKS Autosport Chevrolet Camaro co-driven by Eric Curran.
Austin-based CJ Wilson Racing's Chad McCumbee captured the Street Tuner pole with a last-lap flyer of 2:28.322 in the No. 5 Mazda MX-5 co-driven by Jason Saini. It was the first career pole for both the team and McCumbee, a veteran of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Series competition. Another second-year driver, Corey Fergus, qualified second in the No. 197 RSR Motorsports/Cruise America Honda Civic, 2:28.
The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will compete on Saturday at 11 a.m. ET (SPEED, March 9. 4 p.m. ET), followed by the Rolex Series at 4 p.m. ET (SPEED, 5:30 p.m. ET).