Another Grand-Am Rolex Series race, another pole position for Jon Fogarty, who extended his series record to 25 poles in Friday's qualifying for the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park.
For the second straight event, Fogarty waited until the final minute of the 15-minute Daytona Prototype session before unleashing the power of the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP. The “Red Dragon” responded with a track-record lap of 1m18.949s (104.878mph) It was Fogarty's third pole at Barber, and fourth for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing at the circuit. Co-driver Alex Gurney won his first career pole at the 2.3-mile road course in 2005 in only his third DP race.
“We've done our homework and come to a setup that works around here,” said Fogarty, who won the pole before joining Gurney to win for the first time since 2011 in the most recent Rolex Series race in Austin. “Stoking the fire at Circuit of The Americas was great for the team, and we want to try to move forward from there. We'd love to have another win here, for sure.”
Fogarty exchanged the pole with brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor throughout the session, with all three eclipsing Ricky Taylor's 2010 track DP record.
Ricky Taylor, who was trying to extend Spirit of Daytona's Barber pole streak to three years in the No. 90 Corvette DP co-driven by Richard Westbrook, was second with a lap of 1:19.141. Jordan Taylor took third in the No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP he shares with Max Angelelli, 1:19.195. Points leader Memo Rojas – looking to join Scott Pruett in winning a fourth consecutive DP championship – qualified fourth in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley at 1:18.656.
The GT class will also have an all-GM front row, with the lone Chevrolet competitors in the class eclipsing the three-year old track record in the process. John Edwards captured his sixth career pole, running a lap of 1:26.610 in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro. Boris Said qualified second in the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette, running a lap of 1:26.677. Both drivers broke Jonathan Bomarito's GT track record, which was set in 2010.
Tom Long gave the new Mazda 6 its first pole in the new GX class, running a lap of 1:32.036 in the No. 70 Mazdaspeed/Castrol entry co-driven by Sylvain Tremblay.
Charles Espenlaub led a group of 10 drivers eclipsing the existing Grand Sport track record in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge qualifying. Espenlaub ran a lap of 1:34.553 in the No. 48 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3. It was his second career pole in the series, with the Floridian leading GS II qualifying at Daytona in 2002.
Jade Buford's two-race GS pole streak was halted, with the driver of the No. 55 Multimatic Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage qualifying second.
Kyle Gimple was awarded the Street Tuner pole by virtue of leading the point standings when the ST session was black flagged before competitors completed a full lap. Adam Isman (No. 63 BMW 128i) went off straight at the exit of Turn 5 and came to a stop atop the guardrail. The driver of the No. 63 Mitchum Motorsports BMW 328i was evaluated and released from the infield care center.
The Porsche 250 takes the green flag at 1:45 p.m. ET on Saturday at 11 a.m. (SPEED, April 7, 5:30 p.m. ET), followed by the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at 3 p.m. (SPEED, April 13, 2 p.m. ET).