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Gurney takes poll for Rolex 24 at Daytona

Gurney takes poll for Rolex 24 at Daytona

Alex Gurney took the pole position for the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Thursday, 45 years after father Dan Gurney won the first sports car race at Daytona International Speedway.
In the 15-minute qualifying session, Gurney emerged at the top with a lap at 123.220 mph (198.260 kph) in the No. 99 Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley. Gurney will drive the No. 99 machine in the 24-hour race with his regular Rolex Sports Car Series teammate, Jon Fogarty, as well as 1996 Champ Car champion Jimmy Vasser and team owner Bob Stallings.
The lap was more than a half-second quicker than the previous Daytona Prototype track record.
"This is a big thrill, for me personally and for the team," Gurney said. "There's so many stars in this race, great cars and great drivers, I feel like I've come a long way to be able to be here. I'm happy for the team, who've put a lot of effort into their work to make this pole possible.
"It would be awesome to follow this up with a win. It is the crown jewel of the series. Qualifying really doesn't matter that much, it's really just for bragging rights, so we'll be happy with it for a day or so but beyond that, we've got to run 24 straight hours before we can win."
Starting second in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley will be 2005 overall winner Max Angelelli following a lap at 123.850 mph (199.274 kph). Angelelli is sharing the car once again with team owner Wayne Taylor, with whom he co-drove to the 2005 Rolex 24 victory and the Daytona Prototype championship, as well as four-time NASCAR Cup champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon and Danish driver Jan Magnussen. It will be Gordon's first appearance in the Rolex 24.
Belgian driver Marc Goossens qualified third at 123.807 mph (199.205 kph) in the No. 91 Riley-Matthews Motorsports Pontiac Riley. Goossens' teammates will be 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, as well as Champ Car veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay and longtime sports car racer Jim Matthews.
Another second-generation racer, David Donohue, will start fourth aboard the No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley. Donohue, the son of 1969 Daytona 24-hour overall winner and 1972 Indianapolis 500 winner Mark Donohue, turned a best lap at 123.726 mph (199.075 kph) in the car he is sharing with 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, 1996 Indy Racing League champion Scott Sharp and Rolex Series regular Darren Law.
Canadian Patrick Carpentier completed the top five in the No. 11 SAMAX Pontiac Riley. Carpentier is co-driving with Scottish racer Ryan Dalziel, fellow open-wheel veteran Darren Manning and Milka Duno, who is one of three women who will compete in the Rolex 24.
Dutch sports car veteran Patrick Huisman was the fastest GT class qualifier in a Porsche.


Updated : 2021-05-17 03:06 GMT+08:00