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2014 After Long Beach
Prototype Drivers
1 Joao Barbosa 98
1 Christian Fittipaldi 98
2 Scott Pruett 93
2 Memo Rojas 93
3 Jordan Taylor 91
3 Ricky Taylor 91
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4 Gustavo Yacaman 84
5 Michael Valiante 78
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8 Sebastien Bourdais 67
9 Oswaldo Negri Jr. 66
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10 Boris Said 64
11 Marino Franchitti 60
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15 Brian Frisselle 55
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20 Lucas Luhr 46
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34 Jamie McMurray 21
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35 Guy Cosmo 20
36 Jann Mardenborough 19
37 James Hinchcliffe 18
38 Alexander Rossi 16
38 Sebastian Saavedra 16
39 Brendon Hartley 15
39 E.J. Viso 15
40 Memo Gidley 14
40 Alex Gurney 14
41 Scott Mayer 2
42 Pierre Kaffer 1
42 Darren Law 1
Valiante, Ham Lead Opening Rolex Series Practice

Grand-Am in Laguna Seca
Friday, May 15, 2009

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Michael Valiante

Michael Valiante ran the fastest lap in Friday's practice at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 competitors beginning preparations for Sunday's Verizon Wireless 250 presented by SPEEDCOM.

Round 4 of the 2009 season takes the green flag at 1 p.m. PT Sunday, and will be televised live on SPEED (4 p.m. ET).

Valiante led the Daytona Prototypes with a lap of 1:20.079 (100.611 mph) in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley, while Robin Liddell led the Acxiom GT competitors with a lap of 1:27.547 in the Stevenson Racing No. 57 Bryan Mark Financial Pontiac GXP.R.

While the two-car Shank team has dominated Rolex Series practice sessions this season - Ozz Negri was second-fastest Friday with a lap of 1:20.134 (100.542 mph) in the team's No. 60 Ford Riley - their only podium finish was a second for Valiante and John Pew at Virginia International Raceway.

"Now, we've got to translate our practice session wins into race wins," Valiante said. The Shank team won the final two events of the 2008 campaign (Negri and Mark Patterson at New Jersey in the No. 60 and Pew and Ian James at Miller Motorsports Park in the No. 6), while Valiante won in 2008 with Max Angelelli in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Dallara.

"We're working hard, and it looks like we're in a good zone here," Negri said. "I'm happy with the way the car felt. We never put new tires on - not even in the second session - we've just been working very hard on used tires. I think we've got a good machine to play on Sunday. The team has done a phenomenal job, as always. We need to transform those positions 1 and 2  we've been getting in practice into race results."

Third fastest in the combined sessions was Romain Dumas, who ran a lap of 1:20.372 (100.244 mph) in the morning session while leading the afternoon practice with a lap of 1:20.372 (100.011 mph).

"Timo (co-driver Bernhard) made the decision to work on the car for the race," Dumas said. "I went in and did a few fast laps. It's not easy here - not only the big descent (in the Corkscrew turn) but the wind blows sand on the track. So far, we have a good pace. The target is not to be the quickest in qualifying, but to have a good result in the race."

Fourth fastest was the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley of Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, followed by the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Ford Dallara of Max Angelelli and Brian Frisselle.

Ricardo Zonta and Nic Jonsson - winners of the most recent Rolex Series race at New Jersey Motorsports Park - were sixth.

"We definitely have a shot at the pole, but it depends on a lot of things," Jonsson said. "You have to get the lap when your tires are at their best and you hit the traffic right. More and more teams are competitive."

LIDDELL'S LATE LAP LEADS GT SESSION IN STEVENSON PONTIAC

Stevenson Motorsports had one of its poorest outings at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last year, when Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis finished 17th in the No. 57 Bryan Mark Financial Pontiac GXP.R.

Friday, Liddell ran a lap of 1:27.547 (92.028 mph) to lead the combined Acxiom GT practice sessions.

"We had a very poor race at this race last year, and an early incident made it even worse," Liddell said. "We knew coming here that we needed to start with a really clean sheet. The car was good rolling off the trailer, and we made positive improvements throughout the day. We're very happy right now, because the car has a good pace and handles really well."

Dirk Werner and Leh Keen, winners of the most recent event at New Jersey Motorsports Park, were second with a lap of 1:27.607 (91.965 mph), followed by TRG's No. 66 AXA/Mitchell Rubber Porsche GT3 of Ted Ballou and Spencer Pumpelly, 1:27.634 (91.937 mph).

Nick Ham led the opening session with a lap of 1:27.638 (91.933 mph), which was fourth fastest of the day. Ham edged out co-driver Sylvain Tremblay for the best lap of the day in SpeedSource's No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8.

"Both of our times are very close," Ham said. "I think (team manager) David Haskell summed it up best when he said Sylvain and I are interchangeable. We push each other to improve and do better. We get the best out of each other, without competing or hurting our effort. It's a real nice situation."

The Rolex Series competitors will have its next session beginning at 10 a.m. PT Saturday, with 15-minute qualifying sessions determining the respective Daytona Prototype and Acxiom GT grids beginning at 1:45 p.m. Saturday's schedule also includes the two-and-a-half hour Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge race, beginning at 3 p.m.

Pos

No. Class Pic Drivers Team/Car Time Speed
1 6 DP 1 Pew / Valiante Michael Shank Racing / Ford Riley 1:20.079 100.610
2 60 DP 2 Negri / Patterson Michael Shank Racing / Ford Riley 1:20.134 100.541
3 12 DP 3 Bernhard / Dumas Penske Racing / Porsche Riley 1:20.372 100.243
4 99 DP 4 Fogarty / Gurney GAINSCO/ Bob Stallings Racing / Pontiac Riley 1:20.419 100.185
5 10 DP 5 Angelelli / Frisselle SunTrust Racing / Ford Dallara 1:20.584 99.980
6 77 DP 6 Gidley / Jaeger Doran Racing / Ford Dallara 1:21.229 99.186
7 45 DP 7 Lester / Manning Orbit Racing / BMW Riley 1:21.251 99.159
8 61 DP 8 Frisselle / Wilkins AIM Autosport / Ford Riley 1:21.319 99.076
9 01 DP 9 Pruett / Rojas Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates / Lexus Riley 1:21.372 99.011
10 58 DP 10 Donohue / Law Brumos Racing / Porsche Riley 1:21.555 98.789
11 76 DP 11 Jonsson / Zonta Krohn Racing / Ford Lola 1:21.637 98.690
12 59 DP 12 Barbosa / France Brumos Racing / Porsche Riley 1:21.811 98.480
13 55 DP 13 Bouchut / Tucker Supercar Life Racing / BMW Riley 1:21.902 98.371
14 13 DP 14 Forest / Taylor Beyer Racing / Pontiac Riley 1:22.420 97.752
15 5 DP 15 Beyer / Taylor Beyer Racing / Honda Riley 1:23.471 96.522
16 2 DP 16 Finlay / Wallace Childress-Howard Motorsports / Pontiac Crawford 1:23.718 96.237
17 70 GT 1 Ham / Tremblay SpeedSource / Mazda RX-8 1:27.779 91.785
18 57 GT 2 Davis / Liddell Stevenson Motorsports / Pontiac GXP.R 1:27.877 91.682
19 87 GT 3 Keen / Werner Farnbacher Loles Racing / Porsche GT3 1:28.333 91.209
20 66 GT 4 Ballou / Pumpelly TRG / Porsche GT3 1:28.472 91.066
21 65 GT 5 Potter / Stanton TRG / Porsche GT3 1:28.487 91.050
22 68 GT 6 Gutierrez / Schroeder TRG / Porsche GT3 1:28.894 90.633
23 32 GT 7 Aschenbach / Merrill PR1 Motorsports / Pontiac GXP.R 1:29.038 90.487
24 30 GT 8 Cameron / Miller Racers Edge Motorsports / Mazda RX-8 1:29.070 90.454
25 40 GT 9 Dempsey / Foster Dempsey Racing / Mazda RX-8 1:29.113 90.411
26 67 GT 10 Lally / Marks TRG / Porsche GT3 1:29.154 90.369
27 43 GT 11 Nonnamaker / Nonnamaker Team Sahlen / Corvette 1:29.180 90.343
28 07 GT 12 Collins / Edwards Banner Racing / Pontiac GXP.R 1:29.188 90.335
29 86 GT 13 Lux / Roush Farnbacher Loles Racing / Porsche GT3 1:29.390 90.130
30 69 GT 14 Assentato / Segal SpeedSource / Mazda RX-8 1:29.456 90.064
31 42 GT 15 Nonnamaker / Sahlen Team Sahlen / Corvette 1:30.347 89.176
32 63 GT 16 Richard / Villeneuve TRG / Porsche GT3 1:32.858 86.764
33 21 GT 17 Connolly / Phinny Battery Tender/ MCM Racing / Pontiac GTO.R 1:33.540 86.132
34 31 GT 0 Kapudija / von Moltke Battery Tender/ MCM Racing / Porsche GT3 - -

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