Young driver bests his elders in qualifying for VIR400
DANVILLE, VA. - In the team’s fourth consecutive front-row qualifying effort, and second pole of the year, 18-year-old Colin Braun put the Krohn Racing Pontiac/Riley on the pole for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve VIR400.
With a best lap in qualifying of 1:45.003, Braun set a new track record for the exotic Daytona Prototype racers of 1:45.003 over the park like 3.27-mile VIRginia International Raceway road course. Braun’s lap set an average speed of 112.111 mph, and was just a razor-thin 0.150 second quicker than second-place Jon Fogarty.
After qualifying, Braun admitted that: “this morning we didn’t have that great of a car and we turned it into a car that’s really quick now.” He admitted that: “we have quite a few tricks in our bag,” for the car. “We worked at it hard and just have to give thanks to those guys for giving me a good car,” said Braun.
Fogarty’s Gainsco Auto Insurance Pontiac/Riley had a fast start to the weekend: “it was a good session. The Gainsco Auto Insurance team has put in a lot of work in the thirty days we’ve had off since the last race and we showed up pretty quick,” said second qualifier Fogarty. “We took a little bit of gamble in qualifying. We weren’t going to be able to run the entire session had we needed it and we ran into a little more traffic than I thought we were going to.
“It was good. It’s great to be on the front row again but at the same time, I’m really eager to start from the pole. You have a lot more opportunities this year. I think it’s bound to happen. We’ve got a win this year, we’ve got a pole for Alex but not for me, so Alex has got me 1-0,” he added.
”We’re looking forward to it (Sunday’s VIR400.) Colin and I had a good battle – not so much a battle, but a good race in Mexico and if things go that way again, I‘d be pretty pleased,” concluded Fogarty.
Saturday’s featured GT race went to the Farnbacher Loles Motorsports Porsche, driven by Bryce Miller and Dirk Werner, over Sylvain Tremblay and Nick Ham in their Speedsource Mazda RX-8. The margin between the two sports GT cars was just over five and a half seconds, with Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins finishing third in a Pontiac GXP-R.
Sunday’s action starts off with the stars of the SunTrust MOTO-ST motorcycles in a 500-kilometer race on VIR’s road course at 9:15. Just before that will be a pair of warm-up sessions for the Skip Barber formula cars and the day’s headlining Daytona Prototypes. At 1:00 Sunday afternoon, the ROLEX Daytona Prototypes take to the track for their 400-kilometer feature. Last year’s race featured a thrilling last-lap pass for the lead that fans selected as the ROLEX Moment of the Year.
In other action Saturday, Dane Cameron won the 2007 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear race for the small open-wheeled racers.
Sunday’s weather looks even better than Saturday’s sunny skies for the race action featuring the motorcycles, Daytona Prototypes and the Skip Barber National Series formula cars.