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DATE News (chronologically)
05/16/08
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Donohue Wins Rolex Series Pole at Laguna Seca  
David Donohue
David Donohue saved his best for last Friday, running his fastest lap near the end of the session to win the pole for the RumBum.com 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Donohue ran a lap of 1:19.843, 100.908 mph, on his eighth of nine qualifying laps to win his second pole of the season in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 competition, driving the No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley.

The 112-lap, 250-mile race, with a two-hour, 45-minute time limit, takes the green flag at 1:45 p.m. Saturday (PT), and will be televised Sunday on SPEED beginning at noon (ET).

"When you win the race, everybody packs up and leaves," Donohue said. "Winning the pole is real important for the team, because it gives them an extra day of glory. They get a great deal of pride and prestige in front of all of the other people in the paddock."

Donohue will be joined on the front row by Jon Fogarty, who gave the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley its first front row start of the season with a lap of 1:19.951, 100.772 mph.

Fogarty also was contending for the pole late in the session, but had a suspension failure that led to an off-course excursion in the famed Corkscrew turn on what would have been his fastest lap.

"Something went wrong in the right-rear," Fogarty explained. "I was turning right, so I didn't notice it, but when I turned left, the right-rear tire went right. Fortunately, we didn't hit anything. It was not the pole, but it was good."

Starting the race in the second row will be Memo Rojas, 100.371 in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley he shares with Scott Pruett, and the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Ruby Tuesday Porsche Crawford of Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand, 100.311 mph. Rojas and Pruett will be seeking their fourth victory of the season in Saturday's event.

Brian Frisselle was fifth in the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley co-driven by Mark Wilkins, while Jimmy Vasser timed in sixth in the No. 98 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley he shares with Cristiano da Matta. The latter is making his comeback to racing after a two-year layoff.

In GT, Nick Ham won his first pole of the season for SpeedSource, and second for the team after co-driver Sylvain Tremblay won the pole at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Ham ran a lap of 1:27.014, 92.592 mph in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8.

"We ran a fast lap in the afternoon practice, so I knew we had a shot at the pole," said Ham, who won three poles last season. "But I knew it would be close, because the Farnbacher and Banner cars had also been very fast. I laid down a fast lap that I thought might be good for the pole, but then Kaffer ran two-tenths faster. Fortunately, I was able to get another clean lap and win the pole.

"Even though the pole doesn't mean anything once the race starts, we've been in a small slump since winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona," Ham said. "Winning the pole is a great motivation for the team and all their hard work. Now, we need to win the race tomorrow for Castrol and Mazda at its home track."

Pierre Kaffer, making his third start of the season for Farnbacher Loles Racing, was second fastest in the No. 87 Porsche.

"We ran all morning on the same set of tires," said Kaffer, pole winner at Mexico City in April. "Qualifying was my first proper run. On my first lap, I had some traffic. Then, on my second lap I tried to avoid traffic, and was able to do so until the last corner. Even though might have cost me the pole, I was happy with that lap. The team gave me a good car. Without a fast car, it would have been impossible to drive like this. I really enjoy Laguna Seca. With the Corkscrew, every lap is a challenge. With all the sand and gravel, you never know what to expect."

Saturday's schedule opens with final practice at 10 a.m., with the race starting at 1:45 p.m.

Race Lineup

POS

NO. CLASS DRIVER TEAM/CAR TIME SPEED
1 58 DP Donohue / Law Brumos Racing / Porsche Riley 1:19.843 100.908
2 99 DP Fogarty / Gurney GAINSCO/ Bob Stallings Racing / Pontiac Riley 1:19.951 100.771
3 01 DP Pruett / Rojas Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates / Lexus Riley 1:20.270 100.371
4 23 DP Auberlen / Hand Alex Job Racing / Porsche Crawford 1:20.318 100.311
5 61 DP Frisselle / Wilkins AIM Autosport / Ford Riley 1:20.523 100.055
6 98 DP da Matta / Vasser GAINSCO/ Bob Stallings Racing / Pontiac Riley 1:20.679 99.862
7 10 DP Angelelli / Valiante SunTrust Racing / Pontiac Dallara 1:21.220 99.197
8 76 DP Jonsson / Zonta Krohn Racing / Pontiac Lola 1:21.283 99.120
9 3 DP Lester / Lewis Southard Motorsports / Lexus Riley 1:21.595 98.741
10 60 DP Negri / Patterson Michael Shank Racing / Ford Riley 1:21.775 98.523
11 6 DP James / Pew Michael Shank Racing / Ford Riley 1:21.968 98.292
12 47 DP Frisselle / Gardel Doran Racing / Ford Dallara 1:22.149 98.075
13 77 DP Gidley / Jaeger Doran Racing / Ford Dallara 1:22.203 98.011
14 59 DP Barbosa / France Brumos Racing / Porsche Riley 1:22.587 97.555
15 91 DP Goossens / Matthews Bob Stallings/ Riley-Matthews / Pontiac Riley 1:22.676 97.450
16 75 DP Krohn / van de Poele Krohn Racing / Pontiac Lola 1:23.288 96.734
17 16 DP Bobbi / Garcia Cheever Racing / Pontiac Coyote 1:24.063 95.842
18 7 DP Plumb / Sigal Rum Bum Racing / BMW Riley 1:24.112 95.786
19 70 GT Ham / Tremblay SpeedSource / Mazda RX-8 1:27.014 92.591
20 87 GT Kaffer / Werner Farnbacher Loles Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup 1:27.215 92.378
21 07 GT Collins / Edwards Banner Racing / Pontiac GXP.R 1:27.292 92.297
22 30 GT Constantine / Stone Racers Edge Motorsports / Mazda RX-8 1:28.071 91.480
23 72 GT Aschenbach / Lewis Jr Autohaus Motorsports / Pontiac GXP.R 1:28.119 91.430
24 57 GT Davis / Liddell Stevenson Motorsports / Pontiac GXP.R 1:28.189 91.358
25 69 GT Assentato / Segal SpeedSource / Mazda RX-8 1:28.311 91.232
26 32 GT Forest / Merrill PR1 Motorsports / Pontiac GXP.R 1:28.403 91.137
27 06 GT Prey / Reese Banner Racing / Pontiac GXP.R 1:28.614 90.920
28 21 GT Alessi / Phinny Matt Connolly Motorsports / Pontiac GTO.R 1:28.984 90.542
29 86 GT Keen / Lux Farnbacher Loles Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup 1:29.075 90.449
30 40 GT Foster / Ham Hyper Sport / Mazda RX-8 1:29.141 90.382
31 88 GT Johnson / Lacey Farnbacher Loles Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup 1:29.544 89.975
32 67 GT George Jr / Pumpelly TRG / Porsche GT3 Cup 1:29.551 89.968
33 2 DP Dalziel / Zogaib SAMAX / BMW Riley 1:29.854 89.665
34 66 GT Ballou / Miller TRG / Porsche GT3 Cup 1:29.892 89.627
35 42 GT Nonnamaker / Sahlen Team Sahlen / Corvette 1:30.543 88.983
36 27 GT O'Connell / Roush O'Connell Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup 1:31.527 88.026
37 55 GT Tucker / Zabinski Level 5 Motorsports / Crawford - Ferrari V8 1:31.811 87.754
38 64 GT Lowe / Pace TRG / Porsche GT3 Cup 1:32.130 87.450
39 68 GT Sellers / Valentine TRG / Porsche GT3 Cup 1:32.453 87.144
40 65 GT Maher / Stanton TRG / Porsche GT3 Cup 1:33.225 86.423
41 43 GT Nonnamaker / Nonnamaker Team Sahlen / Corvette - -
42 96 GT Long / Potter Air Power Racing / Porsche GT3 Cup - -

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