Pruett, Werner Lead Rolex Series Practice at Montreal
Scott Pruett and Dirk Werner set times faster than last year's qualifying records in Thursday's practice sessions and hope their co-drivers can carry over momentum in Friday's qualifications for the Montreal 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Round 11 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Cask No. 16 will be held Friday at 4:21 p.m. (Speed, 8 p.m. ET) on the 2.708-mile, 15-turn circuit.
Pruett ran a lap of 1:34.250 (103.473 mph), surpassing co-driver Memo Rojas' best lap of 1:34.380 (103.331 mph) to lead the Daytona Prototype field in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley. Pruett and Rojas have combined to win six of nine Daytona Prototype races this year, and have built up a 60-point lead in the standings.
Second overall was Jon Fogarty, running a lap of 1:34.721 (102.959 mph), followed by David Donohue at 1:34.802 (102.871 mph), defending race winner Max Angelelli at 1:35.068 (102.583 mph) and Marc Goossens at 1:35.073 (102.578 mph).
Donohue shares the No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley with Law and the pair has finished second in three of the most recent four races. Angelelli, who won last year's event co-driving with Jan Magnussen, is now paired with Canadian Michael Valiante in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Dallara.
Fogarty, who co-drives the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley with Alex Gurney, holds the existing circuit qualifying record of 1:35.071 (102.580 mph), and will be among the drivers looking to officially break the mark when qualifying begins Friday at 1:15 p.m.
A native of Bend, Ore., Fogarty was involved in the most serious incident of the day. During the second session, Fogarty and Law were attempting to pass another Daytona Prototype when the trio came upon a GT car that had spun and blocked the track. Fogarty hit Law and was then collected by the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley of Brian Frisselle. Fogarty was unable to continue, and did not participate in any of the remaining sessions.
Due to the incident, the No. 99 team also changed an engine following repairs to the bodywork.
"I tried my best to slow down and Darren was doing the same," Fogarty said. "I spun and was rolling backwards and the No. 61 came around the corner. It's blind and I was there, and he couldn't do anything to avoid me."
Dirk Werner bettered Kelly Collins' existing GT track qualifying record with an unofficial lap time of 1:42.497 (95.148 mph) in the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3 he shares with Bryce Miller.
Second was Diego Alessi, who ran a lap of 1:42.967 (94.714 mph) in the Matt Connolly Motorsports Pontiac GTO.R. He was followed by the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Pontiac GXP.R of Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell at 1:43.280 (94.427 mph), the No. 68 TRG Porsche GT3 of Bryan Sellers and RJ Valentine at 1:43.283 (94.424 mph) and the No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3 of Andy Lally and Tim George Jr. at 1:43.368 (94.346 mph).
The No. 70 SpeedSource Castrol Mazda RX-8, riding a streak of two consecutive victories for Nick Ham and Sylvain Tremblay, was sixth fastest at 1:43.460 (94.263 mph). Ham will be seeking his third consecutive pole position (and fourth of the season) in Friday's qualifying session.
Collins, a three-time 2008 winner with Paul Edwards in the No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R, set the official track record of 1:42.601 (195.043 mph) in that car in qualifying for last year's inaugural event at Montreal. The team was 10th fastest in Thursday's practice with a best lap of 1:43.966 (93.804 mph).
Friday's Grand-Am Rolex Series Montreal 200 schedule includes a pair of 15-minute qualifying sessions for both the Daytona Prototype and GT classes, beginning at 1:15 p.m. The second annual event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, a 74-lap race with a two-hour time limit, takes the green flag at 4:21 p.m.