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Ford on provisional pole, but Chevy faster for Rolex 24

January 30, 2003

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 30, 2003) -- The Rolex Sports Car Series held first round qualifying for this weekend's 41st Rolex 24 At Daytona today at Daytona International Speedway. Scott Maxwell put the #88 1-800-PITSHOP.COM Ford Focus Daytona Prototype of Multimatic on the pole with a 115.969 mph lap in 1:50.512, however it was Justin Bell clocking the quickest time in the #40 Xtremelens Corvette of Derhaag Motorsports with his 1:49.394 lap at 117.155 mph.

Maxwell was awarded the pole position per Grand American rules, which state that all the Daytona Prototypes will start at the front of the grid for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

"We are a little bit confused because these guys (Daytona Prototype teams) are kind of getting slower every time we go out onto the track. They were running 47s at beginning in December, 48s at the test and 50s today, but we were running exactly what we did during the test weekend. I don't know why they're sandbagging on me," joked Bell following qualifying.

"These races are rarely won from the pole," quipped David Donohue in response. Donohue will start the #58 Red Bull Porsche-powered FABCAR Daytona Prototype in the number two position on Saturday after recording a 1:50.775 lap at 115.694 mph.

"We weren’t expecting this, that's for sure," said Maxwell of his first Rolex 24 pole. "And I have to thank David (Donohue) for giving me the world's greatest tow around the bank," he quickly added with a smile.

Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb grabbed the GT pole at the wheel of the #43 YES Network Porsche GT3 RS of Orbit Racing. Leib's 1:53.386 lap time at 113.030 mph was nearly a second quicker than the number two GT qualifier of Schumacher Racing/Champion Porsche. Sascha Maassen piloted the #98 Champion Porsche GT3 RS to a 1:54.264 lap at 112.161 mph.

“The car felt brilliant. With these tires, you only have one lap to do a really, really fast lap in qualifying. The first lap I had a few mistakes. But it was still a good lap and I was very happy," said Lieb of his GT pole-winning lap.

The #21 Team Seattle Nissan-powered Lola of Essex Racing was awarded the SportsRacing Prototype pole position for the Rolex 24 after the lap time posted by the #97 Lucchini Engineering Nissan-engined Lucchini was disqualified due to an illegal air box in post-qualifying technical inspection. The Team Seattle Lola, which is raising funds for the Seattle Children's Hospital, clocked a 1:56.898 lap at 109.888 mph.

Positions one through 36 were set during today's first round qualifying and the remaining slots on the grid for Saturday's 41st Rolex 24 At Daytona will be filled on Friday during second round qualifying at 9:45 a.m.

Tickets for the 41st Rolex 24 At Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 386-253-RACE. SPEED Channel will provide 16 hours of live coverage of the Rolex 24 on Saturday, Feb. 1, 12:30 p.m.-9 p.m. ET, and Sunday, Feb. 2, 6 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET.

Preliminary starting grid for Saturday's Rolex 24 At Daytona based on first round qualifying on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. The first six positions are reserved for the Daytona Prototypes class with an additional 30 starting positions from the other classes.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona, a 24-hour endurance contest, will start at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. It is the first round of the 12-race Rolex Sports Car Series, sanctioned by Grand American Road Racing Association.

Provisional grid listings include starting position, (car number), drivers and hometowns, class, car, qualifying time and speed.

1. (88) Scott Maxwell, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; David Brabham, Ft. Lauderale, Fla.; David Empringham, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, DP, Multimatic Motorsports Ford Multimatic, 01:50.512, 115.969.

2. (58) David Donohue, Westchester, Pa.; Mike Borkowski, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Chris Bye, St Catharines, Ontario, Canada; Randy Pobst, Gainesville, Ga., DP, Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar, 01:50.775, 115.694.

3. (59) Hurley Haywood, Ponte Vedra, Fla.; JC France, Daytona Beach, Fla.; Scott Goodyear, Carmel, Ind.; Scott Sharp, Jupiter, Fla., DP, Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar, 01:52.843, 113.574.

4. (3) Darius Grala, Weston, Mass.; Joshua Rehm, Plymouth, Mass.; Oswaldo Negri Jr., Aventura, Fla.; Guy Cosmo, S Setauret, N.Y., DP, Cegwa Sport Toyota Fabcar, 01:55.981, 110.501.

5. (8) Boris Said, San Marcos, Calif.; Darren Law, Phoenix, Ariz.; Dieter Quester, Austria; Luca Riccitelli, Italy, DP, G&W Motorsports BMW Picchio DP2, no time posted.

6. (54) Didier Theys, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Christian Fittipaldi, Key Biscayne, Fla.; Terry Borcheller, Phoenix, Ariz.; Forest Barber, Fort Worth, Texas, DP, Bell Motorsports Chevrolet Doran, no time posted.

7. (40) Justin Bell, Delray Beach, Fla.; Derek Bell, Boca Raton, Fla.; Simon Gregg, Jacksonville, Fla.; Kenny Wilden, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, GTS, Derhaag Motorsports Corvette, 01:49.394, 117.155.

8. (48) Tommy Riggins, Jacksonville, Fla.; David Machavern, Charlotte, Vermont; Kevin Lepage, Shelburne, Vermont; Scott Lagasse, St Augustine, Fla., GTS, Heritage Motorsports Mustang, 01:50.163, 116.337.

9. (05) Craig Conway, Edgewater, Fla.; Rick Carelli, Arvada, Colo.; Davy Liniger, Castle Rock, Colo.; John Metcalf, Aurora, Colo., GTS, Team Re/Max Racing Corvette, 01:50.892, 115.572.

10. (24) Jerome Policand, France; Michel Neugarten, Monaco; Andy Wallace, England, GTS, Perspective Racing Mosler MT900R, 01:51.944, 114.486.

11. (46) Charles Morgan, Little Rock, Ark.; Rob Morgan, Little Rock, Ark.; Lance Norick, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Jim Pace, Monticello, Miss., GTS, Morgan Dollar Motorsports Corvette, 01:52.433, 113.988.

12. (7) Franz Konrad, Austria; Airton Dare, Brazil; Jean Francois Yvon, France; Tony Seiler, Switzerland, GTS, Konrad Motorsport Saleen S7R, 01:52.926, 113.490.

13. (43) Marc Lieb, Germany; Leo Hindery, New York, N.Y.; Kyle Petty, Trinity, N.C.; Peter Baron, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., GT, Orbit Racing Porsche GT3 RS, 01:53.386, 113.030.

14. (19) Anthony Puleo, St Augustine, Fla.; Kerry Hitt, Camp Hill, Pa.; Robert Dubler, Switzerland; Mark Kennedy, Daytona, Fla., GTS, ACP Motorsports/ Xtreme Racing Group Corvette, 01:54.121, 112.302.

15. (98) Sascha Maassen, Belgium; Martin Snow, Pleasant Grove, Utah; Lucas Luhr, Monaco; Larry Schumacher, West Chester, Ohio, GT, Schumacher Racing/ Champion Porsche Porsche GT3 RS, 01:54.264, 112.161.

16. (66) Kevin Buckler, Sonoma, Calif.; Michael Schrom, Ghent, N.Y.; Timo Bernhard, Germany; Jorg Bergmeister, Germany, GT, The Racers Group Porsche GT3 RS, 01:54.865, 111.574.

17. (35) Ralf Kelleners, Germany; Anthony Lazzaro, Hickory, N.C.; Johnny Mowlem, England, GT, Risi Competizione Ferrari 360GT, 01:55.084, 111.362.

18. (33) Cort Wagner, Los Angeles, Calif.; Brent Martini, Laguna Beach, Calif.; Sylvain Tremblay, Sunrise, Fla.; Selby Wellman, St Petersburg, Fla., GT, Scuderia Ferrari of Washington Ferrari 360GT, 01:55.124, 111.323.

19. (10) David Terrien, France; Didier Moinel Delalande, France; Marco Saviozzi, France; Gianluca De Lorenzi, Italy, GT, MAC Racing Porsche GT3 RS, 01:55.664, 110.804.

20. (31) Rob Barff, England; Andy Britnell, England; Richard Stanton, England; Richard Sutherland, Los Gatos, Calif., GTS, Rollcentre Racing Mosler MT900R, 01:55.727, 110.743.

21. (30) Martin Short, England; John Burton, England; Tom Herridge, England; David Shep, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, GTS, Rollcentre Racing Mosler MT900R, 01:55.848, 110.628.

22. (51) Mauro Casadei, Italy; Christian Ried, Germany; Manfred Juraz, Austria; Gerold Ried, Germany, GTS, Proton Competition Porsche GT2, 01:56.032, 110.452.

23. (34) Mauro Baldi, Monaco; Justin Keen, England; Ryan Hampton, Chandler, Ariz.; Eric Van de Poele, Poway, Calif., GT, Ferri Competizione Ferrari 360GT, 01:56.045, 110.440.

24. (44) Mike Fitzgerald, Fountain Hills, Ariz.; Joseph Policastro Sr., Greensburg, Pa.; Joseph Policastro Jr., Greensburg, Pa.; Manuel Matos, Puerto Rico, GT, Orbit Racing Porsche GT3 RS, 01:56.499, 110.010.

25. (57) Alex Caffi, Italy; Fabio Rosa, Italy; Gabrio Rosa, Italy; Andrea Chiesa, Italy, GT, Seikel Motorsport Porsche GT3 RS, 01:56.628, 109.888.

26. (5) Ross Bentley, White Rock, B.C., Canada; Don Kitch, Bellevue, Wash.; Joe Pruskowski, Woodinville, Wash.; Justin Pruskowski, Woodinville, Wash., SRPII, Team Seattle/ Essex Racing Nissan Lola, 01:56.898, 109.634.

27. (99) Jim Hamblin, Franconia, N.H.; Jim Nelson, Pasadena, Calif.; Barry Brensinger, Manchester, N.H.; Mark Greenberg, Boston, Mass., GT, NETTTS Racing Porsche GT3 RS, 01:57.144, 109.404.

28. (6) Gunnar Jeannette, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; Duncan Dayton, North Salem, N.Y.; Peter Kitchak, Minneapolis, Minn.; Ron Zitza, Maitland, Fla., GTS, Gunnar Racing Gunnar Porsche GT1, 01:57.591, 108.988.

29. (21) Larry Oberto, Seattle, Wash.; Derrike Cope, Huntersville, N.C.; Chris Bingham, Bellevue, Wash.; Brian DeVries, Grand Rapids, Mich., SRPII, Archangel Motorsport Services Nissan Lola, 01:57.609, 108.971.

30. (61) Peter van Merksteijn, Netherlands; Charles Brugman, Netherlands; Frans Munsterhuis Jr., Netherlands; Cougar Jacobsen, Deland, Fla., GT, System Force Motorsport Porsche GT3 RS, 01:58.336, 108.302.

31. (20) Augusto Farfus, Brazil; Max Papis, Miami Beach, Fla.; Andrea Garbagnati, Monaco; Emmanuel Collard, England, GT, JMB Racing USA Team Ferrari Ferrari 360GT, 01:58.644, 108.021.

32. (69) Brian Cunningham, Danville, Ky.; Craig Stanton, Long Beach, Calif.; Hugh Plumb, Chadds Ford, Pa.; Cory Friedman, Charleston, S.C., GT, Marcus Motorsports BMW M3, 01:58.815, 107.865.

33. (15) Wade Gaughran, Auburn, Wash.; Peter Macleod, Bellevue, Wash.; David Gaylord, Graham, Wash.; Steven Gorriaran, Providence, R.I., SRPII, Team Seattle/ Essex Racing Nissan Lola, 01:59.580, 107.175.

34. (77) Alexey Vasiliev, Russia; Nikolay Fomenko, Russia; Walter Lechner Jr., Austria; Tetsuya Tanaka, Japan, GTS, RWS Motorsport Porsche 996, 02:00.238, 106.589.

35. (22) Stephen Earle, Garden Ridge, Texas; Philip Shearer, New York, N.Y.; Ludovico Manfredi, Key Biscayne, Fla.; Stephan Gregoire, Indianapolis, Ind., GT, JMB Racing USA Team Ferrari Ferrari 360GT, 02:00.385, 106.458.

36. (49) Bebo Orlandi, Italy; Michele Merendino, Italy; Derek Clark, Corona Del Mar, Calif.; Jay Wilton, Los Angeles, Calif., GT, MAC Racing Porsche GT3 RS, 02:02.657, 104.486.

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