Patrick Lindsay puts #73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on the pole for Saturday's Porsche 250 GRAND-AM race at Barber Motorsports Park.
First Dry Conditions of the Weekend Offer Qualifying Challenge at Barber Motorsports Park
Birmingham, Ala. Newly-formed Park Place Motorsports led a contingent of five Porsche customer teams in Porsche 250 qualifying today at Barber Motorsports Park. Driven by Santa Barbara, California's Patrick Lindsey, the No. 73 Park Place Porsche turned the third-quickest lap in GT class time trials for the April 6th GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race at the Birmingham, Ala. track. Magnus Racing will start sixth with Muehlner Motorsports America, a second Park Place entry and Brumos Racing adding to the Porsche challenge at the home track of the Porsche Sport Driving School.
Lindsey's lap of one-minute, 27.568-seconds was the best for a Porsche customer in the four official sessions held thus far. He will share the No. 73 with Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Belleair, Fla.) in tomorrow's race.
The two-hour event is scheduled to take the green flag on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn racetrack at 1:45 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow. Live coverage can be found streaming at www.SPEED2.com as well as on the Motor Racing Network of affiliated radio stations and www.MotorRacingNetwork.com. SPEED will air the event tape-delayed on Sunday, April 7th at 5:30 p.m. ET.
The 15-minute qualifying session offered the teams their first opportunity at dry track conditions. Rain hampered testing and practice the last two days and in this morning's final practice. The change in the weather offered a challenge to the teams as they sought to make the most out of the dry track with little experience to draw from. Recent track resurfacing only adds to the test as the diamond cut asphalt is dramatically different than it was a year ago. With the dryer conditions lap times fell by nearly two seconds for the pole sitting No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro driven by John Edwards. His time of one-minute, 26.610-seconds was the quickest of the weekend to-date. Following just 0.067 seconds behind was the No. 31 Corvette of Boris Said.
"It was a good qualifying result for us considering the track conditions," offered Lindsey. "We just had a few dry laps before qualifying to learn all we could. The Park Place guys thrashed to put together a good car for qualifying and I think I got just about all there was in the car out of it. We're excited about tomorrow. We have good track position for the start. The race is basically an elongated sprint race at two hours so track position will mean a lot. Pat Long is going to be jumping in mid-race with basically zero dry laps. We should be strong for tomorrow."
John Potter, owner/driver of the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, held the outside of row two for much of qualifying. A last minute push moved two competitors around the current Rolex Series point leader dropping the Salt Lake City, Utah-resident to sixth with a lap of 1:28.337. Potter co-drives with Andy Lally of Dacula, Ga.
The No. 18 Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche driven by Chilean Eduardo Costabal lapped at 1:31.425 to close the top-10 of the starting field. Costabal shares the No. 18 this weekend with Dion von Moltke (Coral Gables, Fla.). The second Park Place Porsche, the No. 72 driven by Mike Vess and Mike Skeen, was 11th with a time set by Vess of 1:38.127.
Brumos Racing earned a podium result here in 2012 and will rely heavily on professional drivers Andrew Davis (Athens, Ga.) and Leh Keen (Charleston, S.C.). On the first hot lap of the session, Davis locked the rear brakes of the No. 59 and slid into the gravel trap in turn six. Resulting wheel damage prevented the car from returning to the track. The 2011 GRAND-AM Champions will start 12th.
Qualifying Results - GT class
1. Edwards (USA), Chevrolet Camaro, 1:26.610
2. Said (USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 1:26.677
3. Lindsey (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:27.568
4. Westphal (USA), Ferrari 458, 1:28.037
5. Dalla Lana (CAN), BMW M3, 1:28.182
6. Potter (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:28.337
10. Costabal (Chile), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:31.425
11. Vess (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:38.127
12. Davis (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, No Time
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