Grand Am – Mont Tremblant – Qualifying Report
Four From Four

A Riley on the pole again, the #01 Riley on the Pole again: for the fourth time this year, the CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will start from ploe position, Scott Pruett setting the 1:28.575 lap, to beat Max Angelelli by just under two tenths.

David Donohue hustled the #58 Brumos Fabcar to third quickest, the only other car to dip below the 90 second barrier during the meeting so far (1:29.750). Donohue set the pole here last September with a 1:30.225."Our fourth pole position in a row is very exciting, especially coming here for the first time," Pruett said. "The only (driver) that has been here before is Max (Papis). To come out of the box in Mont-Tremblant and do so well is outstanding. This is a wonderful circuit, but a very technical circuit. We had a little incident yesterday and I've got to hand it to the CompUSA guys, they turned things around really quick. They got the car right back out there and never missed a beat, so we were able to continue on with our development. Winning this pole position is a huge statement for the team. We had a few setbacks during the weekend and we rose right above it.”

So Bill Riley was right, it was ‘bullshit’ to suggest that his Riley MkXl was anything but the thing to have – whether it be a roval, the twisty little Phoeniox roval, or a road circuit.

Max Angelelli felt he should have had the pole: "I have to apologize to the team because maybe I could have had the pole today. I just didn't realize how little time I had left. I thought I would rest the tires a lap and go for a clear lap but it was too late. At that point, I had maybe only two laps left and then I ran into a slower car. Even so, the car is very good and I have to praise the SunTrust boys for a fantastic job to change engines so close to qualifying."

"It's a nice rebound after Phoenix," Donohue said. "We have three strong drivers for this race and the great preparation by the whole Red Bull Brumos team."

Jan Magnussen and Butch Leitzinger (above) set close times in fourth and fifth, in the #27 Doran Lexus and #4 Crawford respectively, with Lucas Luhr sixth in the #59 Brumos – just ahead of four more cars with close times, those of Jimmy Morales (CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates #02), Oswaldo Negri, Terry Borcheller and Justin Pruskowski.

The championship-leading / G&W Motorsports #81 Doran BMW hasn't completed a lap yet, but will start at the back of the DPs with a fresh engine, while the Homestead winner, the Duno / Wallace / Lammers Crawford will start fourteenth after Milka set the qualifying time.

Terry Borcheller set the time in the 2003 championship winner, after Forest Barber had problems on Saturday morning. "In the first practice session today the wheel nuts came off the left rear wheel at the bottom of the hill in turn two. At the top of the hill the wheel fell off and I had no steering, no brakes and I was just along for the ride. I hit the guardrail and the tire wall. It broke the front splitter, the toe box, the nose and the left-rear hub. The team did a phenomenal job to get the car ready for Terry to qualify. We had a reasonable qualifying effort. If not for traffic, it would have been even better. The times are very close; I think the cars around us are only a few tenths away from each other. It should be a good race. Terry will start of course. I'm not sure, but I think then it will be Andy [Pilgrim] and then me."

dailysportscar.comBoris Said, back in a PTG BMW after his Corvette test this week, set the GT pole, but a late lap from Ian James in the #66 Racers Group Porsche saw him split the BMWs, less than two tenths slower than Said. Kevin Buckler was fourth fastest in the other Racers Group Porsche, while Iradj Alexander showed how competitive a JMB Ferrari can be with fifth, just ahead of Mike Fitzgerald in the Orbit 911.

Joao Barbosa, competing in his third series in three weekends (Rollcentre Dallara, RML Saleen, FoW Maserati) was seventh fastest, but a second slower than Fitzgerald, who ended up in the gravel: "I went a little too quick through the fast right-hander turn seven and got the car sideways. I had to make a decision between hitting the gravel trap sideways and spinning the car, so I locked the brakes up and spun into the gravel trap. I flat-spotted all the tires and filled the car up with gravel so we couldn't continue. But the good news is that I think I have a pretty good handle on what we need to change on the car to make it quicker, so we'll be fine in the race.".

Andy Lally and Randy Pobst were first and second fastest in the TPC SGS Class Porsches, just ahead of Marc-Antoine Camirand in a Corvette.

It’s a full six hour race, so a lowly starting position isn’t too much of a handicap, but that pole sitting CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Riley has to score its first win soon, doesn’t it? Or can the wiley Lammers and Wallace do something from fourteenth on the grid?


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