Westbrook And Edwards Grab Rolex Series Poles At Barber

Leeds, Ala. – Richard Westbrook and Paul Edwards grabbed the pole positions in their respective classes in Rolex Series qualifying at the Barber Motorsports Park outside Birmingham, Alabama on Friday.

Westbrook earned his first Rolex Series pole, doing so on the final lap of the 15-minute qualifying session. He drove the Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP and it took the personable Brit one minute and 21.420 seconds or a speed of 101.695 miles per hour to navigate around the twisting 2.38-mile road course.

Antonio Garcia co-drives with Westbrook.

“The car was really good in race trim but didn’t know if we had the pace to get the pole, but we did it,” Westbrook said of his debut at this track. “The track has a nice rhythm to it but it would be nicer if it had more grip.”

To familiarize himself with the track Westbrook relied upon the iRacing program, although he said he did better with the program than he did on the track.

Jon Fogarty put the GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP on the outside of the front row, giving Chevrolet a sweep of the front row. He, too, expressed frustration with the lack of track grip and wondered if it was something in the air in this part of the country. His speed was 101.603 mph.

“We knew the No. 90 (Spirit of Daytona) car was strong here last year and our new car has helped close the gap,” Fogarty stated. The GAINSCO team is running its first race with a new engineer, veteran racer John Ward.

Fogarty co-drives with Alex Gurney.

Qualifying third and fourth was the Action Express Racing duo of David Donohue and Darren Law along with the Chip Ganassi Racing team of Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett.

In qualifying, Ricky Taylor went off the course and his SunTrust team shared with Max Angelelli will start ninth in the race.

Nine Daytona Prototypes are on hand for Saturday’s Porsche 250, the second Rolex Series race of the season.

The race begins at 1:15 p.m. ET on Saturday and SPEED will telecast it beginning at 4 p.m.

In GT, Paul Edwards put the Autohaus Motorsports Camaro GT.R on the pole with a time of one minute and 30.762 seconds or 91.228 mph.

“I had an incident in the last practice session and the guys had to work hard to fix the car. They did it and had it ready for qualifying,” Edwards said. “Overall, I put in a good lap and feel good about it.”

Second fast in class was Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal in the FXDD Ferrari 458. His speed was 91.004 mph.

According to Assentato, the car was the most perfect one he had ever driven.

Nineteen GT cars will start the Porsche 250.

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