Westbrook Wins Barber Pole
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on March 30, 2012 | 12:35 P.M.
Westbrook recorded a lap of 101.695 mph in the Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP. (Photo: Brian Cleary)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Richard Westbrook scored his first career GRAND-AM Rolex Series Daytona Prototype pole on Friday in qualifying for the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park.
Westbrook took the top spot on his third lap with a speed of 102.695 mph in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Chevrolet Corvette DP.
"We just got the hammer down," Westbrook said. "The car felt good. It’s felt good all week. The Spirit of Daytona always puts a good car out at Barber. We’re particularly strong in race trim. We weren’t sure if we had the outright pace for pole. It just felt great out there."
The pole was the first for the new Corvette DP.
"It is just great to give this Corvette its first pole,” Westbrook said. "It is an absolute joy to drive. The aero on the car is unbelievable. It is really good. It is still a very, very new car and it is only going to get better."
Saturday's race will mark Westbrook's fourth DP start. He hails from Richmond, London and loves racing at the 2.3-mile Barber course.
"I love the track, it's got a lovely flow to it," Westbrook said. "As a facilty, I think it's one of the best in the States. It's a joy to race here. I wish we had something like this in Europe."
Corvette's swept the first three spots with Jon Fogarty and David Donohue, who paced yesterday's practice session, qualifying second and third, respectively.
Fogarty came up short of capturing his third Barber pole with a lap of 101.603 mph in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance machine.
“It’s always important to start up front," Fogarty said. "I always get the opportunity to qualify and want to improve upon my record for pole positions. We just missed it by a bit today. But really happy with the progress we made relative to the No. 90 car from last year to this year. I think we have a much more competitive race car. To be starting up front here, it’s not an easy place to overtake so that is always a good thing.”
Memo Rojas and John Pew rounded out the top five in DP qualifying.
Paul Edwards and the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports team rebounded from a crash in the morning practice session to take the pole in GT. Edwards got off track in Turn 11 and damaged the front nose on his Chevrolet Camaro GT.R in a bump in the grass.
"It was good the team bounced back and got the car fixed and ready for qualifying and proved that all of our spare parts are pointing straight," said Edwards, who posted a lap of 91.228 mph. "It's really cool that Chevy is starting from pole in both GT and DP."
The pole was the eighth of Edwards' career.
Emil Assentato, Ronnie Bremer, Eric Foss and Charles Espenlaub rounded out the top five in GT.
Motor Racing Network will have live coverage of the Porsche 250 on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. with live streaming also available at MotorRacingNetwork.com.