Westbrook Wins Laguna Seca Pole
September 7, 2013 | 9:40 P.M. EST
Westbrook lapped the 2.238-mile road course in 98.79 mph/1 minute, 21.557 seconds to give the No. 90 Visitflorida.com/Go-Pro Corvette DP its first pole of the season. (Photo: GRAND-AM)
Defending Continental Tire Sports Car Festival race winners Richard Westbrook and Spirit of Daytona earned the TOTAL Pole Award for tomorrow’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Westbrook lapped the 2.238-mile road course in 98.79 mph/1 minute, 21.557 seconds to give the No. 90 Visitflorida.com/Go-Pro Corvette DP its first pole of the season, edging out Max Angelelli in the No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP by a mere 0.021 seconds.
The green flag for Sunday’s Continental Tire Sports Car Festival waves at 2 p.m.
“I like this place,” Westbrook said after winning his fourth career pole – and second in two attempts at Mazda Raceway. “It was not easy for us last year, but the competition is so much stronger this year, you really have to work to get an advantage. We’re not happy with the way the season has gone; it’s been really tough for everyone. I’m proud of the way the team has bounced back. Tomorrow is very important for us.”
John Edwards captured his third pole of the season with a lap of 92.05 mph/1 minute, 27.529 seconds in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Camaro. Edwards edged out road course veteran Boris Said, who will start from the outside of the front row in the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette.
"This place has been good to me, but it’s never easy," Edwards said. "It always seems to be a pretty hard fight. I think we have a really good car — one of the best cars we’ve had all year on new tires. But I think this weekend in GT everyone seems to be struggling with a big difference in time at the end of the stint versus the beginning. We’ve never seen track temperatures this high here in the past couple of years, so it’s really hard on the tires. I think the key is going to be trying to keep the car underneath us and keep it from going loose in the race as the tires get older.
"This race also with our fuel windows and everything opens up more options for strategy than somewhere like Kansas. I think that’s one place where Stevenson excels and also on pit stops, so I’m optimistic about tomorrow. But it’s definitely going to be a tough fight between the Ferraris and the Porsches."
Looking to win his third straight race and contend for the championship in the new GX category, 17-year-old high school studentTristan Nunez won his first pole with a lap of 85.64 mph/1 minute, 33.533 seconds in the No. 00 Visit Florida Racing/Speedsource Mazda 6.
Aston Martin and Mazda swept the front row for their respective classes in qualifying for Sunday’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race, a two-hour, 30 minute race that takes the green flag at 10 a.m.
Motor Racing Network will have live coverage of Sunday's Continental Tire Sports Car Festival Powered by Mazda starting at 4:45 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MotorRacingNetwork.com.