Daytona24: Porsche Motorsport qualifying report

Joerg Bergmeister/Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Riley DP on Pole for 49th Rolex 24; Dominik Farnbacher Takes GT in TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

Daytona Beach, FL -- January 27 -- The #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Riley Daytona prototype race car, driven by Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), set a new Grand-Am DP lap record of more than 128 miles-per-hour on its way to the overall pole for the 49th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Bergmeister, who has both a class wins (2002 and 2009) and an overall win (2003) -- all in Porsche 911s -- was thrilled to have the top spot in the Lizards first prototype entry, which he will share during the race with Seth Neiman, Johannes van Overbeek, and Patrick Long (all USA).

The six-cylinder, Porsche 911-based race engine, built by Porsche Motorsport North America in Santa Ana, California, is familiar to Joerg, although the setup for the Daytona Prototype class is unique. The Lizard Porsche Riley is the same vehicle which won the 2009 Rolex 24 entered under the Brumos Racing banner. That year, David Donohue had put the car on the pole as well.

"I am very happy for the Flying Lizard Motorsports team for this result," said Bergmeister.

"The team worked very hard, spending hundreds of hours updating and preparing this car, and gave me a perfect setup. I was the fastest car early in the session, but then (Max) Angelelli took the lead by nine-hundreths of a second and I thought I would settle for second place. But as I headed towards pit-in, the team told me to stay out and try one more time, and we did it," said Bergmeister.

In the GT class, Kevin Buckler's TRG Porsche team took the top position in the #66 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, with Dominik Farnbacher (Germany) capturing the pole and setting a GT track record as well. The #67 TRG Porsche, qualified by Andy Lally (USA), had won the preliminary pole position, but was disqualified for a rear wing positioning violation. His car will have to start Saturday's race at the back of the field.

Farnbacher, a winner in the GT class at the Rolex 24 in 2005, was pleased with the pole, and said his Porsche performed well on the new, smoother Daytona surface.

"In the infield, especially at the horseshoe and bus stop turns, your setup has to be right or you will lose lots of time, and I found I could go fast without overdriving the car. TRG has really become the Porsche 911 expert at this race, and I am thankful for the chance to drive this car," said Farnbacher.

Other Porsche 911 GT3 Cup qualifiers in GT included Craig Stanton/Magnus Racing (third); Nick Tandy/Burtin Racing (fourth); Shane Lewis/Chris Smith Racing (fifth); Ryan Eversley/TRG (sixth); Andrew Davis/Brumos Racing (ninth); and Jeroen Bleekemolen/TRG Black Swan Racing (tenth).

-source: porsche motorsport

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