Kelly Collins qualified the #07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R in 7th position for Sunday’s Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 race at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca in Monterey California. Collins recorded a best lap of 1:28.459 for a lap average speed of 91.079 miles per hour.
Kelly Collins, of Newport Beach California, while disappointed that he was only able to qualifying the #07 Pontiac GXP.R in 7th after winning the pole for the previous race said he was happy with his performance during qualifying.
“Certainly it is disappointing that we didn’t qualify better but I feel that I gave it all our car had to give today and I didn’t make any mistakes that hurt us so honestly I can’t be disappointed in that,” said Collins. “Actually we like our race setup and my three laps are as good as I could give. Perhaps better than we did in New Jersey when we won the pole.”
“Both drivers feel that we have a car that isn’t doing anything weird or bad we just seem to behind a bit on speed right now,” said team owner Leighton Reese. “I know we are off the pace and we were the slowest Pontiac in qualifying but with this team and with drivers like Kelly [Collins] and Paul [Edwards] in the drivers’ seat I’m optimistic for tomorrow’s race.”
“We certainly aren’t going to stay with where we are now and we will make some changes,” said Collins. “There is a morning session tomorrow but it is always cooer in the mornings than it will be in the afternoon when we race so anything we learn might be a false reading. It could be a long day tomorrow.
The Verizon Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca is scheduled to take the green flag start at 1:00 PM Pacific Time (4:00 PM Eastern) on Sunday May 17th 2009 at Laguna Seca. The race can be seen live on SPEED TV at 1:00 PM Eastern Time (4:00 PM Pacific Time and 2 PM Central Time).
The Number 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R of Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins has associate sponsorship from Shock Doctor, Las Vegas Bike Fest and Mobil 1 Lubricants. More information about the LRPG Pontiac GXP.R is available on their website at: www.leightonreese.com.
For additional information and live timing for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 go to: www.Grand-Am.com. For live timing for the Verizon Festival of Speed go to: www.Grand-Am.com.