Bergmeister Captures Pole for Rolex 24 At Daytona

Jorg Bergmeister

Jorg Bergmeister gives the thumbs up after winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona pole.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Jorg Bergmeister surprised even himself Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.

Asked by his team to attempt one more lap in the 15-minute session, Bergmeister laid down a Daytona Prototype track qualifying record lap of 1:40.099 (128.033 mph) to capture the pole for Saturday's 49th Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The race takes the green flag at 3:30 p.m. (ET). SPEED will provide seven hours of live coverage on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m., and resuming with seven hours on Sunday beginning at 9 a.m.

"I was ready to come in, and the team told me to try again," Bergmeister said. "I went for it. I risked everything, and it worked out perfectly. I knew we have a great car and a great engine, but I was really surprised to win the pole - with the team running the DP for the first time. I was hoping to qualify in the top five."

Ironically, Bergmeister's No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche/Riley is the same car that David Donohue set the previous record of 1:40.540 (127.492 mph). Donohue went on to win the 2009 Rolex 24 for Brumos Racing, becoming the seventh and most recent driver to win the race from the pole.

"This car has some great history," said Bergmeister, who will co-drive with Patrick Long, Seth Neiman and Johannes van Overbeek.

Bergmeister will be joined on the front row by Max Angelelli, who ran 1:40.133 (127.990 mph) in the No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet/Riley.

"I'm happy with the front row, but this is a car that should be on the pole," Angelelli said. "I made a few mistakes and couldn't put together a clear lap."

Also under the previous track record were Scott Pruett (128.033 mph), Ryan Dalziel (127.840 mph), Scott Dixon (127.744 mph), Antonio Garcia (127.654 mph), Brian Frisselle (127.563 mph) and AJ Allmendinger (127.562 mph), all eclipsing Donohue's record.

In GT qualifying, Dominik Farnbacher was awarded the pole with a lap of 1:48.781 (117.815 mph) in the No. 66 TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup after teammate Andy Lally's time was disallowed due to a technical violation. Lally ran a lap of 1:48.487 (118.134 mph) in the No. 66 TRG Porsche, but his rear wing was found to be mounted too far to the rear.

Jordan Taylor will start second in the Autohaus Motorsports Camaro (117.771 mph). Craig Stanton (117.566 mph) and Nick Tandy (117.434 mph) were also under also under Jeff Segal's year-old GT record of 117.275 mph.

Final Rolex Series practice is set for Friday morning at 9 a.m. - noon (ET), followed by the GRAND-AM 200 for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets for the 49th Rolex 24 At Daytona are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Related Topics

2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona

2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona Thursday

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