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May 04, 2014 - 07:18 AM
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SRT Motorsports Post-Qualifying Report - Monterey Grand Prix
Posted by: newsla on May 04, 2014 - 07:15 AM
USCR News
SRT Motorsports Post-Qualifying Report - Monterey Grand Prix


The SRTĀ® (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports Viper GTS-R teams qualified sixth and ninth respectively today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where both Viper teams spent the majority of the day's two practice sessions working through various setup options for Sunday's Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.

 

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The slippery Laguna Seca circuit, and the team's ongoing search to hit the setup, kept SRT from challenging for the top-five in qualifying, but No. 91 SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R driver Dominik Farnbacher turned in a solid run to take the sixth grid spot. Farnbacher's top lap time of 1:23.076 (96.981 mph) was just seven tenths of a second behind the GTLM class pole winner's time on the 2.238-mile road course.

Jonathan Bomarito qualified the No. 93 SRT Motorsports Vipers GTS-R ninth with a top lap time of 1:23.341 (96.673 mph). Not even a home-track advantage for the Monterey native could overcome the team's search or grip and setup, but the SRT Motorsports crew and drivers quickly zeroed in on what they believe will be the correct overnight fix for tomorrow's race.

Sunday's race, the second in an IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship doubleheader and the fourth GTLM round of the season, starts at 2:45 p.m. PDT with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 5:30 p.m. EDT/2:30 p.m. PDT. The two-hour sprint will be for GTLM division cars, including the SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-Rs, which will share the track with the Prototype class. The day's first two-hour sprint will be for the PC and GTD classes and can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 at 1p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT.

Race-day Sunday's schedule begins with a 20 minute warm-up for all IMSA TUDOR classes at 8 a.m. PDT before the 2:45 p.m. PDT start time for the Monterey Grand Prix GTLM/Prototype race.

How was your qualifying effort?

"We weren't the best, but we also weren't the worst. We were right in the middle. We analyzed some data earlier and saw there is still a lot to improve. I could really feel a big peak with the tire this time where I couldn't at the previous race tracks and it really helped me to get a good feel for the car. It was still lacking like seven tenths, but most of that can be gained on the braking side and we'll make a setup change for the warm-up and we'll see if we have a good car for the race. I think the race will be good, we'll have a good car for the race and I'm looking forward to it."

How do you intend to improve the brakes?

"A damper change and spring change will make a big change. Perhaps a ride-height change in the rear. We can play with the rake - that means the rear of the car higher or lower - and there are still a lot of other things we can try out and we're going to try those tomorrow. We'll go from there."

Marc Goossens, driver, No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R

How was Dominik Farnbacher's qualifying session?

"I think qualifying wasn't too bad. I think Dominik was missing a little bit of confidence in the braking there and if he doesn't have the confidence in the braking, we're dropping down two or three tenths. I'm not saying we have a car good enough to be on pole, but we have a car good enough to go race with the others and not be miles away from the pace the leaders are setting in the race. We'll see tomorrow. If we get through the first number of laps without contact or whatever, then I think we'll be looking good for the race."

How will you approach the morning warm-up?

"There's some more things to do on the fine tuning and we can try some things in the morning. We're running out of time, but we had even less time in Long Beach and we proved to be well in the race. We're slowly getting there and hopefully we find a little more in the warm-up and go and get them in the race."

Jonathan Bomarito, driver, No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

How was today's qualifying effort?

"It was a struggle. We were making quite a few changes before that last practice, which continued into making a lot of changes before the qualifying. It wasn't as good as we had hoped for - that's for sure - but we'll look at things tonight. We've kind of had a consistent issue with the understeer - too much understeer - and we kind of haven't made any improvements throughout the day. We're going to have to look at it pretty hard tonight and we'll come back pretty strong in the morning for the warm-up and as long as we do that we'll be fine for the race. This place is hard to pass at and you want to qualify well, so we're all disappointed in the qualifying result."

Kuno Wittmer, driver, No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

How can you improve before tomorrow's race?

"I think the day took a little bit of a twist considering this morning we were pretty quick in the 93 car. We're not sure what the issue is right now, but we can pinpoint that having the other support races here with some different rubber on the track might have played a factor into our setup. I think that right now we need to really look at our setup page and look at our game plan tomorrow and we should be fine for tomorrow. It's just a little bit disappointing that we're starting a little bit further back in the ninth position, but I'm pretty confident when the gloves come off tomorrow for this type of race, it's going to be a short race, but it's going to be a knockout game."

How will you approach tomorrow's warm-up?

"I think that the warm-up is going to be the key factor for our race. If the car is good in warm-up, we have a really good chance of scoring a podium tomorrow. If we're still struggling after warm-up and searching for setup, then we might have some struggles in the race. But if we have things go our way and hit the setup, we can score a top-three."

Bill Riley, lead engineer, No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R

How would you evaluate qualifying?

"It was okay. We kind of struggled a bit in the practices and Tyler (Hook, track engineer) and I came up with some changes to try. We threw a lot at it for qualifying and I think a lot of it worked and we just need to go a bit further on some things and back a few things out and I think we'll, have a good race car."

SRT Motorsports Team Lineup for Laguna Seca

No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R

Driver: Dominik Farnbacher (Germany)

Driver: Marc Goossens (Belgium)

Lead Engineer: Bill Riley

No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

Driver: Jonathan Bomarito (United States)

Driver: Kuno Wittmer (Canada)

Lead Engineer: Matt Bejnarowicz

Race Information

Name: Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca (race four of 11 for GTLM)

Date: May 4, 2014

Time: 5:45 p.m. EDT for two hours

Track: Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., 2.238 miles

Broadcast Information: FOX Sports 1 live at 5:30 p.m. EDT (P/GTLM). Live coverage of the day's earlier race (PC/GTD) airs at 1:00 p.m. EDT.



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