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May 31, 2014 - 04:21 PM
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Sixth Row Start For GB Autosport In Detroit
Posted by: newsla on May 31, 2014 - 04:16 PM
Sixth Row Start For GB Autosport In Detroit

GB Autosport will make its Detroit Grand Prix debut on Saturday (FOX Sports1, 1:30 PM ET broadcast), with Damien Faulkner joining IMSA debutant Ben Barker in the No. 81 Tully’s Porsche 911 GT America for a 100-minute sprint on the bumpy streets of Belle Isle and Round 5 of the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.


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Briton Barker, who is making his first-ever visit to the United States, is stepping in for Michael Avenatti, who had a business commitment that prevented him from being able to return to the cockpit of the Tully’s machine for the Detroit race weekend.

After opening the day with the 10th fastest time of the session (1:34.931-seconds), the team improved in the second session in the afternoon to notch the third-fastest time with a 1:34.300-second lap as the GTD and Prototype Classes are set to share the track for Saturday’s race.

The 15-minute qualifying session, the last session of the day that featured action and new rubber from both the World Challenge and Verizon IndyCar Series, saw Faulkner post the fastest lap of the day for the team with a 1:34.118-second flyer of the 2.35-mile circuit situated on the picturesque Belle Isle island.

While the improvement was a positive one, the team was left frustrated that the conditions hadn’t allowed for even more progress on the day as the team will start the race from 13th on the grid.

“We’ll have to see what we can learn from the (qualifying) session, because in the other sessions today, all of the Porsches were really close, but when we qualified, there were some that got much faster, and others that went the other way,” said team manager Cole Scrogham. “So we aren’t at all where we were looking to be. But as short as a 100-minute race is, a lot can happen so we can still look to learn more in the morning warm-up and make the most of our strategy and good stops to move up in the race tomorrow.”

Faulkner is also making his first-ever start on the bumpy circuit, and after learning the quick way around in the opening sessions, had been hoping to convert that into a stronger qualifying result.

“We just didn’t manage to go quick enough,” said Faulkner. “I feel badly for the team, and I feel like I’ve let everyone down. We picked up a little bit of time with the new tires in qualifying, but how some of the other cars gained a full second over that last practice session, is really a mystery. We are at a bit of a loss, as the track changed and I think it suited some other cars more than ours. But I was the guy driving the car, so it lies on my shoulders and I’m disappointed with the grid spot. Unfortunately, Ben will have some work to do tomorrow in the race.”

An 8:00 AM ET race morning warm up will proceed the 12:10 PM local race start. FOX Sports 1 will carry the full race broadcast starting at 1:30 PM ET.

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