Miami: Banner Takes Pole in GT

Banner Racing again ruled the roval at Miami-Homestead

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Banner Racing's Pontiac had a strong run at Homestead-Miami Speedway, winning three of the last four races. Friday, Paul Edwards hopes to continue that run with the team's rebodied No. 07 Mobil 1 Corvette, winning the pole for the Grand Prix of Miami.

Edwards turned in a lap of 1:18.123 (106.322 mph), as eight drivers were under Nick Ham's 2009 track mark in the 15-minute qualifying session.

"We've won three of the last four races here, and that makes you like the place," Edwards said. "I like this place anyway."

Edwards will be joined on Saturday by Scott Russell, with the motorcycle legend missing Friday's Homestead activities to participate in SPEED's coverage of the Daytona 200 By Honda - America's premier motorcycle race. Russell won that event five times.

"We couldn't do three laps in a row at Daytona without it breaking down," said Edwards. "Today, we ran all day without a problem. The car's fast. We're getting the car very well balanced. The team's done a remarkable job to get the car where we didn't have a hiccup in it. That gives me a lot of confidence."

Jonathan Bomarito made his qualifying debut as regular co-driver in the Rolex 24 class-winning SpeedSource No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 by winning the outside pole with a lap of 1:18.132 (105.975 mph). Sylvain Tremblay returns as co-driver of the 2007 Grand Prix of Miami winner.

"It's nice to get that first qualifying run out of the way," Bomarito said. "This is my first ride as full-time driver with Sylvain, and it's good to get it out of the race. The car is good, and the team has been great working with me. All the information and resources I need are there, and it's up to me to maximize. Sylvain is an amazing qualifier. It's hard for him not to qualify, but looking at the big picture, he's going to finish the race. He put no pressure on me, he told me to keep it clean in qualifying."

John Edwards qualified third in the debut of the SpeedSource No. 68 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Mazda RX-8, 1:18.137 (105.968 mph) co-driven by Adam Christodoulou, followed by Emil Assentato in the SpeedSource No. 69 FXDD Mazda shared by Jeff Segal, 1:18.144 (105.958 mph) and Todd Lamb in the No. 30 Racers Edge Motorsports Mazda RX-8, 1:18.219 (105.857 mph) co-driven by Jordan Taylor.

Also under Ham's old track record were Andrew Davis in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro, James Gue in the No. 41 Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 and Luke Hines in the No. 48 Miller Barrett Racing Porsche GT3.

Final practice for the Grand Prix of Miami will be held Saturday 9:10 a.m. ET. The day's activities also include the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.