Grand Am: New Jersey - GAINSCO and Starworks Fast on Super-Hot Day

The Starworks Porsche Riley topped practice 2 with Ryan Daziel

MILLVILLE, N.J. - Alex Gurney and Robin Liddell led their respective classes Friday under sizzling conditions at New Jersey Motorsports Park in opening practice for Sunday's American Red Cross 250. Temperatures hit at least 98 degrees - the hottest day of the year in Southern New Jersey.

Round 9 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 takes the green flag at 1 p.m. ET Sunday (SPEED, live).

Gurney ran a lap of 1:16.969 (105.237 mph) in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet/Riley co-driven by Jon Fogarty to lead the Daytona Prototypes. Gurney and Fogarty are the defending winners of the American Red Cross 250 and also won the most recent Rolex Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. But Gurney is concerned about driving the "hottest" car in the series.

"Getting through the race is going to be the big deal, and how cool the cars are on the inside," Gurney said. "This is the ‘Red Dragon,' for sure - it's hot as heck in there."

Ricky Taylor - who will be seeking his fourth consecutive DP pole in qualifying Saturday at 12:30 p.m. - was second fastest with a lap of 1:17.059 (105.114 mph) in the No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet/Riley co-driven by Max Angelelli.

"Winning another pole is going to be tough," Taylor said. "The No. 99 car has been very strong here."

Liddell was quickest in GT with a lap of 1:24.540 in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet/Riley co-driven by Ronnie Bremer, followed by the No. 70 Castrol Edge Mazda RX-8 of defending winners Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito, 1:24.894 (95.413 mph). Bremer led the afternoon session with a lap of 1:25.685 (94.532 mph).

Jack Roush Jr. led opening practice for Saturday's B+ Foundation Heroes 200, Round 9 of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Roush ran a lap of 1:30.841 (89.167 mph) in the No. 61 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302R co-driven by Billy Johnson. Ian Baas led the Street Tuner class with a lap of 1:34.577 (85.645 mph) in the No. 171 APR Motorsport Volkswagen GTI co-driven by Ryan Ellis. The two-hour race takes the green flag at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Real Time Web Analytics