GRAND-AM- Rojas Takes Kansas Pole

Photo Credit: John Dagys

’s will start tomorrow’s inaugural SFP Grand Prix from the pole, following a heated battle in qualifying this evening at Kansas Speedway.

Rojas laid down a 1:09.883 lap time late in the 15-minute session, putting the No. 01 Telcel Riley-BMW on the top spot for the two-hour and 45-minute race on the six-turn roval.

“I got a bit worried halfway through qualifying because we had bad luck with traffic,” Rojas explained. “We waited to get a big gap on pit lane and suddenly we started to catch the gentlemen drivers. Lap after lap, I was losing the best grip of my tires.

“Right after I passed the last car, I was able to get two laps clear of traffic and got the lap. The car is good. We’re happy with that and hope we have a trouble free race tomorrow.”

The Ganassi entry, sporting BMW’s new 4.5-liter powerplant, ended up just 0.067 seconds ahead of the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford of Gustavo Yacaman, who recorded an impressive 1:09.950 lap time to start on the front row.

Christian Fittipaldi was third, and quickest of the Corvettes, followed by the sister No. 9 Action Express Racing entry of Burt Frissele in fourth.

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP of Max Angelelli completed the top-five overall and in the DP class.

In his Ferrari debut, Alex Tagliani took pole in GT. The Canadian, piloting the No. 61 AIM Motorsport 458 Italia Grand Am, reeled off a best lap of 1:15.024, leading a 1-2-3 sweep for the Italian manufacturer.

“The only thing I was worried about was getting every bit out of the new tires,” said Tagliani, who will share the wheel of the No. 61 car with Jeff Segal. “That’s what you need to do in qualifying. The car was good to compete. Maybe there is some fine tuning to do but we are in good position.”

Tagliani, filling in for Indy car race winner Max Papis, edged out the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa entry of Leh Keen by 0.260 seconds. Defending Rolex Series GT champion Emil Assentato was third with a 1:15.498 lap time.

The top five was completed by John Edwards (Stevenson Motorports) and Patrick Lindsey (Park Place Motorsports).

GX qualifying went the way of SpeedSource’s Tom Long, who took his No. 70 Mazda6 to a best lap time of 1:21.338. Long outpaced the No. 00 Visit Florida Racing Mazda of Tristan Nunez by 0.696 seconds.

“It seemed like the Mazda6 got better and better as the run went on,” Long said. “That’s encouraging for tomorrow. Hats off to the SpeedSource Mazda guys. They’ve done a great job to get the R&D to this point. We’re looking for a good, clean race tomorrow.”

The No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman, the third and final entry in the class, did not make a qualifying attempt.

The SFP Grand Prix takes the green flag Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Live! on FOX Sports 2

RESULTS: Qualifying