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MAZDASPEED/SPEEDSOURCE RX-8 CLAIMS FIRST CAREER ROLEX SERIES CLASS POLE
Submitted by Berny Herrera on Friday, March 2, 2007 - 12:57pm

Source: Grand-am.com

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (March 2, 2007) -- Qualifying for just his fifth career Rolex Series race, Nick Ham placed the No. 70 Mazda/Mazdaspeed RX-8 on the GT class pole position with a class track record lap at 1:28.902 (101.235 mph). In addition to it being Ham's first pole, it was also the first-ever GT pole for the Mazda RX-8, which is competing full-time in the Rolex Series for the first time this year. Ham and SpeedSource team owner/co-driver Sylvain Tremblay head into the Mexico City 400k looking for their first class victories in the series.

"The (No.) 70 SpeedSource Mazda was great in today's qualifying session," Ham said. "We had a track service vehicle come out on track so I knew I had to make my lap count early. The car handled great and I think the RX-8 loves the high altitude here in Mexico. I am excited about the new track record and look forward to the race tomorrow. I think all of the guys at SpeedSource have done a great job and have given us a car very capable of a win"

Starting second in GT will be Leh Keen aboard the No. 85 Shoes for Crews/Recaro Porsche GT3 following a lap at 1:29.217 (100.878 mph). Keen earned his best result of the 2006 season last year at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with a second-place performance and is looking for his second career Rolex Series class victory in the Mexico City 400k. Keen is co-driving with Dominik Farnbacher in the Farnbacher Loles Motorsports machine.

"We had a lot of fun out there," said Keen. "The track is really cool being in the middle of the city. The track has some great turns that can be taken at high speeds. The car is real good we are second and third in qualifying as a team. We will have to chase down the Mazda in the race. It is really, really quick. We will run a smooth race and see if we can get another podium like we did last year."

German racer Dirk Werner made it two Farnbacher Loles machines inside the top-three class positions by putting the No. 87 MarquisJet/Recaro Porsche GT3 third on the grid at 1:29.371 (100.704 mph). Werner and co-driver Bryce Miller are competing full-time in the Rolex Series for the first time this season, and both drivers head into Saturday's race looking for their first class victories.

"The car was good in the qualifying session today," Werner said. "We have a strong car and the whole team is doing a great job. My teammate is performing well and I think we have a great shot at a win."

Starting fourth will be 18-year-old Eric Lux in the No. 74 Rembrandt Charms Porsche GT3 for Tafel Racing with a lap at 1:29.388 (100.685 mph). Lux is co-driving with six-time Rolex Series GT race-winner Wolf Henzler. Defending Mexico City GT winner Kelly Collins rounded out the class top five with a lap at 1:29.584 (100.464 mph) in the No. 07 Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R. Collins is co-driving with Paul Edwards, who has won the GT class in both previous Rolex Series events in Mexico City.

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