Yacaman Captures Pole

IMSA

Yacaman posted a lap of 1:09.167 (127.986 mph). (Photo: Courtesy of IMSA)

 Prototype Lineup| GTLM Lineup | GTD Lineup

After finishing third at Detroit and second at Watkins Glen International in the two most recent TUDOR United SportsCar Championship races, OAK Racing came to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park looking to step up to the top of the victory podium.

After leading both of Friday’s practice rounds, Gustavo Yacaman took another giant step toward achieving that goal on Saturday, running a lap of 1:09.167 (127.986 mph) to give the team its second consecutive TOTAL Pole Award in Prototype qualifying for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance.

Alex Brundle gave the No. 42 Morgan/Nissan its first pole in qualifying at Watkins Glen International. Olivier Pla is co-driving with Yacaman this weekend.

“Of course, our goal is to win,” Yacaman said. “We’re a race-winning team, and we haven’t won yet. Hopefully, everything will go our way tomorrow. There are many variables in motorsports, and everything has to go your way in order to win.”

Based in Le Mans, France, OAK Racing is competing in the United States on a full-time basis for the first time in 2014 after winning the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 title in 2013.

“Here it is very important to be on the pole,” Yacaman said. “We definitely have an aero(dynamic) advantage, but we have a big power disadvantage. It’s going to be a matter of managing traffic, which is very difficult at this track with the massive speed difference in the high-speed corners.”

Ryan Dalziel qualified on the outside of the front row with a lap of 1:09.456 (127.453 mph) on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit in the Extreme Speed Motorsports No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b/Honda co-driven by Scott Sharp. Qualifying third was Richard Westbrook, who joined Michael Valiante in winning the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen two weeks ago. He ran a lap of 1:09.642 (127.113 mph) in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP.

Both the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette DP of Boris Said and Eric Curran, and the No. 0 DeltaWing DWC-13 of Katherine Legge and Andy Meyrick were withdrawn from the event after the cars were damaged in separate incidents late in Friday afternoon practice.

Dodge Vipers Sweep GT Le Mans, GT Daytona Poles In Canada
The combination of Canadian driver Kuno Wittmer and the Dodge Viper GTS-R proved to be too much for the competition in TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) qualifying Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

One year after Jonathan Bomarito drove the No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R to the marque’s first pole in more than a decade in an American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón event at the track, Wittmer put the No. 93 car back at the top of the grid for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance (FOX Sports 1, live at 2 p.m. ET). Wittmer turned a best lap of one minute, 15.206 seconds (117.709 mph).

It was the first career pole for the Montreal native at a track near and dear to his heart.

“It’s still giving me some goose bumps,” he said. “If you look back, the first time I ran around this track I was 16 years old. Personally this is a big achievement and it’s a dream come true.”

To earn the pole, Wittmer had to beat out the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R that has won the last three TUDOR Championship races. That car, qualified by Antonio Garcia and co-driven by Jan Magnussen, fell just 0.072 seconds short of the pole with a lap of 1:15.278 (117.596 mph). Rounding out the top three was Wolf Henzler in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR co-driven by Bryan Sellers at 1:15.368 (117.456 mph).

The top five were separated by a mere 0.291 seconds.

“It just shows how tight the competition is in this class and I think definitely tomorrow we’ll see a repeat of that,” said Wittmer. “I believe we have a little bit of an edge here. We need to go into tomorrow with a proper plan. It’s far from being won, but I know our team is very, very strong with strategies and I know we’ll do something really nice tomorrow.”

Bleekemolen Gives Dodge Viper GT3-R First Pole
Jeroen Bleekemolen pulled off a Dodge Viper sweep in TUDOR Championship qualifying Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, scoring the first TOTAL Pole Award for the Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R in GT Daytona (GTD) competition with a lap of 1:19.004 (112.050 mph) in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports entry.

Bleekemolen proved once again he knows the quick way around Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, as he also won the pole in the GT Challenge class for last year’s American Le Mans Series race – which he went on to win.

“It was a great achievement for the whole team because it is a new project,” said Bleekemolen, who earned the 16th pole of his career. “It’s a new build for this year. We’ve been a bit unlucky in the races, we’ve shown already we have some speed in other events. Finally we were able to put it on pole.”

Starting second will be the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GTE qualified by Dane Cameron after a lap of 1:19.175 (111.808 mph). Cameron will again be joined Sunday by co-driver Markus Palttala. The duo recently won the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.

Mario Farnbacher was third in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Porsche 911 GT America with a lap of 1:19.213 (111.754 mph). The No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS originally qualified second, but will start from the rear of the field Sunday when post-qualifying technical inspection revealed a ride-height infraction.

Motor Racing Network will have live coverage of Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance at 1:45 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com.

Related Topics:

TUDOR United SportsCar

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