TUDOR Championship: Kaffer puts Risi Competizione Ferrari on pole at VIR
On the heels of the team's first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship victory, Risi Competizione's Pierre Kaffer claimed GT Le Mans pole for tomorrow's GT-only Oak Tree Grand Prix.
(From left) Pierre Kaffer and Giancarlo Fissichella celebrate pole position for Sunday's Oak Tree Grand Prix, which will be shown LIVE at 4:05 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.
By John Dagys
On the heels of their first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship victory, Risi Competizione's Pierre Kaffer claimed GT Le Mans pole for tomorrow's GT-only Oak Tree Grand Prix.
James Davison, meanwhile, gave TRG-AMR back-to-back poles in GT Daytona following a massive rebuild from a crash at Road America less than two weeks ago.
Kaffer took his No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia GT to the top, posting a 1:43.797 late in the 15-minute GTLM session.
It bumped the No. 55 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE of Bill Auberlen from provisional pole and gave the Ferrari squad its second top qualifying run in the last three races after co-driver Giancarlo Fisichella's pole at Indianapolis.
Remarkably, Kaffer became the ninth different pole winner in the nine TUDOR Championship GTLM races to date as the team searches for back-to-back wins on Sunday.
Auberlen and co-driver Andy Priaulx will line up second, ahead of the No. 91 SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R of Marc Goossens in third, who reeled off a 1:44.072 late in the session.
Dirk Mueller (BMW Team RLL) and Jonathan Bomarito (SRT Motorsports) completed the top-five overall and in class.
The No. 3 Corvette C7.R qualified sixth in the hands of Antonio Garcia after a massive repair job following Jan Magnussen's accident in morning practice. While escaping serious injury, the Dane has yet to be cleared to race tomorrow.
The fate of the No. 911 Porsche North America entry, the other car involved in the accident this morning, remains unclear. Richard Lietz sustained a broken arm in the shunt and will fly home to Austria for surgery.
The car, due to be shared with Nick Tandy, did not set a time in qualifying.
GTD qualifying honors, meanwhile, went to TRG's Davison following a remarkable comeback of their own.
The Kevin Buckler-led squad was forced to miss opening practice on Friday as its No. 007 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 was still being put back together following a weekend-ending accident in warmup at Road America.
While having only received a replacement chassis on Wednesday evening, Davison and co-driver Al Carter were back on track yesterday afternoon.
Twenty-four hours later, the Australian put the car on pole.
Davison edged out the No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America of Leh Keen by 0.297 seconds, with the Dane Cameron-driven No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 completing the top-three in class.
8Star Motorsports will start today’s first segment of the Prototype Challenge race from the pole following a blazing lap set by Sean Rayhall in qualifying Saturday at Virginia International Raceway.
Rayhall pedaled the Takis-sponsored No. 25 Oreca FLM09 to a quick lap of 1:41.447 in the 15-minute qualifying session to give the Enzo Potolicchio-owned team its first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship pole.
It was more than one-second clear of the competition, outpacing the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry of Frankie Montecalvo by 1.105 seconds.
Per IMSA rules for the unique 45-minute double segment round this weekend, each team’s Silver-rated driver qualified the cars and will also handle driving duties in this afternoon’s first segment.
Rayhall will then hand off driving duties to his Gold-rated co-driver, Luis Diaz, for Sunday’s second segment.
The pair of RSR Racing entries from Duncan Ende and Chris Cumming will line up third and fourth, respectively, followed by championship leader Jon Bennett in the No. 54 CORE autosport Oreca, who completed the top-five overall and in class.
All nine of the PC entries set times in qualifying, which will race alongside the IMSA Prototype Lites Championship. Andrew Novich claimed pole position in the Lites L1 class.
The first PC/Lites segment gets underway at 5:15 p.m. ET Saturday, with the finishing position determining the grid for the points and race-deciding segment two at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday.
The GTLM/GTD portion of the Oak Tree Grand Prix takes the green flag Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET, LIVE on FOX Sports 1.