Richard Westbrook saved the best for last, as the Spirit of Daytona driver claimed a crucial pole position for Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic.
Westbrook took his No. 90 Corvette DP to the top spot with less than three minutes on the clock, but it looked like he was beaten when the No. 1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b of Ryan Dalziel posted a 1:25.029 in the dying stages of the heated 15-minute session.
The GM factory driver, however, found even more speed out of his Coyote-built DP, reeling off a 1:25.011 lap time on his final lap to take the pole back, in the Detroit-based manufacturer’s home race.
It marked Westbrook’s first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship pole, with he and co-driver Michael Valiante in prime position to pull off their first win of the season tomorrow.
Dalziel and co-driver Scott Sharp, who also have yet to visit victory lane in 2014, will start alongside the Corvette DP in second, with the Scot’s time only 0.018 seconds slower than Westbrook’s pole-winning lap.
Championship leader Christian Fittpaldi qualified his No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP in third, ahead of the Olivier Pla-driven No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan, which made it two P2 cars inside the top-four.
Completing the top-five was the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP of Jordan Taylor, who edged out Friday morning pace-setter, Ozz Negri, by 0.190 seconds.
The top ten overall and in the Prototype class was completed by Johannes van Overbeek (ESM), Memo Rojas (Ganassi), Boris Said (Marsh), and Joel Miller (SpeedSource).
Rojas topped the time charts early but spun his Ford EcoBoost-powered Riley, while Fittipaldi had damage to the nose of his Corvette DP from an incident.
Flying Lizard Motorsports will start from the top spot in GT Daytona, thanks to a pole-winning run by Spencer Pumpelly.
Pumpelly took his No. 45 Audi R8 LMS to a best lap of 1:32.914 in the 15-minute qualifying session, which saw five different manufacturers represented in the top-five in the production-based class.
It marked back-to-back TUDOR Championship poles for the Flying Lizard driver after scoring his first of the season three weeks ago at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
In Monterey, Pumpelly and co-driver Nelson Canache were dominating the race, but then ran out of fuel on the final lap. This time around, Pumpelly is hoping for better fortunes.
Jeroen Bleekemolen qualified second in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R, while the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America will start third in class thanks to Kevin Estre’s 1:33.246 lap time.
The Monterey class-winning No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 of Dane Cameron was fourth, while James Davison completed the top-five aboard the No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage.
Pumpelly’s lap was remarkably nearly three seconds faster than the Rolex Series GT class pole-winning lap here last year.
The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic takes the green Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET with FOX Sports 1 coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.IMSA, Richard Westbrook, Spirit of Daytona Racing, Sports Cars, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, TUSC