CORE autosport takes pole for WeatherTech race at Lime Rock

The No. 54 PC team set the fastest time during qualifying for Sunday's Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.

©2016, Richard Dole/LAT Photo U

Colin Braun scored his second consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype Challenge pole, after taking top qualifying honors for Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.

The CORE autosport driver reeled off a quick lap of 48.824 seconds in the 15-minute session, outpacing the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca FLM09 of Robert Alon. 

It marked back-to-back poles for the defending class champion, who may or may not start Saturday’s two-hour and 40-minute PC, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona-only race from the pole.

Braun also scored pole last time out at Canadian Tre Motorsport Park but the opted to start co-driver Jon Bennett instead, and thus was relegated to the rear of the prototype field.

A decision on the start driver has not yet been made.

James French will start third overall and in class in his No. 38 Performance Tech car, ahead of Jose Gutierrez, in the debuting No. 7 Starworks Motorsport entry, in fourth. The Mexican driver held P2 for most of the session.

The championship-leading No. 8 Starworks car of Alex Popow completed the top-five in class.

Richard Westbrook will start from the GT Le Mans class pole in his No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, sharing the car with Ryan Briscoe.

The Brit lapped Lime Rock Park at 50.748 seconds, putting him 0.086 seconds clear of Dirk Werner’s No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM. It marked Westbrook’s second class pole in the last three races.

Tommy Milner completed the top three in class for Corvette Racing, in front of Risi Competizione’s Toni Vilander.

While Joey Hand had been part of a provisional Ford 1-2 earlier in the session, his No. 66 Ford dropped down the order and eventually ended the session two minutes early when he ran out of fuel.

Hand’s best lap was disallowed due to bringing out the red flag.

The highest-placed Porsche 911 RSR was the No. 911 car of Patrick Pilet in seventh, running with Michelin’s 2015-spec medium compound as part of a pre-race Balance of Performance change, with Jan Magnussen in sixth in the No. 3 Corvette.

Spencer Pumpelly put the Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 on to GT Daytona pole, for the first time in the team’s history and Lamborghini’s second in the WeatherTech Championship.

Pumpelly set a lap time of 53.148 seconds, and led since the start of the session, while the action unfolded further down the order.

He will share driving duties in Saturday’s two-hour and 40-minute race with Corey Lewis.

Andrew Davis took second position for Stevenson Motorsports in his No. 6 Audi R8 LMS, lapping the Connecticut circuit just 0.030 seconds down on the Lamborghini.

Matt Bell put the other Stevenson car into third position, ahead of Christina Nielsen and Madison Snow in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 and Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini, respectively.

The Northeast Grand Prix gets underway Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, live on FOX.