TUDOR Championship: Dalziel, ESM take surprise pole at Road America
Ryan Dalziel saved the best for last in qualifying at Road America, as the Scot soared to a surprise pole for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.
With the checkered flag waving, the Extreme Speed Motorsports driver took his No. 1 HPD ARX-03b P2 car to a best time of 1:55.166, bumping Richard Westbrook from the top spot.
Dalziel became the first repeat Prototype pole-sitter of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season after taking top qualifying honors just two weeks ago at Indianapolis.
After a DP sweep in all three practice sessions this weekend, Dalziel’s pole run came as a shock, especially given the characteristics of the 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit that have suited the more powerful DPs.
Dalziel will share driving duties in Sunday’s two-hour and 45-minute race with team owner Scott Sharp.
Westbrook and co-driver Michael Valiante were to line up second, thanks to the Englishman’s 1:55.487 lap time, but the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP failed the post-qualifying stall test and will now start from the rear of the 50-car field.
It has promoted the No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldi to second, ahead of Olivier Pla, who made it two P2 cars in the top-three, thanks to the Frenchman’s 1:56.019 in the OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan.
Ricky Taylor was fourth, while Johannes van Overbeek completed the top-five overall and in the Prototype class.
Memo Rojas (Ganassi Riley-Ford), Ozz Negri (MSR Riley-Ford), Burt Frisselle (Marsh Corvette) and Andy Meyrick (DeltaWing) were sixth through ninth.
IndyCar star James Hinchcliffe completed the top-10 overall and in class after making significant gains with the returning Honda-powered Starworks Motorsport Riley DP, which was less than three seconds off Dalziel’s pole time.
RSR Racing picked up where it left off at Indy, with the team’s two Oreca FLM09 sweeping qualifying honors in Prototype Challenge.
Bruno Junqueira claimed his third class pole of the season, edging out teammate Jack Hawksworth in the heated 15-minute session that saw the two exchange the top spot no fewer than four times.
It was Junqueira’s 1:59.411 lap time, however, that stood as the quickest, outpacing the IndyCar rising star by just 0.082 seconds.
While it was Hawksworth and Chris Cumming that claimed victory at the Brickyard, Junqueira and co-driver Duncan Ende seek their first class win of the season on Sunday.
The No. 25 8Star Motorsports entry of Luis Diaz will roll off third, followed by Renger van der Zande’s in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport machine in fourth.
David Ostella completed the top five, surprisingly ahead of championship leader Colin Braun, who was only able to muster a 2:00.273 after joining the session late after a trip to the garage for an unspecified change.
GT Le Mans:
John Edwards took his second pole position of the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase weekend with the top spot in GT Le Mans qualifying late Saturday afternoon.
Edwards also secured the GS class pole for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race on Friday.
In grabbing the TUDOR Championship pole Saturday, Edwards took his first pole of the season and extended the GTLM record of no repeat polesitters in eight races.
The driver of the No. 56 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE clocked a flier of 2:03.747 and held off the late charge of the pair of SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs. Edwards will co-drive Sunday with Dirk Mueller.
Jonathan Bomarito led the pair of red and white Viper entries; Bomarito was second at 2:03.813 in the No. 93 with Marc Goossens third at 2:03.930 in the No. 91.
The second BMW, the No. 55 qualified by Bill Auberlen, will start fourth and the No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR qualified by Patrick Long starts fifth.
The points-leading No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R, qualified by Jan Magnussen, starts only eighth with a best time of 2:04.738, nearly a full second off Edwards’ pole time.
James Davison secured his and TRG-AMR’s first pole of the year in the No. 007 Aston Martin Vantage, at 2:09.079. He’ll share the car with Al Carter on Sunday.
Dane Cameron nearly snatched the pole at the last second, following a last lap flier of 2:09.293 in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3. But Cameron came up shy of a potential third pole of the season.
Jeroen Bleekemolen slotted the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R into third. The Alex Job Racing teammates of Mario Farnbacher (No. 23 Team Seattle/AJR Porsche 911 GT America) and Leh Keen (No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America) rounded out the top five.
The points-leading No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler lines up ninth.
A pair of Audi R8 LMS cars in GTD, the No. 35 Flying Lizard Motorsports and No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports cars, did not set qualifying times.
The Flying Lizard entry returned to the garage after its fire in the preceding practice; no reason has been provided for the Fall-Line Audi’s absence.
The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase takes the green flag Sunday at 2:15 p.m. ET, with same-day coverage on FOX Sports 1 at 6:30 p.m. ET.