TUDOR Championship: Dalziel leads ESM sweep of front row at Indy
Extreme Speed Motorsports has swept the front row at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with Ryan Dalziel flying to pole for Friday’s Brickyard Grand Prix.
The Scot reeled off a best lap of 1:17.603 early in the 15-minute Prototype qualifying session, edging out teammate Johannes van Overbeek in the No. 2 HPD ARX-03b by 0.276 seconds.
It marked the first front-row sweep for the Scott Sharp-owned squad and the team’s second pole of the season (following van Overbeek’s top qualifying run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which he went on to win with co-driver Ed Brown).
Dalziel, meanwhile, became the eighth different pole winner in as many races as he and co-driver Sharp search for their first win of the season in Friday’s two-hour and 45-minute race on the famed 2.439-mile circuit.
The pole for Dalziel came after a tangle with a Prototype Challenge car in second practice, which damaged the rear-end of their Tequila Patron-sponsored HPD.
P2 cars surprisingly showed the upper hand, with the No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan of Gustavo Yacaman qualifying third with a 1:17.908 lap time.
Christian Fittipaldi was the quickest of the DP machinery, turning a 1:18.102 lap time in his No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette that he’ll share with Joao Barbosa, who went quickest in the day’s second practice session.
The No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP of Richard Westbrook completed the top-five overall and in the Prototype class.
Prototype Challenge qualifying honors went to Colin Braun, who pedaled his CORE autosport Oreca FLM09 to its third class pole of the season.
Championship leader Braun recorded a quick lap of 1:19.849, impressively outpacing the competition in the spec prototype class by more than two-tenths.
Braun and co-driver Jon Bennett will be looking for their fifth class win of the season on Friday, which has included victories in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds at Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen.
Bruno Junqueira put his No. 09 RSR Racing entry second on the grid in class, ahead of the Luis Diaz-driven No. 25 8Star Motorsports car, which qualified third.
The top-five was completed by David Ostella (Performance Tech) and Martin Plowman (BAR1 Motorsports).
GT Le Mans:
After a season filled with disappointment, Risi Competizione’s luck turned around in its debut trip to IMS, as the Ferrari squad claimed GT Le Mans class pole.
Formula One veteran Giancarlo Fisichella, who competed in all eight U.S. Grand Prix’s held at the famed circuit, turned a best lap of 1:22.378 in his No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia GT.
The Italian driver’s time was 0.064 seconds quicker than John Edwards in the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE, who settled for second.
It marked the Houston-based squad’s first class pole of the season and the fifth different manufacturer to take top qualifying honors this year.
Additionally, Fisichella, who will share driving duties with Pierre Kaffer in Friday’s race, is the seventh different driver to have taken GTLM pole in the TUDOR Championship.
The No. 93 SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R will line up third in class, thanks to Jonathan Bomarito’s 1:22.491 lap, which edged out teammate Marc Goossens by 0.049 seconds.
Goossens was fourth, with BMW Team RLL’s Bill Auberlen completing the top-five in class, which was separated by less than two-tenths.
The championship-leading No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia will roll off sixth after a spin by the Spaniard in qualifying. Garcia recovered to record a 1:22.593 lap time.
The No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR of Bryan Sellers outran both of the factory Porsches for the second consecutive event, qualifying seventh in class.
Dane Cameron, meanwhile, soared to the pole in GT Daytona, his second of the season.
The Turner Motorsports driver reeled off a quick lap of 1:26.058 in his No. 94 BMW Z4 GT3 that he’ll share with the returning Paul Dalla Lana on Friday.
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park class winner Jeroen Bleekemolen was second in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R, with points leader Townsend Bell completing the top-three in the class.
The top-five in GTD was rounded out by Spencer Pumpelly (Flying Lizard Motorsports) and Mario Farnbacher (AJR/Team Seattle).
James Davison (TRG-AMR) made it six different manufacturers in the top six, which was separated by less than three-tenths.
The Brickyard Grand Prix takes the green flag Friday at 5:45 p.m. ET, with LIVE coverage on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET.