Jordan Taylor on pole for TUDOR race at Monterey

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP will start from pole position for the second consecutive TUDOR Championship race.

©2015, Michael L. Levitt

For the second consecutive qualifying session, the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP and No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford battled for the Prototype and overall pole position in California.

And for the second consecutive session, a Taylor brother emerged ahead of Scott Pruett in a tooth-and-nail battle to secure the pole.

Jordan Taylor emerged fastest Saturday for his first pole of the season, and somewhat surprisingly, his first pole in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

He’ll lead the field to the green in Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda.

Taylor set a best lap of 1:18.718 around the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, while Pruett was slightly more than two tenths in arrears at 1:18.940.

Taylor will start the car and hand it over to brother Ricky on Sunday, as the pair look for their second straight win. Meanwhile Pruett and fellow Northern California native, and co-driver, Joey Hand will roll off second in search of their first win together as teammates.

The No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP qualified third in the hands of Michael Valiante, who will share the car with Richard Westbrook.

John Pew put in his best laps of the weekend in qualifying in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda, ultimately ending fourth at 1:19.651. He’ll turn over the practice pace-setting car to Ozz Negri.

The No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa) will start fifth.

Despite having two incidents in the 15-minute session, Chris Cumming secured the Prototype Challenge pole in the No. 11 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09, in the first session where the Silver or Bronze-rated drivers were tasked with qualifying.

Early in the session, Cumming spun at Turn 2 and recovered after going through the dirt offline. Later, he contacted Mikhail Goikhberg in the No. 85 JDC/Miller Motorsports car heading into Turn 2.

Ford's Pruett and Hand: The California connection

Nevertheless, Cumming edged Mike Guasch, in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports car, by just 0.004 for the fastest lap of the session. He set a 1:22.565 to Guasch’s 1:22.569 for the pole position.

The pole is Cumming’s second in the TUDOR Championship, having also scored the pole at Kansas Speedway last year. It also ends BAR1 Motorsports’ two-for-two run to start the year of poles.

James French, Jon Bennett and Mirco Schultis completed the top five in class.

Dirk Werner (GT Le Mans) and Patrick Lindsey (GT Daytona) are first-time TUDOR United SportsCar Championship polesitters in the GT classes for Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Werner, who co-drove with Bill Auberlen to win the most recent GTLM round at Long Beach two weeks ago, took the No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE to a new lap record of 1:22.362 around the 2.238-mile road course. He waited a bit in the 15-minute session to run, but executed it to perfection.

It eclipses the previous mark of 1:22.373, set last year by Antonio Garcia.

The result makes the German the 15th different polesitter in as many GTLM qualifying sessions, and makes it back-to-back for the No. 25 car after Auberlen scored the pole at Long Beach.

Lucas Luhr made it a BMW 1-2, taking the sister No. 24 BMW Z4 GTE into second at 1:22.610. Luhr had a spin exiting Turn 6 at one point in the session but recovered and resumed.

Pierre Kaffer matched Luhr to the thousandth in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia, at 1:22.610. Because Luhr set the time first, he will start second, per Rule 43.4.1 of the 2015 IMSA Rulebook.

Just 0.453 of a second covered first through seventh in the eight-car class.

Lindsey took his first GTD pole in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America with an absolute flier nearly a second clear of the rest of the field.

His best time of 1:27.040 was 0.981 of a second clear of Marc Miller, in the No. 93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R, in the best session of the weekend for the second Viper.

While Lindsey gapped the field in the car he’ll share with Spencer Pumpelly, second through ninth in the 11-car field were covered by just 0.945 from Miller down to Cooper MacNeil in ninth in the No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America.

Dion von Moltke, Ben Keating and John Potter completed the top five in qualifying.

Sebring winners Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing will line up seventh, with Ian James setting the best time for the No. 23 Porsche 911 GT America at 1:28.885 in the car he’ll share with Mario Farnbacher.

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