TUDOR: Fittipaldi leads Corvette DP 1-2-3 sweep in qualifying at Detroit

Christian Fittipaldi celebrates winning the Total Pole Award in the Prototype class at Belle Isle Park in Detroit.

©2015, Michael L. Levitt

Christian Fittipaldi has secured Action Express Racing’s first pole position of the season ahead of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Chevrolet Sports Car Classic, following a scrap with Ricky Taylor.

Fittipaldi, in the No. 5 Corvette DP, posted a 1:24.746 and edged Taylor, in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP, by just 0.05 of a second. Taylor was second at 1:24.796.

Fittipaldi will share his car with Joao Barbosa for Saturday’s 100-minute race and Taylor with brother Jordan Taylor.

The No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP made it a Corvette 1-2-3 in qualifying with GM headquarters in the backdrop, with Michael Valiante driving in this session.

James French denied Chris Cumming his second straight Prototype Challenge pole, courtesy of a final lap flier in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09.

French set a 1:29.317, which edged Cumming in the No. 11 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 by 0.004 of a second. Cumming’s best time was 1:29.321.

The pole is not only French’s first, but also the first for the Brent O’Neill-led Performance Tech Motorsports team in PC. The team has been a longtime stalwart of the class dating to the American Le Mans Series days.

Starworks Motorsport qualified third, courtesy of a good effort from Mirco Schultis despite slight wall contact.

Dion von Moltke has repaid his Paul Miller Racing crew with pole position in GT Daytona.

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Von Moltke had an accident in the second practice session, where he hydroplaned off course on corner entry into Turn 7 and sustained heavy front and rear end damage to the No. 48 Audi R8 LMS.

It sent the PMR crew on a thrash to repair the car in the two and a half hours between the end of practice and qualifying and get the car back out for qualifying, and von Moltke delivered.

The Coral Gables, Florida-based driver laid down a flier of 1:33.546 around the 2.35-mile The Raceway on Belle Isle to secure his first pole in the TUDOR Championship and the team’s first since co-driver Christopher Haase won one at the 2014 season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Ben Keating in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R and Christina Nielsen in the No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 completed the top three on the grid.

The 15-minute session ended under a red flag after Michael Marsal sustained heavy contact with the Turn 12 wall in the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3.

Heading into Saturday’s 100-minute race, von Moltke and Haase lead the GTD points standings by one point over Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 (87-86). The Scuderia Corsa pair will roll off from seventh in the 10-car class.

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