TUDOR Championship: Simpson, JDC/Miller score first career poles at Lime Rock
Stephen Simpson scored both his and JDC/Miller Motorsports’ first career pole in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in Friday qualifying for Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
Simpson, back in the No. 85 Oreca FLM09 car he’ll share with Mikhail Goikhberg, held off a late charge from two-time Prototype Challenge polesitter James French in a session that was extended by five minutes right up until the 6 p.m. ET and local curfew.
An accident by Todd Slusher, who spun and hit the wall exiting the chicane in his No. 16 BAR1 Motorsports Oreca FLM09, brought out a red flag after six minutes of green flag run time.
Simpson’s best time of 49.055 seconds held on after a brief green flag extension to ensure the 10-minute green flag time, during which track conditions changed from sunny and clear to slightly overcast with some spotty rain.
French qualified second in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09, at a 49.697 lap, in the car he’ll share with Conor Daly.
The No. 11 RSR Racing, No. 54 CORE autosport and No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports cars complete the top five.
Dion von Moltke secured the GT Daytona pole, his second of the season (Detroit), following a thrilling scrap with Ben Keating.
Von Moltke edged Keating by just 0.009 of a second, with a best lap of 54.004 seconds in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS.
Von Moltke and co-driver Christopher Haase are yet to win in 2015, but lead Leh Keen and Cooper MacNeil by 10 points heading into Saturday’s race.
Keating, who will share the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R with Jeroen Bleekemolen, starts second after his best qualifying effort this year.
Patrick Lindsey qualified the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America third, in the car he’ll share with Spencer Pumpelly.
The top seven of nine cars that qualified were separated by 0.766 of a second.
The No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 did not qualify, as the team repairs the car from Friday’s practice accident ahead of Saturday’s race.
Saturday’s two-hour, 40-minute race is Round 7 for PC and Round 6 for GTD. The race will be shown Sunday on FOX Sports 1 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. ET.