Bomarito takes brilliant pole for Mazda
Jonathan Bomarito’s Mazda Prototype took pole position at Road America with a startling time, well over one second faster than the opposition, as Ford scooped another P1 in the GT Le Mans class.
The #55 Mazda lapped the 4.048-mile course in 1min54.507sec to claim Prototype pole – the third for Mazda this season. The lap time was 1.152sec quicker than Action Express Racing’s #5 Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype, on this occasion driven by Christian Fittipaldi.
The Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP of Ricky Taylor was third fastest – just 0.026sec slower than Fittipaldi – ahead of the #70 Mazda of Tom Long.
Eric Curran-piloted second AXR Corvette got within half a second of Fittipaldi to claim fifth, ahead of Marc Goossens in the VisitFlorida ’Vette and Sean Rayhall in the returning DeltaWing. It was bad news for Michael Shank Racing, as John Pew stopped at Turn 3 in the Ligier-Honda, and was classified only 14th overall.
James French took Prototype Challenge pole for Performance Tech Motorsports, with a 1min59.133sec lap, but it was an extremely close-run affair. French was a mere 0.075sec faster than Jose Gutierrez in the Starworks Motorsport #7 car, with Misha Goikhberg third for JDC-Miller, a further quarter-second adrift.
Matt McMurry was fourth for BAR1 Motorsports in the car he’ll share with series returnee Bruno Junqueira, ahead of Robert Alon of PR1/Mathiasen Motorsport and Alex Popow in the second Starworks machine.
Dirk Muller took a thoroughly convincing GT Le Mans pole for the #66 Chip Ganassi Racing-run Ford GT with a 2min02.451sec, eclipsing teammate Ryan Briscoe by 0.48sec. The gap between them was enough to allow the Porsche 911 of Patrick Pilet to split them and grab P2, while the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 driven by Giancarlo Fisichella claimed fourth spot.
However, following qualifying, the Briscoe/Richard Westbrook-driven Ford was penalized for being under the minimum ride height and will be forced to start from the back of the GT field.
The Italian was 0.2sec clear of Earl Bamber in the #912 Porsche, with Corvette C7.Rs, which finished 1-2 in the last round at Lime Rock, qualifying sixth and seventh ahead of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan BMW M6s.
Later, the BMWs were judged to have violated the boost control regulations, and will join the #67 Ford at the back of the field.
In GT Daytona, Stevenson Motorsports duo Andrew Davis and Matt Bell threw everything they had at trying to topple the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 of Alex Riberas, but the Audi R8 drivers came up 0.24 and 0.26 short, to grab P2 and P3. Riberas lapped the track in 2m07.520sec on his third and final lap, just 2.6sec off the GTLM BMWs – an impressively narrow gap on such a long track.
Fourth went to the well-driven Dodge Viper of Ben Keating. Although the American V10 beast was 0.65sec off pole, that was enough to narrowly eclipse Christina Nielsen’s best in Scuderia Corsa’s Ferrari 488.
P6 through P8 is occupied by Lamborghini Huracans – Spencer Pumpelly (Change Racing), Luca Persiani (Dream Racing) and Madison Snow (Paul Miller Racing). Patrick Lindsey was ninth fastest in the Park Place Motorsport Porsche, ahead of the two Turner Motorsports BMW M6s of Bret Curtis and Michael Marsal.
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About this article
|Drivers||Dirk Muller , Jonathan Bomarito , James French , Alex Riberas|
|Teams||Starworks Motorsports , Stevenson Motorsports , Alex Job Racing , Performance Tech Motorsports , Ford Racing Shop Now , Mazda Motorsports|