Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian kept up its positive momentum at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Saturday when the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship staged qualifying for Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix.
The team is fresh off of back-to-back IMSA WeatherTech victories with the Acura NSX GT3 and hopes to add another win to the tally on Sunday.
Jeff Segal, who shares the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 with Ozz Negri, led the way by taking the third starting spot with a fast time of 1:16.828-seconds on his fourth qualifying lap.
“We definitely found something for qualifying,” said Segal following the run. “All weekend we have showed signs of being competitive. But what we’re finding is that when we zero in on the performance of this NSX GT3, little changes make a big, big difference. To line up P3 is good. I think we have a good racecar. We have a little bit more work to do and we might have a little weather coming our way tomorrow for the race. It could make things interesting, but we’re not afraid of the rain. So far this car has been pretty quick in the rain, so we’ll be good no matter what.”
Katherine Legge will line up on the outside of Row 3 for the start of the 2 hour, 40 minute race before handing the car over to Andy Lally who will take the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 machine to the finish. She set a fast time of 1:17.265-seconds to lock in sixth on the grid.
Legge scored a front row start in Detroit, while Lally took the first ever IMSA pole for Acura at Watkins Glen on the way to the victory.
“I think we had the theoretical lap time to be able to get it done, I just made one mistake on the lap when the tires were the best and that’s my bad,” said Legge. “But we’re in a good position for tomorrow, you can’t get pole every race right?! The car feels good, the Michael Shank Racing guys have been working hard and we want to keep rewarding all of their efforts with good results. It’s just heart wrenching when you make a mistake like I just did, because they deserve better.”
Team Owner Mike Shank was pleased with the qualifying session and is eager to see what the team can do in Sunday’s race event.
“Everything is going to plan, Jeff (Segal) did a great job on getting that P3 lap – right away he put the lap down,” said Shank. “Both cars were good – we are happy with P3 and P6. We’re working on the cars a little bit more than we had to last weekend at Watkins Glen, they’re not quite where they should be, but they’re not far off. I think we can have a really good race from where we are starting and that’s the most important thing. My goal was to have both cars in the top-five and this is close enough. We can race from here for sure.”
Source. Sunday Group
First pole position for the new 911 RSR
Premiere for the new Porsche 911 RSR: The 510 hp racing car, which was developed from scratch for this season by Porsche Motorsport in Weissach, takes up Sunday’s race in Canada for the first time from pole position. In qualifying for the sixth round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship contested in the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park close to the metropolis of Toronto, Dirk Werner (Germany) set the fastest time in the GTLM class with the #911 Porsche 911 RSR. His teammate in the race is Patrick Pilet (France). Porsche’s strong performance on the 3.957-kilometre high-speed circuit was rounded off by the sister 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team, with Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) claiming the third grid spot less than two-tenths of a second off the pole-setting time. For the race, he is joined in the #912 cockpit by Gianmaria Bruni (Italy).
The qualifying on the former Mosport International Raceway was again fiercely contested: only eighth-tenths of a second separated the eight starters in the GTLM class. This promises to be yet another gripping race for the fans.
Marco Ujhasi, Overall Project Manager GT Works Motorsport: “The first pole position for our new 911 RSR feels fantastic. It’s the well-deserved reward for the team, who never stopped putting in hard and focused work, despite several setbacks. Dirk drove a fantastic lap. We were often fast this season, but here we finally managed to pull everything together to end up on pole. It was only the qualifying, but we’re still delighted. A huge thank you to Weissach and everyone who played a part in this great project.”
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “We’ve waited a long time for this pole position. There were many weekends where our 911 RSR was fast, but this time everything came together really well. We made the right decisions in practice. Thank you to the team for putting such a great car on the track for us. We were the only ones who tested here before the race and we were able to sort out a lot of things and find a good baseline setup. We then refined it and that paid off today.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “First and third – that’s a great result for Porsche. We implemented a different strategy compared to our teammates because we find it more promising for the race. I hope that it pays off on Sunday. This circuit is crazy. There are not many like it in the world. One tiny mistake and you end up in the guardrail. To turn a fast qualifying lap here is a great challenge.”
The race takes off on Sunday, 9 July, at 12.05 hrs local time (18.05 hrs CEST) and can be viewed live outside the USA and Canada on http://www.imsa.com.
1. Pilet/Werner (F/D), Porsche 911 RSR, 1:14.085 minutes
2. Auberlen/Sims (USA/GB), BMW M6, + 0.018 seconds
3. Vanthoor/Bruni (B/I), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.166
4. Edwards/Tomczyk (USA/D), BMW M6, + 0.209
5. Westbrook/Briscoe (GB/USA), Ford GT, + 0.349
6. Hand/Müller (USA/D), Ford GT, + 0.647
7. Garcia/Magnussen (E/DK), Corvette, + 0.759
8. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Corvette, + 0.819
1. Pruett/Karam (USA/USA), Lexus RFC, 1:16.563 minutes
2. Davis/Aschenbach (USA/USA), Audi R8, + 0.162 seconds
3. Segal/Negri (USA/BRA), Acura NSX, + 0.265
9. Bergmeister/Lindsey (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 1.109
13. Morad/de Quesada (/DK/CAN/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 1.522
14. Bennett/Braun (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 2.657
BMW Team RLL Posts Strong Qualifying Effort at CTMP
For a third consecutive race weekend BMW Team RLL qualified both BMW M6 GTLM racing cars in the first two rows of the uber-competitive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM class. Bill Auberlen, qualified the No. 25 M6 outside of the front row for tomorrow’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. His 1:14.103 minute lap was only .018 seconds behind the pole winning No. 911 Porsche. Auberlen and co-driver Alexander Sims will be racing for a second consecutive victory tomorrow. Martin Tomczyk qualified the No. 24 M6 in the fourth spot with a 1:14.294 minute lap. He will co-drive with John Edwards tomorrow as the duo looks to improve on a season’s-best third place finish. The entire GTLM field was separated by only .819 seconds.
“We expected to be in contention here,” said Neil Fife, BMW Team RLL Race Engineer. “The M6 is quick, well-balanced and solid over a long run. Of course we’d like to be on pole, but we are happy with P2 and P4 – only missing P1 and P3 by the blink of an eye.
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM (P2): “The team has made the M6 better and better. This session was the best so far. I am pleased with the tire selection and the set-up. We won from P2 at Watkins Glen so we just have to do it again.”
Martin Tomczyk, driver No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM (P4): “I am quite happy because I struggled a bit yesterday with my first laps at Mosport. We made the decision that I would run this morning’s practice and qualifying to get more time and I am quite pleased by my recovery and the development we’ve made with the car.”
Cadillac DPi-V.R Team Konica Minolta on Pole at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
Cadillac V-Performance racing team Konica Minolta Cadillac will start from the pole for tomorrow’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP). The Cadillac DPi-V.R remains undefeated in IMSA DPi prototype competition.
Ricky Taylor had the controls of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R for the 15-minute qualifying session around the 2.4-mile, 10-turn track located 45-minutes north of Toronto. Capitalizing on the team’s performance in open practice, first or second, Taylor put in a lap time of 1:08.459 good for the pole. The pole is Ricky’s third on the year.
In the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Christian Fittipaldi will start the two-hour-and-forty-five-minute race from the third row in fifth based upon his qualifying time of 1:09.173. In the team car, Eric Curran drove the No. 5 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R to a time of 1:09.895. This will have him start from the fourth row in eighth for tomorrow’s 12:05 p.m. EDT start.
Ricky and brother Jordan Taylor are poised to get the winning streak going again at CTMP.
“Our Cadillac DPi-V.R has been great all weekend,” Taylor said. “Our Konica Minolta team has been working hard with the Cadillac guys to put a fast car on the track. It is nice to rebound from a tough run at Watkins Glen and get the pole for the team. To come here, be fastest or in the top two each practice session, and then get the pole in qualifying is a big accomplishment for the team. It helps to reset our minds after The Glen. The possibility of rain, well that makes things unpredictable. We can perform in the wet. If it is up to us, we want it to go dry, but this team is 00prepared for anything.”
Fittipaldi and teammate Joao Barbosa are looking for a repeat win from last weekend at The Glen, but have some work to do on their Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R before the race.
“Although we are starting sixth, I think we have made some progress on the car since practice,” Fittipaldi said. “Is it ideal? Are we happy? Not really. Are we frustrated? Yes. But it is a long race tomorrow. A lot of things can happen. We have started a lot of races from third, fourth or fifth and we have won. We will work hard and try to make it better for the race. Thanks to the Mustang Sampling crew and Cadillac for all the help. Only thing we can do is to work harder and try to make it better and focus on the race tomorrow.”
Curran and Dane Cameron will make some changes to the Whelen Engineering Cadillac for the warm-up with a look toward moving to the front in the race.
“Overall, the Whelen Cadillac is heading in the right direction,” Curran said. “I haven’t done that many laps here this weekend, and we just don’t have a great handle on the Whelen Cadillac yet. We are fighting a lack of overall grip and haven’t made the big jump that we need to. We will keep working on it and keep tweaking away at it to be stronger in the race tomorrow.”
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing
WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 qualifies 11th at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Utah) will start from the sixth row in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Under partly cloudy skies and temperatures near 70 degrees, MacNeil qualified the No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 11th after turning a lap of 1:17.959 around the 2.459-mile, 10-turn undulating road course.
“A huge thank you and hats off to the Riley crew guys – not only the No. 50 guys, but the No. 33 guys who stayed late last night fixing the car from the wreck yesterday,” MacNeil said. “They did a pretty darn good job to get us out for the last practice this morning. Gunnar started and unfortunately we had a couple of red flags so I only got 13 timed laps before I had to qualify the car. Qualifying was decent. I pushed the car as hard as I thought I could take. We ended up doing OK. It was a respectable time based on not having much of a practice so far this weekend.
“Tomorrow looks like a rain race. So that means qualifying really doesn’t mean anything. It’s just about making it through Turns 1 and 2, and then staying clean for the entire race. If the rain comes, great. If not, then we’ll have a good clean race in the dry.”
The Riley Motorsports crew worked through the night and into the early morning hours to repair the heavily damaged No. 50 Mercedes in an effort to get it ready for this morning’s 9 a.m. practice and subsequent qualifying. The crash damage was sustained after the No. 26 Prototype Challenge car making side-to-side contact with the right side of the No. 50 WeatherTech Mercedes in Turn 8 during Friday morning’s first practice session. The contact forced the No. 50 to slide along the tire wall and spin before coming to rest nose first into the tire wall. The Mercedes sustained significant damage that brought out the red flag and ended the team’s day. Jeannette, who was driving at the time, got out of the car under his own power.
“It was definitely a late night,” said Greg Jones, Riley Motorsports team manager. “It was a big effort by everybody. We got it [the car] out for this morning’s session. We didn’t miss any time there, so that was good. Sometimes we’re used to doing the ‘all nighter’ thing with the 24 hour races and stuff like that. But, this is a little different because it was constant work [from yesterday’s practice through today’s qualifying]. Then this morning, they [the crew] had to go right back at it [practice #3]. It’s not 24 hours. It’s going to be more like 36 hours – getting the car ready for qualifying today and the race prep that we have to do for tomorrow’s event to make sure we have a good quality car.
“Cooper just did qualifying and he says the car is good. So we’re happy with that. Now, we’ll go and see what we can do for the race.”
“All of the Riley crew members are freaking rock stars – both on the 50 and the 33,” Jeannette said. “When the 33 crew was done [with their car last night], they came over and helped us. A huge thank you to Riley Motorsports to get us at WeatherTech back out there. The car is pretty decent today. We missed a little bit of this morning’s practice with a brake issue that we found when we first went out. The guys got it figured out. I just wanted to do some laps and make sure everything was OK with the car. I also wanted to make sure Cooper got to drive it because he didn’t get any seat time yesterday.
“Cooper got up to speed really quick. He had a really good qualifying effort. All three Mercedes-AMGs are within three tenths of a second.”
Source. Kyle Chura/WeatherTech Racing
Action Express Racing Looks to Repeat at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Action Express Racing took to the track for qualifying on Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park targeting a return to victory lane as well as a second IMSA WeatherTech victory in as many weeks.
The 15-minute session saw the team improve through lap after lap, closing out the qualifying session by securing sixth and eighth on the grid for Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix (FS1 12:00 ET LIVE broadcast), which is Round 7 of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa will be looking to make it a two-win week for the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R. Fittipaldi took the wheel for qualifying, locking in a third row start with a fast lap time of 1:09.173-seconds on the 2.459-mile circuit. The Mustang Sampling entry scored a victory in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen last weekend, and the Fittipaldi + Barbosa combination took second at CTMP last year as part of an Action Express Racing 1-2 result.
“Although we are starting sixth I think we have made some progress on the car since practice,” Fittipaldi said. “But it is a long race tomorrow, and a lot of things can happen. We have started a lot of races from third, fourth or fifth and we have won. We will work hard and try to make it better for the race. Thanks to the Mustang Sampling crew and Cadillac for all the help.”
The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R of Dane Cameron and Eric Curran will start from eighth on the grid after Curran posted a quick time of 1:09.895-seconds as the duo look to repeat their 2016 race-winning performance.
“Overall the Whelen Cadillac is heading in the right direction,” Curran said. “I haven’t done that many laps here this weekend, and we just don’t have a great handle on the Whelen Cadillac yet. We are fighting a lack of overall grip and haven’t made the big jump that we need to. We will keep working on it and keep tweaking away at it to be stronger in the race tomorrow.”
Sunday’s 8:50 AM warm-up session will be the final opportunity to test adjustments for the Action Express Racing Cadillac machines, with the two hour, forty-minute race set to go green at 12:05 PM.
Starting Positions, Mobil 1 Grand Prix
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Action Express Racing:
P6/1:09.173 J. Barbosa / C. Fittipaldi No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R
P8/1:09.895 D. Cameron / E. Curran No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R
Source. Sunday Group
CORVETTE RACING AT CANADIAN TIRE MOTORSPORT PARK: Eyes on The Prize
Corvette Racing has turned its focus toward raceday as it seeks to earn a 12th class victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The pair of Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs will start from the fourth row of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) field for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix.
Both Jan Magnussen and Oliver Gavin were under last year’s pole-winning time in Saturday’s qualifying session. Magnussen, in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, set a best time of 1:14.844 (118.227 mph) with Gavin not far behind at 1:14.904 (118.183 mph) in the No. 4 Corvette. They were both within 0.819 seconds of the pole-winning time in class.
Magnussen and Antonio Garcia – the current GTLM Driver’s points leaders in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – claimed Corvette Racing’s most recent victory at CTMP in 2014. They placed third in the GTLM class last year at the track with Gavin and Tommy Milner second. The pairing in the No. 4 Corvette teamed for a victory in 2012.
The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at CTMP is Corvette Racing’s second event as part of back-to-back race weekends for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The race is set for 12:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 9. FOX Sports 1 will air the race live starting at noon with live audio coverage from IMSA Radio and a Corvette Racing In-Car feed available on IMSA.com.
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED SEVENTH IN GTLM:“The balance of the car was quite nice. We got out a little late, but the way the tire behaved during the run and the way the balance came to the car was quite nice. We just aren’t fast enough. I don’t know where we are missing to the other cars. I’m not happy with the result but I’m happy with how the car behaved. We’ll go back and see if we can find out where are giving up to everyone. It’s still super-close and in the hunt.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED EIGHTH IN GTLM: “It was a fun qualifying session, as it always is here. You’re pushing to the max and trying everything we can. Reed (Sullivan), our engineer, did a good job. There’s a half-tenth between Jan (Magnussen) and myself, but we’re seventh and eighth. It’s frustrating and disappointing. But we started in a similar spot last year and ended up finishing second. So we have to look forward to the strategy we have for the race, how our Michelin tires are lasting, if everyone else will be able to have the same longevity on their tires… I’m sure there are various different strategies out there. You have to keep working away. At Watkins Glen, we weren’t the fastest by any means and we’re the same here. We’re fighting a lot of the same problems.”
Source. Corvette Racing
Front Row Start for Stevenson Motorsports Audi
The No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS was strong in qualifying once again on Saturday as Andrew Davis qualified second at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix (FS1 12:00 PM ET LIVE). The front row qualifying effort is the third consecutive IMSA WeatherTech front row start for Davis and his co-driver Lawson Aschenbach.
The team will look to convert the strong qualifying spot into a breakthrough podium finish after suffering multiple doses of bad racing luck in recent rounds. Last weekend’s Six Hours of the Glen saw the Stevenson Motorsports Audi experience an unfortunately timed tire puncture during the final laps of the race.
With a big focus on coming back stronger than ever, the team had three productive practice sessions to continue to develop their pace on the 2.459-mile circuit as Davis and Aschenbach regularly found themselves in the top-two in final times.
Davis took over qualifying duties marking his third qualifying outing this season as he hit the track in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS. Davis used the 15-minute session to the fullest, laying down his fast lap of 1:16.725-seconds on Lap 10, placing him on the front row in second ahead of the two hour and 40-minute event on Sunday, July 9th.
“I love qualifying and I have done it so much in my career that I feel very comfortable doing it,” said Davis. “The Stevenson Motorsports crew have given us a strong car all weekend so I felt like we had a great shot at the pole. The session was full commitment for me, as a driver. I am pleased and satisfied because I feel like I gave everything I possibly could. Unfortunately, we have to be satisfied with second but I am still really happy with the result. It will be a hard-fought race and we need track position and starting on the front row is a great way to make that happen.”
Team strategist, Mike Johnson is ready to see the race play out with a positive result that the team so strongly needs.
“I am feeling very pleased about our qualifying effort but it’s also about where we have been for the last few races,” said Johnson. “We unfortunately haven’t finished a race in a mechanical position that we wanted to be in since Sebring. Hopefully tomorrow we will get back to that and have a good result”
Source. Sunday Group