Porsche has clinched pole position and takes up round six of the IMSA SportsCar Championship in Bowmanville/Canada from P1 in the GTLM class. Nick Tandy from Great Britain turned the fastest lap in 1:13.517 minutes during the short 15-minute qualifying session on the 3.957-kilometre Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. One year ago, Dirk Werner from Germany secured the maiden pole position on this racetrack for the new Porsche 911 RSR. For the race on Sunday, Tandy shares the cockpit of the 510 hp racer from Weissach with Frenchman Patrick Pilet.
In clear blue skies and a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius, Belgium’s Laurens Vanthoor turned the fourth quickest qualifying time with the #912 sister car. His teammate for the race on the ultrafast and demanding circuit close to Toronto is Earl Bamber from New Zealand. Pilet and Tandy scored the last IMSA win for Porsche in Canada with the 911 RSR in 2015. In the GTLM class, in which four automobile manufacturers fight for prestige and points, Porsche ranks second in the manufacturers classification with two wins from five races.
In the GTD class, two Porsche 911 GT3 R race cars are fielded by Wright Motorsports. The 500 hp race car with the starting number 16 takes up the race from position five, with the number 58 contender tackling the 2:40-hour race from position eight.
Steffen Höllwarth, Porsche Programme Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship: “We’re very satisfied with grid positions one and four. Overtaking on this track is very difficult, so in the practice sessions we concentrated fully on the qualifying setup. This worked perfectly with our #911 Porsche 911 RSR, but unfortunately it didn’t quite come together for the #912 car in one lap. Still we’re looking forward to the race on Sunday and we’re ready to go all-out.”
Nick Tandy (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “This is a great day for England – we made it into the semi-finals of the Football World Cup, Formula One and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup are contested at Silverstone this weekend and now I’m on pole. I’m very happy. The track is one of my favourites on the IMSA SportsCar Championship calendar, and I really enjoyed the qualifying session. The team put a perfectly setup car on the track for me today and the tyres performed perfectly at exactly the right time. In my opinion, this made all the difference. For me, this was the perfect qualifying session. Because it’s almost impossible to overtake on this racetrack, the starting position is more important than on almost any other racetrack.”
Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “Pole position is a great result for Porsche. Basically we were really fast, I tried everything but unfortunately it somehow didn’t all come together. However, the race setup worked well during free practice, so I’m feeling confident. It’ll be a challenge, because overtaking on this twisty, flowing circuit is very hard.”
The race takes off on Sunday, 8 July, at 14.05 hrs local time (20.05 hrs CEST) and is contested over 2:40 hours. The race can be viewed live outside the USA and Canada on http://www.imsa.com.
1. Tandy/Pilet (GB/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 1:13.517 minutes
2. Briscoe/Westbrook (AUS/GB), Ford GT, + 0.314 seconds
3. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, + 0.417 seconds
4. Vanthoor/Bamber (B/NZ), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.438 seconds
5. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, + 0.563 seconds
6. Krohn/Edwards (FIN/USA), BMW M8 GTE, + 0.583 seconds
7. Sims/De Phillippi (GB/USA), BMW M8 GTE, + 0.696 seconds
8. Hand/Müller (USA/D), Ford GT, + 0.711 seconds
1. Hawksworth/Heinemeier Hansson (GB/DK), Lexus RC F GT3, 1:15.581 minutes
2. Marcelli/Baumann (CAN/A), Lexus RC F GT3, + 0.439 seconds
3. Sellers/Snow (USA/USA), Lamborghini Huracan GT3, + 0.805 seconds
5. Schein/Henzler (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.964 seconds
8. Long/Nielsen (USA/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 1.306 seconds
Braun Shatters Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Track Record En Route To Second Straight Motul Pole Award
It’s been a very strong week for Colin Braun and the No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA LMP2 team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Last Saturday, the Texan took his first Motul Pole Award of the season in qualifying for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, then went on to finish second in the next day’s race with co-drivers Jon Bennett and Romain Dumas. Yesterday, Braun ended the day atop the speed charts in practice for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix here at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Today, Braun obliterated Ricky Taylor’s year-old track record en route to his second consecutive Motul Pole Award. Early in the 15-minute qualifying session, Braun threw down a lap of one minute, 6.315 seconds (133.490 mph), beating Taylor’s record of 1:08.459 by more than two seconds to earn the 17th pole of his IMSA career (eight WeatherTech Championship, three GRAND-AM and six American Le Mans Series).
“It’s a testament to these CORE autosport guys,” Braun said. “The ORECA is really fast and we were fast at The Glen. This car is just a blast to drive. I love it around here. It’s probably my favorite racetrack. It’s definitely a place I enjoy coming.”
Qualifying second is a two-time defending winner of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, Dane Cameron in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi car he shares with Juan Pablo Montoya. Cameron – who won the last two years with co-driver Eric Curran in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering entry from Action Express Racing – posted a best lap on Saturday of 1:05.540 (133.038 mph).
Cameron and Montoya go into the race riding a streak of three consecutive WeatherTech Championship podium results, including a third-place run last weekend in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Robert Alon qualified the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA LMP2 “Banana Boat” third at 1:06.841 (132.439 mph). Alon’s co-driver is Simon Trummer.
Renger van der Zande placed the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R he shares with Jordan Taylor fourth on the grid with a lap of 1:07.093 (131.942 mph). Jonathan Bomarito made it three different DPi manufacturers in the top five and four different cars in the top five with a fifth-place qualifying result of 1:07.109 (131.910 mph) in the No. 55 Mazda Team Joest Mazda RT24-P. Bomarito’s co-driver is Harry Tincknell.
The top-seven qualifiers all were within a second of Braun’s pole-winning time. All 12 Prototypes that posted times went quicker than the previous track record.
Cadillac Racing Team Konica Minolta to Start Fourth in Canada
Cadillac V-Performance Racing team Konica Minolta Cadillac will start the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) fourth tomorrow. The Mustang Sampling Cadillac will start 11th and the Whelen Engineering Cadillac will start 12th.
The three Cadillac prototype race cars took to the 2.4-mile, 10-turn circuit under near perfect conditions of sunny skies and 70°F temperatures for the 15-minute qualifying session this afternoon. Renger Van Der Zande, driving the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, put in a time of 1:07.093 good for a second row starting position for tomorrow’s 2 p.m. ET start.
“I’m pretty pleased with what we did in qualifying by the team and in terms of my driving,” Van Der Zande said. “I think we improved a lot – a lot – from first practice to qualifying. The boys did a very, very good job there. On this track, you need a lot of front-end grip in the high-speed corners and a lot of rear-end grip in the low-speed corners, which is always a compromise. I think we played that very well. On top of that, I pushed really hard for a lap and I think all went well there. I’m happy to be fourth, starting this race on the second row. Now, it will be a matter of staying out of trouble during the first stint tomorrow.”
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac team had Christian Fittipaldi behind the wheel. He was able to put in a lap of 1:08.009 that will have him and Filipe Albuquerque starting from the sixth row.
“The car wasn’t bad, but I didn’t get the most out of the tires because during one of my fast laps I had a big moment in Turn 3 and from there, we lost performance in our tires which is normal,” Fittipaldi said. “The car definitely can do more and I wasn’t able to put the perfect lap in while the tires were at their best. We’ve made a lot of progress this weekend and are way ahead of where we were at this point last year so I think we have a much better Cadillac for the race here than we did last weekend.”
The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R driven by Eric Curran in qualifying put in a lap time of 1:08.168 that will have him also starting from the sixth row. Curran is joined in the 31 by Felipe Nasr.
“We had a quick Whelen Cadillac yesterday and this morning,” Curran said. “With the temperatures going up this afternoon, our car just didn’t match the track perfectly so we were losing out on a couple of the corners. It’s too bad because the car is really good in some places. We have some time to make up, but our Whelen guys will do a good job tomorrow and we will see what we have in the race. We’ve got some great guests here with Whelen this weekend so hopefully we can get this Cadillac back to victory lane here.”
Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing
CORVETTE RACING IN CANADA: Top-Five Starts for Pair of Chevrolet Corvettes
Corvette Racing will start third and fifth with its pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park following an incredibly close GT Le Mans qualifying session Saturday.
The reigning GT Le Mans (GTLM) championship-winning program will go for its 12th class victory at the historic 2.459-mile, 10-turn layout Sunday. It will mark Corvette Racing’s fifth event in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this season.
Jan Magnussen qualified third in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R that he will share with Antonio Garcia. Magnussen, who has five of his six CTMP victories with Corvette Racing, set a best time of 1:13.934 (119.733 mph) and finished within 0.417 seconds of pole-winner Nick Tandy.
Magnussen and Garcia are coming off a runner-up GTLM finish at Watkins Glen a week ago. They won together at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2014 during the first year of the Corvette C7.R.
Oliver Gavin was fifth in the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette at 1:14.080 (119.465 mph) that he drives with Tommy Milner. Gavin sought his fourth career pole at CTMP. He and Milner won together at the track in 2013 in the final year of the Corvette C6.R.
Saturday’s qualifying results should put both Corvette Racing entries in good shape to improve their championship standings. Garcia and Magnussen sit third and only four points from first place while Gavin and Milner are 10 points back in sixth place. The Manufacturer Championship is just as close with Chevrolet only five points out of the lead.
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED THIRD IN GTLM: “I’m quite happy. This is as fast as we have ever been here, so obviously we have made good progress. It’s super-tight, with the exception of the pole-sitter; he was three-tenths ahead and everyone else is just about the same. Third is a good starting point for the race. Hopefully we can have a good start and make something happen. I was very happy with the car. I did more laps in qualifying than ideally I like to because I knew I was just on the other side of the peak of the tire. I could still kind of massage a little bit to improve a little. But I’m happy with P3 and all the work the guys have done on the car – Kyle (Millay, engineer), Dan (Binks, crew chief) and the rest of the crew. We’ll go to the race and see if we can get the most points.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED FIFTH IN GTLM: “Right at the start, it looked like we had a good car. Tire performance was there almost immediately, but I think I might have gone a bit too hard on the tire too soon. We may also have missed it slightly on the pressures as well, so everything maybe grew a bit too quickly in terms of tire pressure and how the tire performed. There was a small communication on the radio on some bits and pieces, so it wasn’t a completely clean and straightforward qualifying session. But it was very close. We’ll work hard at it and look at the data to try and tune up the car a little more. We are definitely close and in the hunt. It’s a real battle. If you take the pole-winning car away, you see that everyone else is pretty well right there together. So that’s encouraging. It will come down to execution, and that’s what this team is so good at.”
Source. Corvette Racing
Paul Miller Racing Qualifies Third at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Round six of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship takes place on Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, and GTD class points leaders Paul Miller Racing will start third for the two hour and 40 minute race.
Bryan Sellers qualified the No. 48 TOTAL Lubricants/UIS Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in the fifteen minute session, setting his fastest time on lap six of seven. Four laps into the session, Sellers sat fifth just ahead of the nearest contender in the points championship, but decided to attempt one more flying lap to better his qualifying position. The decision paid off, and The No. 48 jumped to third position, creating a comfortable gap over the No. 86 Acura in sixth, who sits behind the Lamborghini team in the GTD championship.
Sellers will start Sunday’s race at 2:05PM Eastern and co-driver Madison Snow will take over to run to the checker flag. The team’s continued success is a result of competitive drivers, strong pit strategy, and fast pit stops. This consistent execution race over race has produced five podiums in five races this season, and set the team up to lead the championship since round two, the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March.
Qualifying went pretty well and we ended up in third. It was definitely a lot better than we had expected. It’s tough with the level of competition out there. With the two Lexus entries up front, we know they’re fast here. We definitely know as a practice we have good tire degradation, meaning we’re not falling off a lot. That should be good for the long race ahead of us. That’s where we’ve good, and we’ve been able to challenge the competitors all year, and we’ve been able to do the same thing.
We know the Lexus has a clear advantage here, and we know the cars are a bit better here than ours is. To come out of qualifying in third is positive for us. We feel good. Now we can turn our heads towards the race and focus on what we need to do. We still have some work to do in terms of making sure the longevity of the tire is good enough, and that will be what’s truly important. We’re in a good place and happy with the qualifying effort.
Source. Paul Miller Racing
WeatherTech Racing to Start Ninth in Canada
WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Jeff Segal (Miami, Fla.) will start the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) ninth tomorrow.
MacNeil had the wheel of the No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari for the 15-minute qualifying session this afternoon. Under sunny skies and 70°F, perfect weather at the 2.4-mile, 10-turn track located 40-minutes north of Toronto, he was able to post a time of 1:17.027 that will have him starting from the fifth row in GTD for tomorrow’s 2 p.m. ET start.
“The car felt pretty good in qualifying,” MacNeil said. “The times are close throughout the GTD grid, except for the top two. The WeatherTech Ferrari is the best it has been all weekend, so good job by the Scuderia Corsa guys. We continue to work hard. We have a good race set-up on the car and we will put our strategy to work and see how it plays out.”
“We are making the most of what we have,” Segal said. “The balance of the Scuderia Corsa prepared Ferrari is reasonable. We are finding that we aren’t the fastest, but we aren’t miles off. The struggle is keeping the tires under the car. Not from lack of effort by the team. The team know how’s to set-up the WeatherTech Ferrari. We are starting to show the results of the success ballast we are carrying. On these long duration corners we are just bleeding valuable time. Cooper did a great job to maximize everything in qualifying. Right now, we are fighting for the best of the rest medal.”
Source. Kyle Chura/Weathertech Racing
Acura Team Penske Qualifying Report – Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi – Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya
Driver: Dane Cameron
Time / Speed: 1:05.540 seconds / 133.038 mph
No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi – Helio Castroneves/Ricky Taylor
Driver: Helio Castroneves
Time / Speed: 1:07.272 seconds / 131.991 mph
Recap: The pair of Acura Team Penske ARX-05s continued their solid weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) with top-six qualifying efforts on Saturday afternoon. Two-time CTMP winner, Dane Cameron, recorded the second-fastest time in all three practice sessions in the No. 6 Acura Prototype, and he backed that up with a second-place starting spot. This is Cameron’s fifth-consecutive top-three starting position during the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. Helio Castroneves qualified the No. 7 Prototype and he rebounded nicely from him practice incident yesterday to clock in with the sixth starting position.
Source. Acura Team Penske
Hawksworth Scores Series-Leading Third Motul Pole Award In Lexus
Jack Hawksworth became the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s first three-time Motul Pole Award winner this season in qualifying Saturday for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
It was the second consecutive GT Daytona (GTD) class pole for Hawksworth in the No. 15 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 co-driven by David Heinemeier Hansson, with the duo also starting last weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen from the top spot. His other pole came at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May.
“We knew this would be a track that really suited us,” said Hawksworth. “It’s almost designed for our car, this type of track. We knew we were going to be strong. I’m really happy with how well we’ve been performing this whole week. We’ve been fast since the moment we came off the truck.”
Hawksworth’s lap of one minute, 15.581 seconds (117.124 mph) was 0.439 seconds quicker than teammate Dominik Baumann, 1:16.020, in 3GT Racing’s No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 co-driven by Canadian Kyle Marcelli.
The Lexus front row sweep fittingly comes one year after the manufacturer scored its first GTD class pole with Sage Karam at the wheel.
Series points leader Bryan Sellers qualified third in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 co-driven by Madison Snow with a lap of 1:16.386. With six races remaining in the WeatherTech Championship season, a heavyweight title fight is setting up between Sellers and Snow and the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 of Katherine Legge, who is co-driving in Sunday’s race with Alvaro Parente.
Sellers and Snow have finished on the podium in every race this season, but still only sit one point ahead of Legge who has finished second or better in four of races. Parente will roll off the grid sixth Sunday in the sixth position.
The top six cars broke the existing class track record set by Karam last season.
Action Express Racing Aims Forward in Canada
Action Express Racing will start Sunday’s SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park from the sixth row with the two team Cadillac Prototype entries.
The race is round six of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and is set to feature two hours and forty minutes of sprint racing on the fabled Canadian circuit. The team has three podiums at the track including two victories with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R in 2016 and 2017.
Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr will share the driving duties in the Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R as they look to retake the IMSA points lead, while the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R will be shared by Christian Fittipaldi and IMSA points leader Filipe Albuquerque.
Saturday’s 15-minute qualifying session saw the two Cadillac Prototypes take to the track to lock in their positions in the 32-car field, with Fittipaldi clocking a 1:08.009-seconds lap to take the inside of the sixth row for Sunday’s race in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R entry that carries a benchmark-setting patriotic livery.
“The car wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t get the most out of the tires because during one of my fast laps I had a big moment in turn three and from there, we lost performance in our tires which is normal,” said Fittipaldi. “The car definitely can do more and I wasn’t able to put the perfect lap in while the tires were at their best. We’ve made a lot of progress this weekend and are way ahead of where we were at this point last year so I think we have a much better car for the race here then we did last weekend.”
Curran had the controls of the Stars and Stripes-liveried Whelen entry, and despite having posted encouraging lap times in the opening practice sessions, was frustrated to end the session with a best lap time of 1:08.168-seconds to take 12th on Sunday’s grid.
“We had a quick Whelen Cadillac yesterday and this morning,” said Curran. “With the temperatures going up this afternoon, our car just didn’t match the track perfectly so we were losing out on a couple of the corners. It’s too bad because the car is really good in some places. We have some time to make up, but our Whelen guys will do a good job tomorrow and we will see what we have in the race. We’ve got some great guests here with Whelen this weekend so hopefully we can get this Cadillac back to victory lane here.”
The visit to the 2.449-mile natural terrain circuit is the first for Nasr and Albuquerque, who have both relished their first opportunity to race on the high-speed circuit.
“It is a really exciting place to drive with all the elevation changes and the fast corners—it’s an old school track, with grass at the edge of most of the corners so a small mistake can cost you,” said Albuquerque. “It will be tricky with the GT traffic because it is a narrow track and if you get off line, there will be marbles so you will have to be very careful. I’m excited to be racing here and looking forward to tomorrow.”
“I think that the preparation we did before coming here was really good and I was able to get up to speed quickly right from the first practice,” said Nasr of his first exposure to the track. “There is still a race to play tomorrow we will count on the Action Express guys to make the right calls with strategy and everything. The temperatures could be a factor and also having a car that can handle well over the course of a full stint will also be really important.”
Source. Sunday Group
BMW Team RLL Qualifies Sixth and Seventh For Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix; Krohn P6, Sims P7
BMW Team RLL will start the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix from the sixth and seventh positions following today’s 15-minute GTLM class qualifying session.
Jesse Krohn qualified the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE sixth with a time of 1:14.100 minutes on his seventh lap of the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park circuit. With a 1:14.213 minute time set on his fourth lap, Alexander Sims qualified the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE seventh The pole position was won by the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR and the entire GTLM field was separated by only .711 seconds. Krohn will share the No. 24 M8 with John Edwards and Sims will co-drive the No. 25 M8 with Connor De Phillippi. Last year Sims and Bill Auberlen won this race in the No. 25 BMW M6 GLTM.
“We feel more confident going into tomorrow’s race versus last weekend at Watkins Glen,” said Brandon Fry, BMW Team RLLTechnical / Racing Operations Director. “A good practice session this morning led to a good qualifying effort. Everybody is pushing really hard. The engineers are doing a great job and the drivers are giving really good feedback. I think we’ve made some good progress.”
Jesse Krohn, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P6): “The guys did a great job from FP3 to qualifying and we’re definitely in the right window. We are heading in the right direction and we are positive we can fight with the car we have.”
: “We got it all working really nicely in qualifying. The M8 was handling really well and the high speed corners were very good. This track is awesome and great to drive. Good fun during qualifying – new tires, low fuel and on your own to go and find the limits.”