The R-Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 (#620, Florian Kamelger / Andreas Baenziger / Peter Leemhuis / Marvin Kirchhofer) has taken pole position for the 2018 Hankook 24H COTA USA after a sensational battle with both Team Black Falcon cars. Marvin Kirchhofer lapped the 5.5km Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, in a storming 2m 05.774s, becoming the only GT entry to dip beneath the 2m 06s benchmark in the process.
In the Team Black Falcon inter-team shootout, the #2 Mercedes (Jeroen Bleekemolen / Hubert Haupt / Luca Stolz / Ben Keating) managed to pip the sister #3 AMG GT3 (Yelmer Buurman / Mike Skeen / Scott Heckert / Bret Curtis) by just half a second. The LightSpeed racing SCG 003C (#704, Jeff Westphal / Andreas Simonsen / Jon Miller / Craig Stanton) meanwhile and the SPS automotive performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#24, Alexandre Coigny / Richard Feller / Antonin Borga) rounded out the A6-Am top three, and will start 4th and 5th on the road.
Newly crowned GT European Champions PROsport Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster / Adam Christodoulou) will start 6th at the Circuit of the Americas after losing 5th on the grid in the dying seconds of the session. Last year’s race winners Herberth Motorsport (#911, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer) will start 7th, just ahead of the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 (#34, Johannes Dr. Kirchhoff / Gustav Edelhoff / Ingo Vogler / Max Edelhoff), which currently leads the Championship of the Continents GT standings.
In its first 24H SERIES outing since Mugello in 2016, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (#49, Thomas Mutsch / Franck Mailleux / Felipe Fernández Laser / Piero Longhi) was the fourth fastest A6-Pro entry, and props up the overall top 10 on the GT grid.
Both 991 entries will start line-astern on the road as the Wright Motorsports (#91, Anthony Imperato / Fred Poordad / Mckay Snow / Jan Heylen) pipped JDX Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#74, Alan Metni / Mark Kvamme / Trenton
Estep / David Baker) to class pole position. Both will also start the Hankook 24H COTA USA just ahead of SP2 class pole sitters, LAMERA-CUP (#60, Philippe Marie / Wilfried Merafina / Pierre Couasnon / Christophe Bouchut). The JR Motorsport BMW M3 F80 Endurance (#114, Bas Schouten / Ted van Vliet / Martin Lanting / Ward Sluys) and the Speed Lover Porsche 991-I Cup (#78, Pierre-Yves Paque / Rodrigue Gillion / Lance Bergstein / Jean-Michel Gerome / Jean-Alexandre Gerome) round out the SP2 class top three.
A great run from the RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#890, Chapman Ducote / David Ducote / Wayne Ducote / Paul Barnhart Jr. / Kyle Marcelli) on its series debut means the GT4 class polesitter will start 15th on the road, just ahead of the Winward Racing / HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 (#84, Russell Ward / Indy Dontje / Bryce Ward / Christian Hohenadel). The Classic BMW BMW M4 GT4 (#272. Mike Vess / Jason Hart / Andrew Davis / Curt Swearingin / Matt Travis) completes the GT4 top three.
LAMERA-CUP just beats LMS Racing to TCE pole position
The LAMERA-CUP Lamera Cup (#238, Fabien Delaplace / Laurent Piguet / Nicolas Béraud / Thierry Soave) has taken its first pole position of this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook after a session-long fight with eventual TCR class polesitters, LMS Racing by Bas Koeten Racing (#129, Antti Buri / Olli Kangas / Kari-Pekka Laaksonen / Ronny Jost).
Nicolas Béraud lapped the 5.5km Circuit of the Americas in 2m 19.491s to pip Antti Buri by just 0.256s. The third fastest TCE time went to the Lestrup Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR SEQ (#110, Mats Olsson / Peter Fahlström / Stefan Nilsson / Robin Fredriksson), while fellow TCR runners NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing (#175, Gijs Bessem / Harry Hilders / Roeland Voerman) will start alongside the Swedish outfit on the second row of the TCE grid. The sole remaining SP3 entry – the Cor Euser Racing BMW M3 (#71, Jim Briody / Niels Bouwhuis / Einar Thorsen / Cor Euser) – will start the TCE race from 5th.
The Hofor Racing powered by Bonk Motorsport BMW M235i Racing Cup (#131, Martin Kroll / Michael Schrey / Michael Fischer / Bernd Küpper Gustav Engljaehringer) set the fastest time in CUP1 and rounded out the overall TCE top 10. The reigning TCE European Champions, which have already secured six consecutive class wins so far this season, will start ahead of the Sorg Rennsport BMW M235i Racing Cup (#151, Simon Tibbett / Benito Tagle / William Hendrix / Ricardo Flores).
This year’s Hankook 24H COTA USA will start Saturday at 10.30 hrs local time, and will conclude on Sunday at 19.30 hrs local time. After the first 12.5 hrs of endurance racing action has been completed on Saturday, there will be a brief break before the green flag is flown once again at 08.00 hrs local time on Sunday morning.
Source. Creventic/Photo. Petr Frýba