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IMSA CANADIAN TIRE MOTORSPORT PARK QUALIFYING ROUND UP

BMW Sweeps GT Class Poles at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Jesse Krohn scored his first pole position for BMW Team RLL to lead a GTLM class front row lock out in today’s qualifying session for tomorrow’s two-hour-and-forty-minute Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix presented by Acura at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. With a 1:13.086 minute lap around the 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit and a new GTLM qualifying record, the Flying Finn drove the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE .468 seconds clear of the GTLM field and his teammate Tom Blomqvist. Krohn will share the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE tomorrow with John Edwards. Blomqvist, in his first weekend at CTMP, qualified second with a 1:13.548 minute lap in the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE. He will co-drive with Connor De Phillippi tomorrow.

Today’s result was the third pole for the BMW M8 GTE program (Sebring, Mid-Ohio – 2018), the 26th from the beginning of BMW Team RLL in 2009, as well as a sweet reward for the BMW Team RLL crew members who have worked more than they have slept since the Watkins Glen race only one week ago.

“Obviously that was a good session for us,” said Brandon Fry, RLL Technical Director. “We expected to go quicker than last year, but we also expected everybody to go quicker as well. Today was fairly cool and good for the M8. Even though it’s only a two-hour-and-forty-minute race, it’s going to be tough on the tires. We’ll have to get everything right if we expect to stay up front tomorrow.”

In today’s prior qualifying session, Robby Foley qualified the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 on the GTD class pole with a 1:16.172 minute lap. He will co-drive tomorrow with Bill Auberlen. Last weekend, Auberlen, Foley and Dillon Machavern finished second at Watkins Glen International.

Jesse Krohn, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P1): “It’s super cool to have my first pole in IMSA GTLM. I’ve waited for this for a long time and finally, it’s here. The guys gave me a great BMW today. They did an amazing job with the setup and that made it really easy to put this M8 on pole.”

Tom Blomqvist, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P2): “The No. 25 M8 was quick today. The guys have worked really hard this week and weekend after Watkins Glen and last night. I really need to thank the team. Credit to the boys after putting in so many long hours recently. We can field both cars on the front row tomorrow thanks to them. But qualifying isn’t even half the job in this championship so we have a long way to go.”

Robby Foley, driver No. 96 BMW M6 GT3 (P1): “Qualifying was awesome. The Turner Motorsport guys gave me a great car today. We made the right changes over the practice sessions to prepare. We did a qualifying simulation in the morning and learned a lot about the new tires which we applied to qualifying today. Hopefully we can convert a pole into a win tomorrow.”

Porsche 911 RSR starts from second grid row in Canada

The Porsche GT Team tackles round six of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in Bowmanville (Canada) from the fourth grid position. Patrick Pilet secured a spot on the second grid row in qualifying at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The Frenchman and his works driver teammate Nick Tandy (Great Britain) currently rank first in the drivers’ classification with the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) posted the fifth quickest qualifying time in the ca. 510 hp sister car (No. 912), which he shares with Earl Bamber (New Zealand).

In warm, sunny conditions, the two Porsche 911 RSR waited for several minutes at the start of the session for the track conditions to improve and to get the benefit of more grip. Midway through the qualifying, Pilet and Vanthoor swapped places at the front of the class, but were ultimately nudged from the top of the timesheets by several rivals. A final attempt proved unsuccessful, as the tyres no longer offered optimal grip after many laps.

In the GTD class, the Canadian Porsche customer team Pfaff Motorsports takes up its home race from the third grid row. Zacharie Robichon (Canada), who shares the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R with his compatriot Scott Hargrove, landed on fifth place. In the identical 500+hp GT3 vehicle from Weissach, Patrick Lindsey turned the seventh fastest lap. The American is joined in the No. 73 car fielded by Park Place Motorsports by Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA).

The race over 2:40 hours in Bowmanville starts on Sunday, 7 July, at 1:05pm local time (7:05pm CEST) and is broadcast live outside the USA and Canada on http://www.imsa.com.

Qualifying quotes
Steffen Höllwarth (Programme Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship): “The qualifying result is satisfactory. We were aware that we wouldn’t have the best car over a single lap. Our pace over the distance makes us confident for the race. Our long-runs in practice were strong. With optimal teamwork in the pits, perfect strategies and strong driving performances we want to get ahead in the race. This is what yielded us victory last week at Watkins Glen. We’d like to do it again at Mosport.”

Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “We have to wait and see how the situation plays out in the race. I think we’ve opted for the better tyres for the start, while some of our competitors focussed completely on the qualifying. Our car was not ideally setup for the qualifying, but the Porsche 911 RSR is very strong on the long runs. We’ll have good chances in the race.”

Lauren Vanthoor (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “I’m not totally satisfied because more was possible. Unfortunately I was hampered by a yellow flag during my flying lap. That cost us a spot further up the grid. We’ll do better in the race. Our Porsche 911 RSR is strong over the distance. What’s more, we’ll again make the most our expertise in strong teamwork, strategy and driving skill.”

Zacharie Robichon (Porsche 911 GT3 R #9): “Fifth is a good starting position for us. I think I got the most out of our Porsche 911 RSR in the qualifying. The car will do better in the race than in qualifying. With a flawless drive and clever tactics, anything is possible for us at our home race.”

Qualifying result
GTLM class
1. Krohn/Edwards (FIN/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 1:13.086 minutes
2. Blomqvist/De Philippi (GB/USA), BMW 8 GTE, + 0.462 seconds
3. Briscoe/Westbrook (AUS/GB), Ford GT, + 0.718 seconds
4. Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.743 seconds
5. Bamber/Vanthoor (NZ/B), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.964 seconds

GTD class
1. Auberlen/Foley (USA/USA), BMW M6 GT3, 1:16.172 minutes
2. Keating/Bleekemolen (USA/NL), Mercedes-AMG GT3, + 0.081 seconds
3. Farnbacher/Hindman (D/USA), Acura NSX GT3, + 0.181 seconds
5. Robichon/Hargrove (CDN/CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.787 seconds
7. Long/Lindsey (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.901 seconds

Source. Porsche

Hindman Qualifies Third in Canada for Meyer Shank Racing

The No. 86 SiriusXM Canada / AutoNation NSX GT3 of Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman will start third for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura on Sunday (Live NBC 1:00pm ET).

The 15-minute qualifying session on Saturday marked the final outing before race day. The weekend’s three practice sessions gave the duo the opportunity to continue to develop the set up as they look to follow up their winning run at Watkins Glen with another big result. The new-for-2019 Acura NSX GT3 Evo has an updated aero package, which was put to use at the high speed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP).

Hindman will be making his IMSA WeatherTech GTD debut at CTMP and was once again given qualifying duties in the No. 86 Acura. After scoring his second pole of the season last weekend at Watkins Glen, Hindman was hoping to continue that momentum onto this weekend. At the end of a hard fought session, Hindman set a fast lap of 1:16.393-seconds to secure the third on the gird.

“CTMP is an incredibly fast track that is hard to pass at,” said Hindman. “The Meyer Shank Racing boys always give us a good race car, so I am not too worried about starting in third. It is the best we could do today, and we are already ahead of where the team was here last year. The Acura NSX GT3 Evo package has improved greatly over the last year and there is much more data to work with. We will rely on strategy tomorrow to help us move up. We know we are good in traffic; we know we are good on our tire runs so we will use those tomorrow.”

Source. Sunday Group

MAZDA QUALIFIES THIRD IN CANADA

Friday morning’s qualifying at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park saw the Mazda RT24-Ps qualify third and fifth for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix.

Qualifying the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P, Jonathan Bomarito recorded a time of 1:05.780 at an average of 134.575 MPH around the 2.4-mile circuit, which was 0.328-second behind the polesitter. Tristan Nunez qualified the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P in fifth position with a time of 1:05.913, averaging 134.304 MPH.

Bomarito and teammate Harry Tincknell recorded their first IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship victory last weekend at the Sahlens Six Hours Of The Glen, with Oliver Jarvis and Nunez finishing in second position. The No. 55 Mazda RT24-P has continued its strong form through the practice sessions at CTMP, with Tincknell second-quickest in the first practice and Bomarito third-quickest in the third practice.

QUOTES
John Doonan
Director, Mazda Motorsports
“I’m really proud of the guys. It was a quick turnaround from Watkins Glen, and it’s been a terrific week – the momentum and the morale are high right now. But as soon as yesterday came, it was back to work. Multimatic has done an amazing job here. They are from just down the road, so this is a sort of home race for them. I know the guys wanted more in qualifying, but it was such a tight field. It will be a terrific battle tomorrow. We’ll have to keep it clean. Traffic will be insane from front to back, I think we’ll see the GT cars within five laps. The best car in traffic will win the race.”

No. 55 Mazda RT24-P
Jonathan Bomarito
“This track is pretty dependent on track temperatures, and the temperatures went up quite a bit between practice and qualifying. But, we have a good Mazda RT24-P over a long stint and in traffic, which is everything at this track. It’s a high-speed, high-pace track. Your closing rate on traffic is really quick, and it’s a relatively short track so traffic density is much higher than Watkins Glen. It’s very demanding, both physically and mentally. You have to drive so hard and you can’t give anything away, but we are in the hunt and we’ll be really strong.”

No. 77 Mazda RT24-P
Tristan Nunez
“One of the tough things about this series is having limited practice, and we lost a bit of time when the second practice was cut short. We felt like we needed to take a big step with the setup in our No. 77 Mazda RT24-P and take the chance in qualifying. I asked the engineers to go in a certain direction, but in the end we went too far and lost some of the strength we had In practice three. But the field is really close and we have a good race car. This is a tough track, but you can use traffic to you’re advantage. It feels like a 10-hour race, with the amount of constant stress. The track is hectic but there are plenty of opportunities to make up positions so I’m excited for the race.”

Source. Mazda

Contact forces Paul Miller Racing out of Canadian IMSA weekend

The Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini squad has been forced to withdraw from this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park after suffering weekend-ending damage in final practice this morning.

Ryan Hardwick was at the wheel of the No.48 1st Phorm / Total Lubricants-sponsored Lamborghini exiting turn two when he was struck by a faster Daytona Prototype International entrant – forcing the race car hard into the barriers.

Fortunately, Hardwick was uninjured in the incident but the team’s Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO suffered significant damage which could not be repaired on site in Canada.

“It’s heartbreaking for the guys because they have put so much work into preparing for this weekend and we’ve had some excellent results here in the past,” Paul Miller Racing founder, Paul Miller said.

“With four different classes on track at the same time, the traffic can be challenging, but you have to respect your fellow competitors. It is disappointing when something happens like this – even worse when it is in a practice session.”

Paul Miller Racing will depart Canada for its Atlanta, GA headquarters today to begin the rebuild of the No. 48 entry.

Driver Quote

Ryan Hardwick

“A big part of sportscar racing with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is racing with different classes, and racing with the prototypes, but so far this year I have been incident-free and managed the traffic really well.
“This morning, a prototype car came across my front as I was exiting turn one. It didn’t even happen in a corner; it happened on the exit of a turn going onto the straightaway.
“I feel the guy had 90 percent of the track to work with, but he chose to come over and take the ten percent of the track that I was on in a straight line and it shot me off the track and into the wall.
“We’ve got irreparable car damage now and we can’t compete this weekend.”

WeatherTech Racing to Start Ninth at CTMP

WeatherTech Racing drivers Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Toni Vilander (Kankaanpää, Finland) will start the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix presented by Acura to run at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) tomorrow from ninth in GTD.

The Scuderia Corsa crew, together with drivers MacNeil and Vilander, have worked feverishly on the set-up of the No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari at CTMP. With the heat in the track, ambient near 90ºF, the team is adjusting the car to make it as compliant to the 2.4-mile, 10-turn track formerly known as Mosport as possible.

In qualifying MacNeil posted a lap of 1:17.301 that will have him starting ninth on the GTD grid for the 1 p.m. start.

“Tough qualifying session for the team,” MacNeil said, “I thought I’d maximized everything I could to get a lap out of the car, but the timing sheet clearly didn’t show it. I was definitely pushing pretty hard out there, I got what I could out of the WeatherTech Ferrari. We will sharpen our pencils for tomorrow, get back to the drawing board and see if we can make it better before the race.”

Source. Kyle Chura/WeatherTech Racing

Whelen Engineering Cadillac to Start Sixth at CTMP

The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R will start tomorrow’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix presented by Acura from the third row.

1. No. 54 Nissan, 1:05.452
6. No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, 1:06.080
7. No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, 1:06.130
8. No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R, 1:06.250
9. No. 84 JDC-Miller Cadillac DPi-V.R, 1:06.598
10. No. 85 JDC-Miller Cadillac DPi-V.R, 1:06.873
11. No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, 1:07.319

The six-car Cadillac armada will start sixth through 11th for the 1 p.m. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) start. Felipe Nasr had the wheel of the Whelen Engineering Cadillac for the 15-minute session. He put in a lap of 1:06.080 good for sixth on the 11 car DPi grid.

“CTMP is always tricky,” Nasr said. “The tires come in quickly so the peak comes in during lap two or three so if you do not have a clear run then you can’t get that fast lap. That is where we ran into trouble during our qualifying session due to the traffic just ahead of us limiting what we were able to put together. I did the best with what I had. Looking at the big picture – we have a good race car. The Action Express guys have been working so hard all weekend to give us a good setup. I want to move forward during the race and I will fight for those positions.”

Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa will start the CTMP race from seventh in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R. Albuquerque had the car for qualifying, running a lap of 1:06.130.

“Our qualifying session was not bad, but it is what it is,” Albuquerque said. “We will battle with the other Cadillacs for the best position. There was some traffic during the first few laps which did not help us put together the strongest run. We would need that to be perfect to be able to stand a chance and get further up the grid. Our top speed is going to make the race difficult, since we need to overtake but do not have the capabilities of doing so. So now we look forward to tomorrow.”

Jordan Taylor had the wheel of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R in qualifying. He ran a fast lap of 1:06.250 that will have him go away from the grid in eighth. He will hand over to Renger Van Der Zande to finish.

“I thought it was a decent qualifying effort, kind of where we expected to be behind the Nissan, the Mazdas and the Acuras and in the mix with the Cadillacs,” Taylor said. “It’s not where we want to be, obviously, but I think with the way the rules are written right now, we’re in the position we’re expected to be. It’s a pretty long race – two-hours-and-40 minutes – and a lot can happen, so hopefully we can work some strategy magic and get a podium out of it, at least.”

The JDC-Miler Motorsports No. 84 Cadillac DPi-V.R with Stephen Simpson and Simon Trummer will start ninth tomorrow. Trummer put in a lap of 1:06.598.

“This morning wasn’t great we improved for qualifying,” Trummer said. “We are a few tenths off of the top Cadillac. We have a good race car. We don’t make big improvements, so that is a little annoying. Stephen and me push hard in the car, so we are giving it everything. Hopefully we can improve for the race tomorrow.”

Tristan Vautier and Misha Goikhberg will start the No. 85 Cadillac DPi-V.R JDC-Miler entry tenth based upon Goikhberg’s qualifying time of 1:06.873.

“It was very hot and I feel like the tires really had a peak of about one lap,” Goikhberg said. “If you didn’t get it done then it wasn’t going to do any better. I struggled to get my theoretical lap time, that would have moved us up one or two tenths but I didn’t get it done. We will have to do some tweaks to the car to get some more straight-line speed for the race and we will try to make it happen tomorrow.”

Will Owen is teamed with Victor Franzoni in the No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. Owen took the honors for qualifying and posted a lap of 1:07.319 that will have them starting 11th.

“Today was not our day,” Owen said. “The team, Victor and I have made a lot of progress in the No. 50 Juncos Cadillac DPi-V.R over the past two days of practice. I could not maximize that pace in our qualifying run. We will go back and go through the data and will focus on the race tomorrow.”

Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing

CORVETTE RACING IN CANADA: SETTING UP FOR TRY AT CTMP WIN NO. 12

Corvette Racing will look to charge through the field Sunday following qualifying for the Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Doing so would write another remarkable chapter in Corvette Racing lore and secure a 12th class victory at the high-speed track east of Toronto.

Jan Magnussen, teaming with Antonio Garcia paced the program’s effort in qualifying with a lap of 1:14.295 (119.151 mph) in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. The time placed Magnussen seventh in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) category.

Teammate Marcel Fässler wasn’t far behind at 1:14.769 (118.396 mph) in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette. He is driving with Oliver Gavin in place of Tommy Milner, who injured his left hand in an opening-lap incident last weekend at Watkins Glen.

It’s been a challenging last month for Corvette Racing. The team’s annual trek to the 24 Hours of Le Mans ended in heartbreak with separate incidents for the two Corvettes, most notably a heavy incident for Fässler that required a new chassis for the No. 4 side of the team. It didn’t get any better at Watkins Glen when Milner was hit and the crash by and large destroying the just-rebuilt Corvette.

There is reason for optimism, however. No team in the IMSA paddock boasts more races, miles or victories at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park than Corvette Racing. Another solid result at CTMP would be a boon for the program, especially with Magnussen and Garcia only one point out of the GTLM Drivers Championship lead. They have four podium finishes in the last five races at CTMP and are on a streak of four consecutive podiums this season.

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED SEVENTH IN GTLM:“I’m a bit disappointed in how things turned out. I’m not quite sure why we had a balance shift, and I wasn’t able to do anything with it in qualifying. It’s a real shame. We need to see what it was and why it happened.”

MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED EIGHTH IN GTLM:“First, thanks to the team for giving the opportunity to qualify today. It wasn’t not easy to jump in and do qualifying at a track where I don’t have much experience and still have to learn a bit. I was quite sure I could improve in my qualifying run. My fastest lap felt OK, but I was disappointed in my lap time at the end. I was expecting a little bit more. We have to have a look and see what was actually different from the sessions before. For sure the race is long and we’ll see what we have to do for tomorrow.”

Source. Corvette Racing

Heinricher Racing on Second Row at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Bia Figueiredo qualified in fourth position with the No. 57 Caterpillar Acura NSX GT3 of Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura on Sunday (live NBC 1:05pm ET).

The Brazilian is making her Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) debut alongside teammate, Katherine Legge. With little experience at the track, Figueiredo showed her racing abilities by turning a qualifying fast lap of 1:16.865-seconds to place the No. 57 Acura NSX GT3 on the second row.

“This is my first time here at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park,” said Figueiredo. “It’s a difficult track with fast corners but it has been fun getting to learn it. During our qualifying run the tires were not where we needed them to be able to get the Heinricher Racing No. 57 on the front row. We will have to use the whole Acura NSX GT3 package to be able to make our way through traffic and have a good race. I am really excited to get back in the car tomorrow and get this race underway!”

“For having never raced at CTMP, Bia did an outstanding job qualifying the car in fourth position,” said team principal Jackie Heinricher. “This was definitely a team effort of support helping her get up to speed and comfortable in the car. We relied heavily on Katherine’s track experience and on a race crew who continually get this Caterpillar Acura NSX GT3 to perform.”

Source. Sunday Group

Albuquerque Set to Start Sixth at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Filipe Albuquerque put the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R on the outside of the third row in qualifying at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix.

Albuquerque’s best lap on the 2.459-mile circuit was 1 minute, 6.130 seconds in the Cadillac Prototype that will be co-driven by Joao Barbosa in the two-hour, 40-minute race, the seventh of 10 races on the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule. With laps just over one minute long and a high average speed each lap, traffic played a factor in the session.

“Our qualifying session was not bad, but the result is what it is,” Albuquerque said. “We will battle with the other Cadillacs for the best position. There was some traffic during the first few laps which did not help us put together the strongest lap. We needed to get that perfect to be able to stand a chance and get further up the grid. We go forward to tomorrow now.”

This will be the first time the two drivers raced together at the circuit once known as Mosport Park. Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi finished fourth in the 2018 event – with Barbosa sidelined due to an injury in training – while Barbosa’s best finish at CTMP so far being a second place result with Fittipaldi in 2016.

Source. Sunday Group

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