Luhr fastest overall, Braun picks up fourth straight pole in PC
On the heels of a tooth-and-nail fight last month at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in which Corvette Racing came out on top, the tables turned in favor of SRT Motorsports this morning in qualifying for Sunday’s Orion Energy Systems 245 (ABC, Live, 3 p.m. ET).
Jonathan Bomarito lapped Road America’s 4.048-mile circuit in 2 minutes, 3.410 seconds/118.084 mph in the No. 93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT Viper GTS-R for his second consecutive GT pole, edging the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6 ZR1 of Antonio Garcia, 2:04.212 (117.322 mph), by 0.802 seconds.
“The SRT team worked really hard overnight; we made quite a few changes from last practice to today,” said Bomarito. “We really nailed it and it showed today. As a group, we really feel prepared for tomorrow’s race.”
Leh Keen originally qualified third in GT in the No. 23 Ferrari F458 Italia for Team West/AJR/Boardwalk Ferrari, but was moved to the rear of the field when the car did not pass the stall test in post-qualifying technical inspection. As a result, Oliver Gavin moved up to third at 2:04.277 (117.261 mph) in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6 ZR1.
Lucas Luhr put the No. 6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03c on the overall and P1 class pole position, the third straight for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing with a lap of 1:51.460 (130.745 mph). The team leads the P1 standings with wins in four of the five races this season. The No. 16 Mazda/Thetford/Norcold Lola B12/60 entry of Dyson Racing driven by Chris McMurry qualified second, 1:53.580 (128.304 mph), with the DeltaWing LM12 prototype of Katherine Legge third at 1:55.362 (126.322 mph)
Level 5 Motorsports earned its fourth straight P2 pole with Marino Franchitti setting the session’s fastest lap, 1:54.806 (126.934 mph), in the No. 552 Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort HPD ARX-03b. Franchitti set the lap 10 minutes into the 15-minute session, besting Guy Cosmo’s lap of 1:55.622 (126.038 mph) in the No. 01 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b by 0.260 seconds. Simon Pagenaud – filling in for the injured Ryan Briscoe – qualified third in the No. 551 Level 5 Motorsports entry at 1:55.793 (125.852).
In the Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire (PC) class, Colin Braun earned his fourth consecutive pole and fifth of the season, edging Bruno Junqueira by 0.082 seconds with a lap of 1:57.630 (123.887 mph) in the No. 05 Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 for CORE autosport. Junqueira qualified second at 1:57.712 (123.800 mph) in the No. 9 RSR Racing entry.
Tristan Nunez originally took third on the PC grid in the No. 18 Performance Tech Motorsports entry, but he was also moved to the rear of the field due to a tire change. Renger van der Zande moved up to third in the No. 81 dress-for-less.com ORECA FLM09 entry for DragonSpeed at 1:57.912 (123.590 mph).
Spencer Pumpelly picked up his second GTC pole of the season and third of his ALMS career in the No. 45 Venezuela/eSilicon Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Pumpelly laid down his best lap with four minutes left in the session, 2:11.931 (110.458 mph), knocking then-polesitter Damien Faulkner out of the top spot.
“We knew yesterday we had a good car, but it was tough to stream a good lap to show it,” Pumpelly said. “I have to thank [teammate] Nelson Canache Jr. He was looking at the kink and saying ‘I am going five miles per hour faster through here than you.’ Based on his inspiration, I think I sucked it up and carried more speed through there.”
Sean Edwards drove the No. 30 MOMO Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to second in GTC in the final minutes at 2:12.386 (110.078 mph), with Jan Heylen third in the No. 11 Hertz Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:12.403 (110.064 mph).
GTC points leader Jeroen Bleekemolen qualified sixth in the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Bleekemolen is seeking his fourth consecutive Road America GTC win. He can become the first driver in ALMS GTC class history to win at the same venue four times in a row.
The Orion Energy Systems 245 is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. CT (ABC, live, 3 p.m. ET).
1. (6-P1) Klaus Graf/Lucas Luhr, HPD ARX-03c, 1:51.460, 130.745 mph
2. (16-P1) Tony Burgess/Chris McMurry, Lola B12/60 Mazda, 1:53.580, 128.304
3. (552-P2) Marino Franchitti/Ricardo Gonzalez/Scott Tucker, HPD ARX-03b, 1:54.806, 126.934 4. (0-P1) Andy Meyrick/Katherine Legge, DeltaWing LM12 Elan, 1:55.362,
5. (01-P2) Guy Cosmo/Scott Sharp, HPD ARX-03b, 1:55.622, 126.038
6. (551-P2) Scott Tucker/Simon Pagenaud, HPD ARX-03b, 1:55.793, 125.852
7. (02-P2) Ed Brown/Johannes van Overbeek, HPD ARX-03b, 1:56.085, 125.536
8. (05-PC) Jonathan Bennett/Colin Braun, ORECA FLM09, 1:57.630, 123.887
9. (9-PC) Duncan Ende/Bruno Junqueira, ORECA FLM09, 1:57.712, 123.800
10. (81-PC) Mirco Schultis/Renger van der Zande, ORECA FLM09, 1:57.912,
11. (8-PC) Chris Cumming/Kyle Marcelli, ORECA FLM09, 1:58.399, 123.082
12. (7-PC) James French/Rusty Mitchell, ORECA FLM09, 2:00.352, 121.085
13. (52-PC) Mike Guasch/David Cheng, ORECA FLM09, 2:00.478, 120.958
14. (93-GT) Jonathan Bomarito/Kuno Wittmer, SRT Viper GTS-R Viper V-10, 2:03.410, 118.084 15. (3-GT) Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, 2:04.212, 117.322
16. (4-GT) Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner, Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, 2:04.277, 117.261
17. (48-GT) Bryce Miller/Marco Holzer, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:04.347,
18. (91-GT) Marc Goossens/Dominik Farnbacher, SRT Viper GTS-R Viper V-10, 2:04.427, 117.119 19. (55-GT) Bill Auberlen/Maxime Martin, BMW Z4 GTE, 2:04.609, 116.948
20. (06-GT) Tom Kimber-Smith/Patrick Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:04.619, 116.939
21. (56-GT) Dirk Mueller/John Edwards, BMW Z4 GTE, 2:04.630, 116.929
22. (62-GT) Olivier Beretta/Matteo Malucelli, Ferrari F458 Italia, 2:04.911, 116.665
23. (17-GT) Wolf Henzler/Bryan Sellers, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:06.088,
24. (45-GTC) Nelson Canache Jr./Spencer Pumpelly, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:11.931, 110.458
25. (30-GTC) Henrique Cisneros/Sean Edwards, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:12.386, 110.078
26. (11-GTC) Mike Hedlund/Jan Heylen, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:12.403,
27. (66-GTC) Ben Keating/Damien Faulkner, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:12.489, 109.993
28. (44-GTC) Seth Neiman/Dion von Moltke, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:12.844, 109.699
29. (22-GTC) Cooper MacNeil/Jeroen Bleekemolen, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:12.989, 109.579
30. (27-GTC) Patrick Dempsey/Andy Lally, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:13.047,
31. (68-GTC) Madison Snow/Jeff Courtney, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:15.073,
32. (23-GT) Townsend Bell/Leh Keen, Ferrari F458 Italia, time disallowed, stall test
33. (18-PC) Charlie Shears/Tristan Nunez, ORECA FLM09, time disallowed, tire change
SRT Motorsports – No 93 SRT Viper GTS-R Takes ALMS GT Class Pole at Road America – Post-Qualifying Quotes
Jonathan Bomarito, driving the No. 93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT Viper GTS-R, won the GT Class pole during qualifying Saturday here at Road America. It was the second consecutive pole for Bomarito and the No. 93 Viper (also claimed pole at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park) and third for SRT Motorsports this season. The No. 91 grabbed the pole at Long Beach earlier this year. Dominik Farnbacher qualified the No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R sixth for tomorrow’s race here at the 4.048-mile road course.
Jonathan Bomarito – No. 93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT Viper GTS-R (Pole Winner)
“It was a great lap, a great day for us. The team is doing an awesome job. Our GTS-R is running really, really well. We made quite a few changes overnight from yesterday’s last practice session to today’s qualifying. We knew that it was going to be a lot cooler and tried to think ahead to put the best setup possible in the car. We nailed it today. The car was really, really good. We have a good car for the race. The team has worked really hard on pit stops and strategies and we feel we’re well prepared for the race.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE IN BALANCING STRAIGHT-LINE SPEED AND DOWNFORCE HERE AT ROAD AMERICA? “It’s always a compromise here at Road America. We looked at the split times of other cars on what their straightaway speed is compared to our straights and infield speed. This track is always a compromise. Do you have super-light aero and be really fast down the straightaway and suffer in the braking zones or be fast in the corners and slower down the straightaway? We have a really good balance on our Vipers to integrate straight-line speed and corner speed.”
WILL TIRE MANAGEMENT BE AN ISSUE TOMORROW? “It won’t be as critical if the weather stays cool tomorrow. If it’s cool outside like it was today for qualifying, that would be ideal for us. We’ve been following the radar and there is a chance for a rain shower today. I hope the rain stays away. The weather will be the same for everyone; we’ll be prepared.”
Gary Johnson – SRT Motorsports Racing Manager
“Two poles in a row for the No. 93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT Viper GTS-R is a great accompaniment. We’re really proud of the efforts by both drivers (Farnbacher qualified sixth in the No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R). The car was flawless. We had a great qualifying combination in the Viper.
“Coming back to Road America for the second time certainly provided us the opportunity to utilize all the data we collected here last year. We’re almost five seconds faster this year compared to what we were here last year. We’ve been able to take that data and make great improvements along the way.”
Bill Riley – Vice President and Chief Engineer, Riley Technologies
“Great lap by Jonathan (Bomarito) in the 93. Viper. We were trying different things in practice on both cars and, as a team, we got both cars really fast. We’ve worked really hard as a team and today’s qualifying results are an indication of that.”
Matt Bejnarowicz – Lead Engineer, SRT Motorsports
“Jonathan was totally on it today in qualifying. We made a bunch of changes for qualifying. We took a pretty big risk on some things that proved to be correct. We have a lot of expertise on our engineering staff, got a little lucky and nailed a qualifying setup.”
source: Kuno wittmer, srtmotorsports.com