OAK Racing Earn Second Consecutive TUDOR Pole

Yacaman made good on the promise the team had shown in practice (Courtesy of IMSA)

OAK Racing scored their second consecutive TUDOR United SportsCar Championship pole position with Gustavo Yacaman putting the team’s Morgan-Nissan fastest in qualifying for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

The Colombian sharing the car with Olivier Pla the OAK team had swept the two Friday practice sessions as the French team continued their strong summer form after Alex Brundle won pole at Watkins Glen before they finished second in the Sahlen’s Six Hours.

In qualifying at CTMP Yacaman was quickly on the pace during the 15 minute qualifying session for the Prototype teams as he was one of several drivers to top the times in the early minutes.

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates’ Memo Rojas set the earliest of running before Yacaman, Ricky Taylor, Ryan Dalziel and Richard Westbrook for Watkins Glen victors Spirit of Daytona Racing all took their turns to sit on provisional pole.

Yacaman ended the game of musical chairs, moving back onto pole with a time of 1:09.167 that was four seconds faster than the time of Ryan Dalziel that it replaced. The Scot, qualifying the #1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD that had led the third practice session proved to be Yacaman’s closest – and most persistent – rival in the session improving on his own time late in the session, but unable to alter the line-up on the grid as he lapped the 2.5 mile circuit in 1:09.489.

Westbrook was third fastest, the #90 Chevrolet Corvette DP the best of the Daytona Prototype chassis in the class sandwiched between the two ESM cars as Johannes van Overbeek ran fourth quickest in the team’s #2 entry. Christian Fittipaldi rounded out the top five for Action Express Racing, one time pole sitter Rojas ultimately only eighth fastest in class.

Canadian Kuno Wittmer set the pace in the GT Le Mans class aboard the #93 SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper co-driven by Jonathan Bomarito. His lap of 1:15.206 was set relatively early on, becoming the marker which all others in the class had to aim for. Antonio Garcia came closest in the #3 Corvette Racing C7.R with a best lap in the closing minutes less than a tenth of a second slower than Wittmer. Another slender margin – again less than a tenth – separated Garcia’s time from Wolf Henzler’s that secured third in class for Team Falken Tire.

With the second Corvette fourth fastest as the team try to extend their winning streak to four the BMW Team RLL team that have so often been their nearest rivals this season struggled for pace as though Dirk Mueller was fifth fastest the #55 qualified by Andy Priaulx will start from the rear of the class in tenth.

Wittmer’s heading the GTLM ranks was the second part of a Viper sweep of the GT classes, Jeroen Bleekemolen having given the Riley Motorsports team the GT Daytona pole with a lap of 1:19.004. Spencer Pumpelly had set the second fastest lap in class, but found his times erased as his #45 entry failed the post session ride height check, promoting the Turner Motorsports from the third fastest berth earned by Dane Cameron ahead of the Team Seattle Porsche qualified by Mario Farnbacher and the Dion von Moltke piloted #35 Audi, the second of the Flying Lizards Motorsports cars behind Pumpelly’s punished machine.

Snow Racing will complete the top five in the class at the drop of the green flag, Jan Heylen having taken qualifying duties for the team.

The two hour, 45 minute race is scheduled to start at 2pm Eastern time (7pm UK time) on Sunday July 13.