IMSA

6H Watkins Glen: Van Overbeek takes pole for ESM

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Johannes van Overbeek gave Extreme Speed Motorsports its first pole position of 2016 as he set the fastest lap in qualifying at Watkins Glen International.

The American driver out-paced a competitive Prototype field to ensure the #2 Ligier JSP2-Nissan starts the 6 hour race on pole position. He will share the car with North American Endurance Cup team-mates Pipo Derani and Scott Sharp.

Van Overbeek set a 1:25.207s lap towards the end of the 15 minute session to edge out the #55 Mazda Prototype of Tristan Nunez by 0.167 seconds.

Nunez came into the pits halfway through qualifying, but returned to the track for a couple of late flying laps which saw him jump up the Prototype order.

Third on the grid will be the Michael Shank Racing Ligier JSP2-Honda of Oswaldo Negri Jr, who made it three LMP2 cars in the top three spots after out-pacing Ricky Taylor’s Corvette Daytona Prototype towards the end.

Completing the top five was Tom Long in the #70 Mazda, while the #5 Action Express Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldi joins him on row three.

In GT Le Mans, Richard Westbrook stormed to his first pole position of the year driving the #67 Ford GT. The Le Mans-winning Ford could only manage fourth, with the Chip Ganassi-run cars being split by the two BMW Team RLL M6s.

Westbrook’s time of 1:41.301s was enough to beat Dirk Werner in the patriotic-liveried #25 car by 0.349 seconds, with John Edwards finishing third in the #100 machine.

Scuderia Corsa Ferrari rounded out the class top five, ahead of the quickest Corvette C7.R in sixth.

Starworks Motorsport’s Renger van der Zande took pole in Prototype Challenge with a 1:38407s marker late in his session, while Robin Liddell gave Stevenson Motorsports – and Audi – its first WeatherTech Sportscar Championship pole in GT Daytona.

The 6 Hours of Watkins Glen takes place on June 3 at 10:10 AM eastern.

Qualifying results – 6 Hours of Watkins Glen

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