Endurance RacingIMSA

Patrons ESM secures Sahlens Six Hours of the Glen Pole

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Michael L. Levitt/LAT Images

The Tequila Patrons ESM#2 Nissan blitzed a wet qualifying session as Pipo Derani’s fastest time ensured the team starts tomorrow’s Sahlens Six Hours of the Glen from pole.

The young Brazilian secured pole with a time of 1.34.405, 0.15 seconds faster than Olivier Pla in the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier, who in turn was 0.8 ahead of the Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi.

The legendary Watkins Glen track has always favoured the lower powered but better handling LMP2 cars and this (and the conditions) saw a front row lock out of LMP2 derived machines, with the dominant Cadillac DPis off the pace.

The championship leading Wayne Taylor Racing squad of brothers Jordan and Ricky Taylor lined up fourth behind their closest championship rivals, fellow Cadillac team the Mustang Sampling team of Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa.

The means the WTR Cadillac faces a tough fight to continue their unbeaten winning streak, as well as racking up Endurance Cup points.

In PC the unbeaten #38 Performance Tech Motorsports squad secured pole with James French setting a 1.40.049, two seconds quicker than their closest rivals the #20 BAR1 Motorsport machine.

GTLM was tightly packed as expected with all eight cars separated by just seven tenths of a second, but Joey Hand grabbed pole with the largest gap in the category.

The #66 Ford GT was quickest by 0.3 seconds from the two RLL BMW M6s, who fresh off their best showing of the season at COTA look to continue their ever improving form.

Yet the sister Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe was only 0.003 of a second behind the second of the BMWs, but Porsche and Corvette were not on the pace as both of the team’s cars could only manage 1 minute 43 times.

A sad absentee was the ever popular #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 which has pulled out of the series following the crash of Le Mans.

In GTD Andy Lally secured pole position for the Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX with a time of 1.46.051.

Andy Lally took GTD pole position for the #93 Michael Shank Acura NSX. Credit: Richard Dole/LAT Images

The Acura was 0.2 seconds faster than the Stevensons Motorsport Audi R8 with the 3GT Lexus occupying third place, continuing the good form from COTA.

Championship leaders the #33 Weathertech Riley Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT of Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen will start eleventh.

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Sports Car and GT writer. Perhaps being named after James Hunt and Murray Walker (first and middle names) might have something to do with how I have always been motorsport obsessed. After failing to get int racing, I might as well write about it.
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