Tandy Grabs First Porsche GTLM IMSA Pole Of The Season


IMSA 2018 - Porsche GT Team: Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet
Credit: Porsche A.G.

For the second year in a row, the #911 Porsche 911 RSR will lead the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class to the green light at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix.

Dirk Werner delivered the pole for the Porsche GT Team in 2017, but it was Nick Tandy behind the wheel on Saturday afternoon, posting the best time of 1m13.517s (120.412 mph). The pole position is Porsche’s first of the season and Tandy’s first since he took the overall pole in the #911 Porsche at the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

“I mean, qualifying is one thing,” said Tandy. “It’s going to be hot this weekend. It’s good we can bring our tires up to temperature, and the Porsche is obviously excellent on this track.”

Tandy and co-driver Patrick Pilet are seeking their second win of the season at CTMP, after beating the GTLM field at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March. The duo also took the 2015 GTLM victory at CTMP, after Tandy started from the pole position at that race as well.

IMSA 2018 - #911 Porsche 911 RSR at CTMP
Credit: Porsche A.G.

The Englishman knows it won’t be easy to repeat the team’s success, “I’m sure we won’t have such an advantage, and I’m sure it’s going to be a close race,” said Tandy.

He concluded, “This is a great day for England – we made it into the semi-finals of the Football World Cup, Formula One and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup are contested at Silverstone this weekend, and now I’m on pole.”

Starting alongside Tandy and Pilet will be the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook, who took the pole a week ago at Watkins Glen International. Briscoe’s time was .314 seconds shy of Tandy’s, with a lap of 1m:13.831s (119.900 mph).

Making it three different manufacturers in the top three starting positions is the #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia with the former posting a time of 1m:13.934s (119.733 mph).

Additionally, the top five starting drivers in qualifying for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix all toppled Werner’s previous track record of 1m:14.085s (119.5 mph).