Driving the No. 05 ORECA FLM09, Colin Braun was hunting for his seventh PC pole with CORE autosport.
BALTIMORE, Md. – Prototype Challenge championship leaders CORE autosport will start the Grand Prix of Baltimore from third tomorrow while the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was fourth in GT qualifying after leading both practice sessions.
As the checkered flag flew, the No. 05 flashed to the top of the timing screens with a 1:28.716 (82.781 mph), but was soon pushed to third as the remainder of the field finished its flying laps.
Co-driver Jon Bennett will start the No. 05 from third in Saturday’s two-hour race.
After topping both of the GT practice sessions, Patrick Long took the wheel of the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for qualifying, hopeful that the team’s first GT pole position was within his grasp. Long climbed to second in the qualifying order before the session was halted by a red flag. When qualifying resumed, Long gave his final flyer everything he had, but ended up fourth fastest with a lap of 1:30.104 (81.506 mph).
Following the disqualification of a competitor in post-qualifying technical inspection, the No. 06 moved to third on the GT starting grid.
Tom Kimber-Smith has the job of starting the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR tomorrow on the 12-turn, 2.04-mile temporary street circuit and finding a way through the typical Baltimore Turn One melee.
The Grand Prix of Baltimore goes green at 3:45 pm ET, Saturday, Aug. 31. Live race coverage is available on ESPN3 for U.S. viewers or on ALMS.com for viewers outside the U.S. The ABC broadcast is set for Sept. 1 at Noon ET. Live timing and scoring is available on ALMS.com.
Colin Braun (Driver: No. 05 ORECA FLM09 PC): "We’ve been working to optimize the car under braking. I think we have a handle on that now, but we made a change before qualifying that ended up being the opposite of what we wanted. We still have a fast race car and Jon’s pace has been really good compared to the other starting drivers, which will help us out a lot tomorrow.
More than anything, this race is about staying out of trouble, playing it smart and having good pit stops, I don’t think outright pace will be as important. We have a championship team and we’re capable of great pit stops and getting the job done.
"The track has been gripping up a lot. Every time we go out it’s been different and we have to factor that into the changes that we’ll be making for tomorrow, so we’re basically chasing a moving target.
As the track gains grip, you go faster, but that makes any setup characteristics worse; if you have understeer, you’ll have more understeer, if you’re loose, you’re going to get looser."