WeatherTech Porsche starts from the front row in GT-Daytona class
WeatherTech Racing will start on the front row in GTD for today's running of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, while the Team Seattle-The Heart of Racing car will start from the fifth row.
Leh Keen (Charleston, SC) had the wheel of the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche (above) for the 15-minute qualifying session. Keen got down to work quickly posting his fast lap on his third circuit of the 2.2-mile, 11-turn Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track. He put in a time of 1:26.962 which looked good for the pole position in GTD. Soon after a red flag stopped the action. The session resumed with three minutes remaining. The WeatherTech team was eclipsed at the last minute by the No. 45 Flying Lizard Audi for pole. Keen and Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) will start from the front row in GTD in second position for the two-hour race.
"We were looking real good for the pole and then the Audi took it right at the end," Keen said. "We are starting on the front row in second. We started on the front at Sebring and here we are again. We were close to pole in the most competitive class in the series and it is going to be like that every race. I am really happy with the WeatherTech Porsche. The guys unloaded the car with a great set-up and we were fastest in this morning's practice. We just tuned on it a little bit and the car responded well. We will take a win over the pole."
Alex Job, team owner, has the team up front again for the start.
"Another great qualifying run by Leh," Job said. "The team did a good job with the initial set-up of the car as was evident with us being the fastest in the first practice this morning. We thought we had the pole until the very last minute. We are in a good position for the start. We will get Cooper in for the warm-up and he will get into a rhythm quickly. He has a lot of laps around this track and has won here in the past. We are ready."
Team Seattle-The Heart of Racing will start tomorrow's running of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from the fifth row.
Team Seattle gave Mario Farnbacher (Ansbach, Germany) the honor of qualifying. Farnbacher turned his first laps ever at the 11-turn, 2.2-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit in practice. Taking the opportunity to get a few more laps in before the race tomorrow the young German turned a lap of 1:27.459 that will have him and teammate Ian James (Phoenix, Ariz.) starting from the fifth row in GTD in eleventh.
"Laguna Seca is a great circuit," Farnbacher said. "It is new for me, but I really like it. There hasn't been a lot of track time this weekend, but it is the same for everyone. I am happy with my qualifying effort. The race is two hours long and we will be able to make up positions quickly. I don't have a favorite part of the track yet, but I know that I don't like Turn Six."
James knows the team is strong on strategy and likes the way Farnbacher has gotten to grips with the track.
"First practice we struggled with some unbalance in the car," James said. "The Alex Job guys did a lot of work between practice and qualifying and it looked like we are heading in the right direction. I got in for a few laps and it felt better. I think we have a good race set-up on the car now. We are starting in eleventh, but we have two hours and there will be a lot of strategy playing out in that time. Mario is doing an excellent job learning the track and he is already up to speed."
Job has the Team Seattle-Heart of Racing Porsche heading in the right direction.
"We threw a lot at young Mario this morning," Job said Saturday. "He didn't have the best car to learn the track, but I am proud of the way he qualified. If we would have had a full session he would have been easily in the top eight at least. The team made great progress on the handling for the last practice and qualifying. Maybe a few more changes to try for the warm-up. He and Ian will be a factor in the race."
Alex Job Racing