Bomarito, Conway earn first career poles; Guasch inherits top spot in PC on points. GTC pole taken by Bleekemolen
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 20, 2013) – Klaus Graf and Muscle Milk Pickett Racing were fastest in American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón qualifying for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, but a pair of first-time polesitters were the story.
Graf earned his first pole of the season – and the second consecutive for the team – driving the No. 6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03c to a lap of 1:05.871 (134.390 mph). He was 3.693 seconds ahead of Tony Burgess, 1:09.564, in the No. 16 Mazda/Thetford/Norcold Lola B12/60 for Dyson Racing. Andy Meyrick qualified third in P1 in the No. 0 DeltaWing LM12 he co-drives with Katherine Legge with a lap of 1:10.521.
“You want to stay sharp, especially at this track,” said Graf, who acknowledges his team is the favorite this weekend. “We just want to make sure we do what we always do.”
SRT Motorsports got an impressive qualifying effort from Jonathan Bomarito who scored his first career GT pole in the No. 93 Pennzoil Ultra SRT Viper GTS-R. Bomarito’s lap of 1:15.462 (117.309 mph) was 0.139 seconds ahead of Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen. Magnussen qualified second in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6 ZR1 he shares with Antonio Garcia with a lap of 1:15.601, while Marc Goossens rounded out the top three in the No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R at 1:15.635.
“The track is WOW… you know it just takes your breath away in numerous corners,” said Bomarito, who made his first appearance at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this weekend. “I don’t know that I took more than one or two breaths that whole lap. From turn 2 to turn 3 to turn 4, it has awesome flow. It’s just a really, really knife edge of a track. You have to be spot on, really work on balancing the car and just trusting the grip levels because it’s really, really fast.”
Mike Conway wasted no time getting up to speed this weekend, leading all but one practice session and earning the P2 pole in his first career attempt driving the No. 552 Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort HPD ARX-03b for Level 5 Motorsports.
Conway is subbing for the injured Ryan Briscoe who fractured his wrist in the IndyCar race at Detroit. His lap of 1:08.785 (128.697 mph) was 0.246 seconds ahead of teammate Marino Franchitti, 1:09.031, in the No. 551 Level 5 entry. Johannes van Overbeek qualified third in the No. 02 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b entry for Extreme Speed Motorsports at 1:09.740.
“I wanted to do more laps to be honest,” said Conway. “I thought we could have been ever quicker to be honest.”
Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire (PC)
Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire (PC) qualifying was cut short after an incident involving points leader Mike Guasch in the No. 52 Molecule ORECA FLM09 for PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports. Although Colin Braun posted the quickest time in the session, Guasch will start from the top spot in class based off of points as the session did not meet the minimum 10-minute requirement. The No. 05 Composite Resources ORECA team of Colin Braun and Jonathan Bennett will start second, while the No. 9 RSR Racing ORECA driven by Bruno Junqueira and Duncan Ende will start third.
Jeroen Bleekemolen earned his third pole of the season in the GTC class with a lap of 1:21.310 (108.872 mph) in the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Sean Edwards qualified second in the No. 30 MOMO Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with a lap of 1:21.540, with Spencer Pumpelly posting the third quickest time in the No. 45 Venezuela/eSilicon Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for Flying Lizard Motorsports at 1:21.924.
The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix begins at noon ET with live coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN3.