IMSA Charlotte: Taylor takes fourth pole for Corvette C8.R

An IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying session at Charlotte twice interrupted by red flags saw the familiar names of Jordan Taylor and Aaron Telitz emerge on top.

IMSA Charlotte: Taylor takes fourth pole for Corvette C8.R
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Laurens Vanthoor brought out the red flag in GT Le Mans qualifying when he struck the wall in his #912 Porsche 911 RSR as his car got light over the brow exiting Turn 7. That left the remaining five cars just four minutes to set a fast lap.

Taylor was the first to duck under the 75sec barrier with a 1min14.4, and then improved to 1min14.278sec. That left most of his rivals gasping although Fred Makowiecki in the #911 Porsche drew within 0.056sec of the #3 Corvette C8.R.

“It was a stressful session," said Taylor. "Everyone was kind of waiting and knowing that it was only going to take a couple of laps to maximize the tires and then you have a small drop-off.

"We waited one or two minutes and then the red flag came out on our first timed laps. It was very poor timing for us. The #4 car had put in a quick lap; putting a heat cycle in a tire like that can take a knock on the performance. No one knew what they had going back out.

"Our Corvette performed really well. We haven’t done much light-fuel running; most of it has been race prep. So it really came alive. It’s been good all weekend no matter if it’s dry or wet, so whatever the weather brings tonight, we should be alright.”

The BMW M8s of Bruno Spengler and Jesse Krohn were a somewhat disappointing half a second down on Taylor, while Oliver Gavin in the #4 Corvette was 0.789sec from top spot.

Aaron Telitz took GT Daytona honors despite his AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F brushing the wall of the oval on his final flyer. That effort got him down to a 1min17.954sec, although his previous two laps had also been good enough for pole.

His closest competitor was Robby Foley who was, as usual, highly impressive in the Turner Motorsport BMW M6, 0.123sec from top spot.

Misha Goikhberg caused a brief red flag when he spun the #57 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX after clipping the wall at the same place that Vanthoor had, which cost him the rest of the session and his two fastest laps.

Ryan Hardwick in the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R failed to respond to the red flag so was ordered to sit out the remainder of the session. That allowed Matt McMurry in the second MSR Acura NSX to vault him into third, and Jeff Kingsley’s McLaren 720S into fourth. However, the Compass Racing was investigated for tipping the Team Hardpoint Audi R8 of Rob Ferriol into a spin on his final flyer.

Hardwick retained fifth ahead of Gar Robinson’s Riley Mercedes AMG GT3, with Till Bechtolsheimer seventh in Gradient Racing’s Acura seventh. That car had been repaired following his co-driver Marc Miller’s accident in FP2 this morning.

Tonight’s 100-minute race begins at 8.05pm local (Eastern) time.

Qualifying results:

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Time Gap
1 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
GTLM Corvette C8.R 1'14.278  
2 911 United Kingdom Nick Tandy
France Frédéric Makowiecki
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'14.334 0.056
3 25 Canada Bruno Spengler
United States Connor de Phillippi
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'14.730 0.452
4 24 Finland Jesse Krohn
United States John Edwards
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'14.824 0.546
5 4 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
GTLM Corvette C8.R 1'15.067 0.789
6 14 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United States Aaron Telitz
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'17.954 3.676
7 96 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
GTD BMW M6 GT3 1'18.077 3.799
8 86 Germany Mario Farnbacher
United States Matt McMurry
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'18.091 3.813
9 76 Jeff Kingsley
United States Paul Holton
GTD McLaren 720S GT3 1'18.147 3.869
10 16 United States Ryan Hardwick
United States Patrick Long
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'18.232 3.954
11 74 United States Gar Robinson
United States Lawson Aschenbach
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 1'18.540 4.262
12 22 United States Till Bechtolsheimer
United States Marc Miller
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'18.725 4.447
13 12 United States Townsend Bell
United States Michael de Quesada
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'18.923 4.645
14 23 United Kingdom Ian James
Canada Roman De Angelis
GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1'19.299 5.021
15 44 United States Andy Lally
United States John Potter
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'20.102 5.824
16 30 United States Rob Ferriol
United States Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 1'21.235 6.957
17 57 Portugal Alvaro Parente
Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'22.908 8.630
18 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 0.000  
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IMSA Charlotte: Garcia, Taylor score fifth win for Corvette

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