Road America IMSA: Alon on pole for JDC-Miller, Ford 1-2 in GTLM

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Road America IMSA: Alon on pole for JDC-Miller, Ford 1-2 in GTLM
Charles Bradley
By: Charles Bradley
Aug 4, 2018, 6:49 PM

Robert Alon took pole position for the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship round at Road America on Saturday afternoon.

The 15-minute prototype session produced a thrilling battle for pole, with five drivers swapping the top spot between them.

Colin Braun, who was on pole for the last two races in his #54 CORE Oreca LMP2, set the benchmark at 1m53.213s. Juan Pablo Montoya (#6 Penske Acura DPi) swiped that away with a 1m53-flat, then Renger van der Zande (#10 WTR Cadillac DPi) took P1 with 1m52.458s. Acura’s Ricky Taylor lowered the bar to 1m52.140s in #7, but it was Alon – the fifth driver to hold the top spot – who unleashed a 1m52.048, and followed that up with a 1m51.933s to put himself out of reach.

Alon’s #85 JDC-Miller Oreca LMP2 took pole by 0.207s from Ricky Taylor.

“Whether we start first, second or third I don’t think it’s a big deal,” said Alon. “My first flying lap felt right, and we went low fuel for the opening laps and hit it right-on. We’ve been building throughout the year, and it’s come from good teamwork basically.”

Braun will start third, having improved to 1m56.495s. Van der Zande qualified fifth, ahead of Montoya and Oliver Jarvis’s #77 Joest Mazda.

Joao Barbosa qualified seventh on his return to the series in the #5 Cadillac, ahead of Harry Tincknell in the second Mazda.

#66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, GTLM: Dirk Muller, Joey Hand

#66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, GTLM: Dirk Muller, Joey Hand

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Muller leads Ford 1-2 in GTLM

In GT Le Mans, Ford ruled the roost. Dirk Muller produced a 2m03.042s on his first flying lap in the #66 Ganassi-run GT, before recording a 2m02.533s and then 2m02.479s. Antonio Garcia held P2 for Corvette Racing for much of the session on 2m02.746s, but Ryan Briscoe made it a Ford 1-2 with a late 2m02.650s effort in the #67 GT.

It was Muller’s third consecutive class pole at Road America, and the points leader – along with teammate Joey Hand – said: “I really love this place, a lot of corners are like the Nordschleife. It’s always good to start first.”

Porsche’s Laurens Vanthoor jumped to fourth on his final lap with a 2m03.114s in the #912 RSR, pushing Oliver Gavin back to fifth in the second Corvette.

Jesse Krohn, who survived a big moment at the final corner early on, will start sixth in the #24 BMW M8, ahead of the sister #25 car of Alexander Sims.

Nick Tandy was last in class in the #911 Porsche, and had an early lap deleted for a track limits transgression at Turn 1.

#58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, GTD: Patrick Long wins GTD pole

#58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, GTD: Patrick Long wins GTD pole

Photo by: Richard Dole / LAT Images

Long snatches GTD pole just before red flag

In GT Daytona, Madison Snow set the early benchmark at 2m07.780s in the #48 Lamborghini Huracan, before Dominik Baumann’s #14 Lexus dipped under the 2m07s barrier on 2m06.850s. Patrick Long just slipped in a 2m06.593s in his #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 to take P1 before a red flag for the #51 Ferrari 488 of Francesco Piovanetti plunging off at Canada Corner.

The session restarted with time for only one more flying lap, with neither Long nor Baumann bothering to rejoin. They retained the top two positions, ahead of Snow. Cooper MacNeil will start fourth in his #63 Ferrari, ahead of Ben Keating’s rebuilt #33 Mercedes.

“We left Lime Rock dejected, so we’re looking ahead,” said Long. “It’s so tight, but we were able to string together the best lap of the weekend just before the red flag. We completely changed out setup overnight.”

The #15 Lexus didn’t qualify due to an engine problem, and will start from the back of the grid tomorrow.

Pos # Driver Class Chassis Time Gap
1 85 Switzerland Simon Trummer
United States Robert Alon
P ORECA LMP2 1'51.933  
2 7 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Ricky Taylor
P Acura DPi 1'52.140 0.207
3 54 United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
P ORECA LMP2 1'52.340 0.407
4 10 United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
P Cadillac DPi 1'52.430 0.497
5 6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
United States Dane Cameron
P Acura DPi 1'52.780 0.847
6 77 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Tristan Nunez
P Mazda DPi 1'52.813 0.880
7 5 Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Portugal Joao Barbosa
P Cadillac DPi 1'52.867 0.934
8 55 United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
United States Jonathan Bomarito
P Mazda DPi 1'53.161 1.228
9 31 United States Eric Curran
Brazil Felipe Nasr
P Cadillac DPi 1'53.257 1.324
10 99 Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
South Africa Stephen Simpson
P ORECA LMP2 1'53.435 1.502
11 52 Colombia Gustavo Yacaman
Colombia Sebastian Saavedra
P Ligier LMP2 1'53.545 1.612
12 2 United States Scott Sharp
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
P Nissan DPi 1'53.626 1.693
13 22 Brazil Pipo Derani
United States Johannes van Overbeek
P Nissan DPi 1'54.092 2.159
14 66 United States Joey Hand
Germany Dirk Muller
GTLM Ford GT 2'02.479 10.546
15 67 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
GTLM Ford GT 2'02.650 10.717
16 3 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Spain Antonio Garcia
GTLM Corvette C7.R 2'02.746 10.813
17 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 2'03.114 11.181
18 4 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
GTLM Corvette C7.R 2'03.170 11.237
19 24 United States John Edwards
Finland Jesse Krohn
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 2'03.331 11.398
20 25 United States Connor de Phillippi
United Kingdom Alexander Sims
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 2'03.645 11.712
21 911 United Kingdom Nick Tandy
France Patrick Pilet
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 2'03.673 11.740
22 58 United States Patrick Long
Denmark Christina Nielsen
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 2'06.593 14.660
23 14 Canada Kyle Marcelli
Austria Dominik Baumann
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 2'06.850 14.917
24 48 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2'07.226 15.293
25 63 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United States Cooper MacNeil
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 2'07.317 15.384
26 33 Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
United States Ben Keating
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 2'07.561 15.628
27 73 Germany Jörg Bergmeister
United States Patrick Lindsey
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 2'07.944 16.011
28 86 Portugal Alvaro Parente
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
GTD Acura NSX GT3 2'08.280 16.347
29 96 Finland Markus Palttala
United States Robby Foley
GTD BMW M6 GT3 2'08.402 16.469
30 44 United States Andy Lally
United States John Potter
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 2'08.947 17.014
31 93 United States Justin Marks
United States Lawson Aschenbach
GTD Acura NSX GT3 2'12.272 20.339
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About this article

Series IMSA
Event Road America
Drivers Colin Braun , Ricky Taylor , Robert Alon
Author Charles Bradley
Article type Qualifying report