Scott Pruett snags pole at Long Beach

Scott Pruett will start from pole position for this weekends Tudor United Sports Car event at Long Beach.

LONG BEACH, CALIF. – California native Scott Pruett clicked off his fastest lap on the final lap of qualifying to take the pole position for Saturday’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase on the streets of Long Beach.

After sitting on the provisional pole for the most of the session, the Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost/Riley DP driver needed that last 1 minute, 15.325-seconds (94.056 mph) lap to secure the pole. Just after Pruett’s fast lap, fellow Ford/Riley driver, Ozz Negri, clicked off a 1:15.366 lap to qualify second.

Pruett feels his qualifying setup won’t need much tweaking to be fast on Saturday.

“We unloaded and the car was fast,” Pruett said. “We just kept fine-tuning it. We’ve be first or second in most all the sessions; and that puts you in really good position so you’re not chasing the car, you’re just fine tuning it. As we look to the race, we’ll continue to do the same thing. We have a little bit of a qualifying set up in it now. We’ll pull it back a little bit and focus on a race setup.”

The Ford/Riley front row will be followed to the green by the Action Express Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldi (1:15.561), and the Nissan/Morgan driven by Olivier Pla (1:15.668).

There was a three-minute red flag with about six-and-a-half minutes left in the session for Ryan Dalziel’s Extreme Speed Motorsports Honda HPD ARX-03b that stopped in near the fountain. That red flag set up the three-lap shootout for the pole.

There was not a cloud in the Long Beach sky but that didn’t stop Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen from raining on hometown driver Bill Auberlen’s plans to sit on the GT Le Mans class pole for Saturday’s Tequila Patrón Sports Car Racing Showcase.

BMW Team RLL’s Auberlen looked good for the top spot with a lap of 1:18.091 when he pitted to conserve his tires for the start of the race. That’s when Magnussen clicked off a lap of 1:17.939 to take the pole position.

“At one point we were P3 and I thought at this stage we were already a 10th faster than I have been when we did the qualifying simulation so I thought I don’t know if there is any more to come,” said Magnussen. “I did one more lap, pushed hard and it stuck, I didn’t hit any walls and got pole position.”

Auberlen’s teammate Dirk Mueller will start third (1:18.246).

Brian Bielanski - NASCAR Wire Service

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About this article
Series IMSA
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Dirk Müller , Jan Magnussen , Christian Fittipaldi , Scott Pruett , Bill Auberlen , Chip Ganassi , Olivier Pla
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , ESM Racing , Corvette Racing , Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Article type Interview
Tags auberlen, bmw, chip ganassi racing, corvette, long beach, magnussen, scott pruett, tusc