TUESDAY TEST. Nick Tandy set the quickest time in GTLM in Friday morning’s first practice session. The Le Mans-winning driver hustled the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR to a 1:15.388 lap time, nearly four tenths of a second ahead of the No. 3 Corvette C7.R.
Tandy credited his Porsche’s quick time to a private test session held on Tuesday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. “The only GTLM cars at the test were ours and the Risi Ferrari,” he explained.
After setting the quickest time in the morning, Tandy will have the rest of the day off. Teammate Patrick Pilet will be the lone driver in the No. 911 in the second one-hour session starting at 4 p.m. local time.
ROUGH START FOR BMW TEAM RLL. The first session was a short one for Lucas Luhr and the No. 24 BMW Z4 GTE. The German ace ended up in the tire barrier in Turn 3, and the damaged car was returned to the pits on a flatbed. Despite completing only eight laps in 13 minutes on the track, Luhr’s 1:16.320 time still stood as the fifth quickest at the end of the one-hour practice session.
STILL STREAKING? There have been no repeat pole winners in the fiercely competitive GT Le Mans class since the inception of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014. Fifteen races have seen 15 different drivers start on the GTLM pole. When qualifying was rained out in the previous round at Watkins Glen International, the grid was determined by driver championship standings.
The list of contenders who have yet to win a pole in the TUDOR championship includes heavyweights such as Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner, BMW Team RLL’s Lucas Luhr, Porsche North America’s Earl Bamber and Jörg Bergmeister, and Watkins Glen winners Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers. Will CTMP keep the streak alive and produce the 16th pole winner in GTLM?
CANADIAN CONTENDERS. Motorsports fans in Canada are among the most passionate and knowledgeable on the planet. They will have a trio of drivers from British Columbia to root for in Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix.
Michael Valiente of Burnaby shares the points lead in the Prototype class with teammate Richard Westbrook aboard the No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP. The pair won previous rounds at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Watkins Glen International.
Vancouver residents Chris Cumming and Mikhail Goikhberg are competing in the Prototype Challenge division, driving the No. 11 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 and the No. 85 DC/Miller Motorsports Oreca respectively. Unfortunately Goikhberg ended up in the tire barrier in Moss Corner during the first practice session on Friday morning, but the team is certain to bounce back.