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Ford scores GTLM pole at Petit

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It will be a Ford versus Corvette battle at the green flag in the GTLM class at Petit Le Mans tomorrow with Richard Westbook scoring the pole for Ford today at Road Atlanta.

Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia continued the run of strong form for the No.3 Corvette which has been on a roll since dominating at VIR two races again.

While the Garcia/Magnussen Corvette will be on the front row, the championship-leading sister car of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner was only seventh in qualifying.

The British/American duo needs to finish at least seventh tomorrow to claim the title if Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe wins the race. Westbrook’s time of 1:18.131 was .152 of a second quicker than Garcia.

The result was Westbrook’s third IMSA pole of 2016. Westbrook and Briscoe trail the championship leaders by 11 points leading into the Road Atlanta race.

“It’s a show of intention, how we’re going to attack the race, and we’re just going to try to keep it at the front. It’s all we can do,” Westbrook said.

“At Petit Le Mans, you can have a good car during the day but all that matters is what you have at night. We feel, we hope we have a good car at night and that’s what’s going to count. (The championship) is a longshot, but it’s our intention to keep our car at the front and give us the best chance of winning and that’s all we can do, try to put pressure on the No. 4 car.

“But honestly, whoever wins the championship, they thoroughly deserved it. It’s been a great fight with the No. 4 car all year and we’re going to try to take it to the end.”

5rd_4908Third fastest in qualifying was the Ferrari of Toni Vilander with the second Ford of Joey Hand in fourth place. The top seven were separated by .735 of a second.

In the prototype class Frenchman Oliver Pla again dominated for Michael Shank Racing with the team completing a clean sweep of every practice session and qualifying. The factory WEC Ford ace was again lightning fast in the Shank Ligier JS P2 Honda – stopping the clocks at 1:13.061.

Tristan Nunez was second fastest for Mazda ahead of championship leader Dane Cameron for Action Express Racing.

The PC pole went to Robert Alon who topped Alex Popow. The pair spoiled Johnny Mowlem’s retirement party. The British ace led the session early but the top three eventually ended up being separated by only .084 of a second

In GT Daytona Jeroen Bleekemolen gave the Dodge Viper the perfect send off with pole from Matt McMurry and Mario Farnbacher’s Porsches.

 

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