Patrick Pilet is in prime position to extend his lead in the GT Le Mans championship standings after winning the class pole for Saturday’s Lone Star Le Mans. Pilet piloted the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR to the quickest lap in the class at 2:04.396 in today’s 15-minute qualifying session, securing his first career pole in the TUDOR series.
“We worked so hard, and it was tough with 20 kilos more in the car,” said Pilet, who is riding a three-race winning streak with co-driver Nick Tandy. “The track was really slippery. I did my best in the first two laps and then I said, ‘OK, I cannot go quicker, we must keep the tires clean for the race.’ It’s a good start for the weekend, and now we will focus on the race. I’m optimistic we will have a good car in the long runs.”
Pilet is doing double duty at COTA. After driving the No. 911 Porsche in the two-hour, 40-minute TUDOR Championship race, he will move to the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR in the World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas.
It was sizzling hot at Circuit of the Americas, with the air temperature at 96 degrees and the track at 113 degrees when the eight-car field of GTLM entries took to the track. The German giants monopolized the top three spots in GTLM, with Dirk Werner second in the No. 25 BMW Z4 and Earl Bamber third in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR.
Antonio Garcia was a surprising fourth in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R after the Corvettes struggled in the preceding practice sessions. The Spaniard’s 2:04.651 lap time put him within three tenths of a second of the pole-winning Porsche.
Wolf Henzler qualified fifth in the No. 17 Porsche, John Edwards sixth in the No. 24 BMW, Tommy Milner seventh in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R, and Giancarlo Fisichella was eighth in the No. 62 Ferrari 458 Italia.
Dion von Moltke put the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS on the pole in the GT Daytona class with a best lap of 2:11.097. It was the fourth pole of the season for the Florida driver.
Five different manufacturers were represented in the top five spots in GTD, with Ben Keating in the No. 33 Dodge Viper second, Bill Sweedler in the No. 63 Ferrari 458 Italia third, points leader Christina Nielsen in the No. 007 Aston Martin fourth, and Patrick Lindsey in the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT America fifth.
The Lone Star Le Mans, Round 11 of the 2015 TUDOR Championship, will be televised live on FOX Sports 2, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 19. The race will be rebroadcast on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, Sept. 20, beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.