Championship Leader Westbrook Captures TOTAL Pole Award For Season-Ending Petit Le Mans At Road Atlanta

Championship Leader Westbrook Captures TOTAL Pole Award
For Season-Ending Petit Le Mans At Road Atlanta

Kimber-Smith Holds Off Mowlem For PC Class Pole

BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 2, 2015) – Watching steady rain fall throughout the day Friday at Road Atlanta, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Prototype (P) points leader Richard Westbrook knew that his No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP would start on the pole for Saturday’s season-ending Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda if qualifying was cancelled due to the weather at Road Atlanta.

When the decision was made to hold the session, Westbrook won the pole the hard way, running a lap of 1:27.860 (104.075 mph) to capture his first TOTAL Pole Award of the season.

Westbrook and regular co-driver Michael Valiante – who will be joined by Mike Rockenfeller for the 10-hour race – enter the finale with a six-point lead over the two Action Express Racing cars. Christian Fittipaldi qualified second at 1:28.920 (102.834 mph) in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP co-driven by Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais, while Dane Cameron timed in fifth fastest in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP co-driven by Eric Curran and Max Papis.

Joey Hand, who joined Scott Pruett in winning the most recent TUDOR Championship race at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas, qualified third in the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost/Riley with a lap of 1:29.627 (102.023 mph). IndyCar champion Scott Dixon will join the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team this weekend.

The 15-minute session went right down to the wire, with Ricky Taylor nearly losing control of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP on his final lap. He qualified fourth, running 1:30.621 (100.904 mph) in the car he will co-drive with Max Angelelli and his brother Jordan in a bid to give Wayne Taylor Racing its second consecutive victory in the event.

Kimber-Smith Holds Off Mowlem For First PC Pole

Keeping PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ slim championship hopes alive, Tom Kimber-Smith held off Johnny Mowlem to capture his first TOTAL Pole Award of the season in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class.

Kimber-Smith ran a lap of 1:32.378 (98.985 mph) in the No. 52 Cuttwood/Spyder ORECA FLM09 co-driven by Mike Guasch and Andrew Palmer.

Mowlem was second, running 1:32.924 (98.403 mph) in the No. 16 BAR1 Motorsports Southwest Realty Advisors/The Walk/Top 1 Oil entry co-driven by Mark Drumwright, Tomy Drissi and Don Yount.

NEWS AND NOTES

· The No. 60 Michael Shank Racing AERO Honda/Ligier JS P2 of Ozz Negri, John Pew and Matt McMurry failed to participate in qualifying as the team continued to repair damaged sustained in an incident during Thursday’s night practice that resulted in major structural damage. The car was taken from the track to Elan Technologies in nearby Braselton, where that team worked all night to repair the frame. The car was back in the Road Atlanta paddock by 9 a.m. Friday, with the Michael Shank Racing team finishing repairs throughout the day.

· PC points leader Jon Bennett qualified seventh in the No. 54 Flex-Box Composite Resources entry. Bennett and regular co-driver Colin Braun enter the event leading PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports drivers Mike Guasch and Tom Kimber-Smith by 12 points – 289-277. Bennett can secure the title by driving the minimum two-hour, 30-minute distance. Anthony Lazzaro will also co-drive in Saturday’s event.

· Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda also serves as the final event in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup, a 52-hour competition combining the classic races at Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen. Barbosa and Fittipaldi hold a seven-point lead in the Prototype standings entering the finale, while Kimber-Smith, Guasch and Palmer hold a three-point lead in PC over CORE autosport.

· Saturday’s activity begins with a 20-minute warm-up session at 8 a.m. ET. Live coverage of the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda begins at 11 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 2, with coverage alternating throughout the day with IMSA.com. The race will be rebroadcast Sunday on FS1 at 12:30 p.m. ET.

QUOTEBOARD

Richard Westbrook – No. 90 VisitFlorida.com ORECA FLM09

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t nice to get a pole, but with a 10-hour race it’s not as important. With the rain it’s going to be nice to be out in front. We’ve got our eye on the forecast tomorrow but things are looking good. There was talk of qualifying getting cancelled and we would have had the pole because we’re leading in the championship, but we’re all racers, so we’d rather that the pole be determined with a session.

“I was pushing for sure, I was on the limit. The tires did take a long time to come in. No complaints, they were good going through the rivers, but it took a while to come in. There was a lot of moisture out there. Everyone was getting faster each lap so it was very important to keep going right until the end.”

Tom Kimber-Smith – No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Cuttwood/Spyder ORECA FLM09
“It was very wet. It was all about trying to stay on track. The session was getting wetter toward the end. The Esses seemed to have more river flows than I’ve ever seen. Mowlem was pushing pretty hard, he’s not working toward a championship so he has nothing to lose. The way the weather has been, we don’t know what’s going to play out tomorrow. I really enjoy my racing but I really am wanting this championship.”

Contact:


Nate Siebens

Senior Manager, IMSA Communications

(386) 310-6568

nsiebens

imsa-p qual plm-rls.pdf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: