Corvette Daytona Prototype Wins Third TOTAL Pole Award Of 2016, Taylor Leads Qualifying For Lone Star Le Mans By Slim Margin

Corvette Daytona Prototype Wins Third TOTAL Pole Award Of 2016,

Taylor Leads Qualifying For Lone Star Le Mans By Slim Margin

Alon Wins Third PC Pole Of Season For PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports

AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 16, 2016) – By less than a blink of an eye, Ricky Taylor captured his first TOTAL Pole Award of the season, leading IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying for Saturday’s Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of The Americas (live, FS2, 12:30 p.m. ET).

Taylor ran a lap of 1:58.712 (103.1 mph) in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette Daytona Prototype co-driven by his brother Jordan. He beat out Tristan Nunez by a scant 0.003 seconds in a session that saw the top five Prototypes separated by just 0.709 seconds.

“It was very hot and slippery, and the track changes in the heat,” said Taylor of his qualifying run in 90-plus degree heat. “It hasn’t been like this all weekend, so it was all about adapting to the track. This was as close as we’re going to get to conditions for tomorrow’s race, so hopefully this is a good read on how it’s going to stack up. It’s going to be a tough race.”

Nunez briefly led in the 15-minute session in an attempt to give Mazda its fourth pole of the season, but had to settle for second. His best lap was 1:58.715 (103.1 mph) in the No. 55 Castrol/ModSpace Mazda Prototype co-driven by Jonathan Bomarito.

Joel Miller was third in the No. 70 Mazda co-driven by Tom Long, running 1:59.120 (102.7 mph), followed by the two Action Express Racing teammates battling for the championship. Eric Curran – seeking his third straight victory in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP co-driven by Dane Cameron – was fourth fastest at 1:59.199 (102.6 mph). Fifth was Christian Fittipaldi, a two-time 2016 pole winner running 1:59.421 (102.4 mph) in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP co-driven by Joao Barbosa.

Entering the event, Fittipaldi and Barbosa lead Curran and Cameron by one point, 253-252, with only two races remaining.

Alon Wins Third PC Pole Of Season For PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports

Making a late-season charge into Prototype Challenge (PC) championship contention, Robert Alon won his third TOTAL Pole Award of 2016 in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Professional Security Consultants/Westfield ORECA FLM09. Alon tamed the 20-turn, 3.4-mile circuit in 2:01.847 (100.4 mph), leading a session that saw the four fastest cars separated by only 0.458 seconds.

“I think the biggest thing is coming out and testing beforehand so we had a bit of a leg up,” said Alon, a two-time winner this season co-driving with Tom Kimber-Smith. “Keeping the car within the limits was key today. It was very easy to overdrive the car with the heat. It was also about keeping a clean lap.”

Alon and Kimber-Smith have a streak of three podium finishes. Their victory in the most recent event at Road America enabled them to close to within seven points of leaders Alex Popow and Renger van der Zande, 293-286.

Jose Gutierrez was second, with a lap of 2:02.271 (100.1 mph) in the No. 7 Starworks Motorsport Aviation Gin ORECA co-driven by Gustavo Yacaman, followed by teammate Popow, 2:02.274 (100.1 mph) in the No. 8 entry co-driven by van der Zande.

Matt McMurry was fourth with a lap of 2:02.305 (100.0 mph) in the No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports Gas Monkey Energy/Southwest Funding/Top1 Oil ORECA co-driven by Bruno Junqueira.

View full results via Al Kamel Systems at Results.IMSA.com

NOTEBOOK

  • No track records were broken. Alex Brundle holds the Prototype record with a lap of 1:57.809 (103.897 mph). In PC, the record is 2:00.528 (101.553 mph). Both marks were set in 2014.
  • While Ricky Taylor scored his 13th career pole, it was his first since Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in July 2015.
  • The PC session was red-flagged and checkered with four minutes remaining when the No. 88 Starworks Motorsport Popcorn Sutton ORECA of Mark Kvamme went off course into a gravel trap at Turn 15.
  • Joel Miller posted the fastest practice time of the weekend in Friday morning’s final practice, running a lap of 1:58.033 (103.6 mph) in the No. 70 Mazda Prototype.
  • Saturday’s on-track activities for the WeatherTech Championship begin with a 20-minute warm-up session beginning at 8 a.m. CT.
  • The Lone Star Le Mans will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.

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