Ford GT Takes Lone Star Le Mans GTLM Pole, First In WeatherTech Championship For Briscoe

Begin forwarded message:

From: IMSA Communications <communications>

Subject: Ford GT Takes Lone Star Le Mans GTLM Pole, First In WeatherTech Championship For Briscoe

Date: September 16, 2016 at 8:26:16 PM EDT

To: IMSA Communications <communications>

Please see attached press release, below is a text-only version. View full results via Al Kamel Systems at Results.IMSA.com

Ford GT Takes Lone Star Le Mans GTLM Pole,

First In WeatherTech Championship For Briscoe

Porsche Takes Sixth GTD Pole, Fourth TOTAL Pole Award For Riberas

AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 16, 2016) – As difficult as it may be to believe, given his record of success, it wasn’t until Friday’s qualifying session for Saturday’s two-hour, 40-minute Lone Star Le Mans that Ryan Briscoe earned his first career pole position in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.

The Aussie checked that accomplishment off the list courtesy of a best qualifying lap of 2 minutes, 4.188 seconds (98.5 mph) in the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT in the 15-minute GT Le Mans (GTLM) class qualifying session.

While it was Briscoe’s first, it was the third for the No. 67 team, as teammate Richard Westbrook took poles at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May and the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in July. And it was the fourth pole of the year for the new Ford GT program, as Dirk Mueller put the team’s No. 66 entry on pole at Road America last month.

Briscoe and Westbrook head into the race trailing GTLM points leaders Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner by seven points, 287-280, with two races remaining. Gavin struggled in qualifying, taking sixth on the GTLM grid in the No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.

“We need to keep doing our jobs,” Briscoe said. “Our cars have been good. It’s been consistent, but it’s a long race tomorrow. A lot is going to happen. If it’s like other races in this series, anything can happen. There are a lot of guys pushing hard for their result as well. It’s going to be a good race. This track lends itself to a lot of passing zones, but it’s going to be hot. And it’s good to be on the pole, we’re going to try and run strong all day and stay out front.”

Starting second in GTLM will be the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE in the hands of Toni Vilander. The Finnish driver posted a time of 2:04.694 (98.1 mph) for the Houston-based team. He and co-driver Giancarlo Fisichella enter the race looking for their first victory of the season.

Patrick Pilet qualified third in GTLM with a best lap of 2:04.874 (98.0 mph) in the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR. He and co-driver Nick Tandy are looking for their first victory since winning the BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach in April.

Fourth GTD TOTAL Pole Award Of Season For Riberas, Sixth For Porsche

No driver or manufacturer in the WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class has more pole positions this season than Alex Riberas and Porsche.

Riberas earned his fourth TOTAL Pole Award of the season and Porsche’s sixth GTD pole during a hot afternoon qualifying session at Circuit of The Americas. Riberas posted a best lap of 2 minutes, 8.568 seconds (95.2 mph) in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R he shares with co-driver Mario Farnbacher.

It was the sixth pole of the season for Porsche in the GTD class and was the car’s fifth pole, as Farnbacher added one at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in July. The No. 23 teammates look for their second victory of the season in Saturday’s Lone Star Le Mans.

“We really appreciate what the Heart of Racing crew and Alex Job did today,” Riberas said. “It was a magnificent effort from the team to get the car set up for qualifying today. We were struggling with the pace yesterday. Today, we were happy. I set the fastest pace in free practice, but we knew it was going to be hot and I didn’t really know what to expect. The guys did a great job preparing for that and now we are in a great position for tomorrow with the race.”

Lawson Aschenbach qualified second in GTD with a best lap of 2:08.944 (94.9 mph) in the No. 9 Stevenson Automotive Group Audi R8 LMS GT3 he shares with co-driver Matt Bell. Aschenbach and Bell are in search of their first victory of the season, but head into the race carrying the momentum of a season-best second-place result in last month’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway.

Patrick Lindsey made it two Porsches in the top-three starting positions in GTD, clocking a best lap of 2:09.009 (94.8 mph) in the No. 73 Park Place Porsche / Justice Brothers Inc. Porsche 911 GT3 R for Dallas-based Park Place Motorsports. Lindsey will co-drive in Saturday’s race with Joerg Bergmeister.

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

NOTEBOOK

  • Ryan Briscoe became the 21st different driver to earn a pole in WeatherTech Championship GTLM competition.
  • With his fourth pole of the season, Alex Riberas is still the only multi-time TOTAL Pole Award winner this season in the GTD class.
  • The top five qualifiers in the GTLM class – which included two Ford GTs, two Porsche 911s and one Ferrari 488 – were covered by less than one second in qualifying.
  • Three different manufacturers also were represented in the top five positions in GTD qualifying. Porsches were first and third, Audis were second and fourth, and a Ferrari was fifth.
  • 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.

Contact:

Nate Siebens
Senior Manager, IMSA Communications

(386) 310-6568

nsiebens

COTA-2016-GT-Qual-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