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All-Cadillac Front Row For Detroit

Barbosa and Fittipaldi will start from Pole

Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac Dpi-V.R will start from pole position for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at the Raceway, Belle Isle, Detroit, the fifth round of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Completing the all-Cadillac front row will be the #31 Whelan Engineering Racing entry, piloted by Dane Cameron and Eric Curran.

Qualifying for the Prototype class finished on a confused note after Ricky Taylor lost the rear of the championship-leading #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R exiting Turn 4 after setting the quickest time of the session with 1:24.530.

As a result of Taylor’s incident, the red flag was shown after just over seven minutes of the session had been run.

“It was my mistake,” said Taylor. “I was pushing hard in qualifying like usual. The only regret is that it happened early in the session and we didn’t have a back-up qualifying lap. I feel bad for the team. We can still have a good race tomorrow. I am optimistic. We didn’t need this, I hate it for the team. The race is a short one and I have a lot of faith in our guys.”

Following the shortened session, IMSA officials reviewed the rule book and announced that Fittipaldi and Barbosa would be awarded their second pole of the position, by a matter of points.

“It is a lot easier to drive a race car than go through all of this rule complication to get a pole position,” Fittipaldi said. “I am happy to be starting in the front. I am still a little frustrated the way it happened. We have an extremely competitive car and I wanted to show that in qualifying.

“Sometimes the rules go in your favour and sometimes they don’t – today they did. It is great to be starting the third consecutive year on pole here in Detroit. I will take it. Tomorrow is what really counts. We will try our best to stay out front.”

The GTD class saw a very competitive session with lap-times tumbling as qualifying drew to a close.

Lawson Aschenbach, in the #57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS GT3 he shares with Andrew Davis, set the quickest time with a 1:30.200 on his last lap. Second quickest was Katherine Legge in the #93 Michael Shank Racing w/Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 with a 1:30.541 set on her final lap.

Third quickest in the GTD category was the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 with Bryan Sellers at the wheel who set a 1:31.920 set on his ninth lap.

Aschenbach’s time was a new lap-record for the GTD category, over a second quicker than the previous record of 1:31.340. The Maryland-born driver was delighted to be starting from the front of the class grid.

“This GTD class is the most competitive class in IMSA right now,” said Aschenbach. “There are so many good teams and good drivers that to get a pole in this class really does mean something. We’ve had a reasonably good year but we’ve had some issues and we definitely haven’t shown our full potential. To come here, rebound and get a pole is testament to this team and what they have in them.”

Three cars were on track for the PC class qualifying session. Pole position was taken by James French in the #38 PerformanceTech Motorsports ORECA FLM09 with a 1:28.494 in the car he shares with Patricio O’Ward. Second quickest in the PC class was Tomy Drissi in the #26 BAR1 Motorsports entry, over 4.5 seconds slower than French with a 1:33.166.

The lights go out for the start of the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at 12:40 EDT on June 3.