Gianmaria Bruni scored his first Pole Position as a Porsche factory driver ahead of the IMSA GT-only race at Lime Rock Park. Bruni’s best lap in Qualifying was a 50.404 in the #912 Porsche 911 RSR, to put him at the head of the GTLM field, and on overall Pole Position.
The result also gave Porsche its second GTLM Pole in a row, and 450th Pole Position in major North American sports car competition, extending the German manufacturer’s lead to 100 over Chevrolet.
“It’s funny, when I first met all the (Porsche) drivers, we were rivals before,” Bruni said. “The first approach – also from my side – was very low, because before we were door-to-door and bumper-to-bumper. They were looking at me before this like an enemy, but I found very good, nice guys, especially an experienced guy like Patrick (Pilet) and Dirk (Werner), a very nice guy.
“I’m very happy to actually learn from them because they have much more experience on this car, even if now the engine is a bit different from where it was. They are professional, we are professional and I think they accept me in the motorsport family very well. I was a bit scared, but now I’m happy.”
Starting second on the grid will be the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GT, after Richard Westbrook set a 50.540, ahead of the second of the Porsches – the #911 – which was driven by Dirk Werner in the session, who put the car a tenth off Westbrook. It was an extremely tight GTLM session in which the entire field was covered by just 0.535 seconds.
Completing the top five were the #24 BMW Team RLL M6 and the first of the two Corvette’s, the #4, ahead of the sister #3 which ended up sixth.
In GTD, Madison Snow steered the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to Pole position, with a 52.508 lap, her second career Pole and the second this season for the team after it took the top spot earlier this year at Long Beach.
“We topped Practice 2, but we didn’t know how good everyone else was going to be, or how hard they were pushing,” said Snow. “I had a good lap early in the qualifying session, I was just nervous somebody was going to pull it off in the middle of the session or late in session. I was able to get another quick lap at the end that kept me on the Pole. Now hopefully we will be able to pull away and get the win.”
Behind, Colin Braun put the CORE Autosports Porsche second with a 52.699, ahead of the Daytona-winning Alegra Motorsports 911 which was driven by Porsche works driver Pat Long; the Californian who is making a guest appearance this weekend, put the car third.
Jack Hawksworth in the #15 3GT Lexus and Jens Kilngmann in the #96 Turner Motorsport BMW ended up fourth and fifth in the GT3-based class respectively.