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WTR Cadillac Takes Pole At Laguna

First GTLM pole for Risi for three years

The #10 Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi was in both unbeatable and unstoppable form Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during Qualifying. Ricky Taylor’s 1:16.853 was good enough to break the track record, secure pole, and beat the next closest time by nearly a second.

Taylor thanked the team for all their hard work: “They keep looking for more speed, and they keep finding it.” Describing the qualifying setup for the Cadillac as being, “on the ragged edge.”

The #10 though will need to look at the bigger picture and keep the championship in mind, and be careful to avoid any incidents, with Taylor describing this by saying how they need to, “Keep our noses clean and get through it safely.”

Eight tenths behind the #10 was the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi, its best time, a 1:17.682, came at the hands of Christian Fittipaldi. Marc Goosens, who is historically strong at Laguna Sect put the #90 Visit Florida Racing Ligier JSP217 on the inside of row number two with a 1:17.730 being good enough for third for the Belgian.

Meanwhile in GTLM, the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari with Toni Vilander behind the wheel topped the charts with the only GT time under 1:22.000. The Fin’s time of 1:21.914 was set in the same Ferrari 488 GTE that the team used at Le Mans, that was rebuilt and prepared for this weekend’s bout at Laguna Seca.

Vilander thanked both the team and his engineer Rick for the hard work the guys put in in getting the car dialed in. “Rick was given me P2, so I had to push,” Vilander said, explaining the classic engineer’s trick used to extract more from drivers by lying to them about their position. “It’s a great feeling,” Vilander continued, “I tried to drive as fast as I could.”

Most of the GTLM qualifying session was dominated by the RLL BMW boys with the #24, and #25 trading the fastest time for a majority of the time. They would be bumped down to third and fourth however by the end of the session, the #24 getting the best of #25 with a 1:22.177 by John Edwards besting a 1:22.178 by Alexander Sims.

Dirk Mueller in the #66 Ford GT was able to give his teammate, Joey Hand a good starting position for Hand’s home race with a 1:22.156 from the German being good enough for second on the grid.

Madison Snow and the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini took home their third pole of the year with a 1:24.469 from Snow, good enough to secure the top spot in class. Despite an off-track excursion for the left rear tire on the exit of turn three for Snow he would not be slowed setting his fastest lap after the small error.

“It feels great to be up top,” Snow said, “being able to put it on pole is a great way to go into tomorrow.”

Daniel Morad in the #28 Alegra Motorspots Porsche was next quickest in class thanks to a 1:24.721 after six laps of Laguna Seca. Third in class was Patrick Lindsey inside the #73 Park Place Motosports Porsche with a 1:24.954. Rounding out the top four in GTD was the #96 Turner Motosports BMW with a 1:25.086 set by Jens Klingman.

The only notable incident in GTD being a spin off of the final corner for Ben Keating in the #33 Riley Mercedes AMG.

The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will go green at 22:05 UTC. The race can be watched internationally for free in sound and vision on IMSA.tv, and on FOX Sports inside the United States.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac