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RS1 Takes Pole For CTSC Opener

Compass becomes the series' first TCR pole-sitter

RS1 scored pole position for the opening race of the 2018 CTSC season at Daytona International Speedway.

Topping the charts in the Grand Sport class was the team’s #28 Porsche Cayman GT4, Spencer Pumpelly, setting a 1:55.136 that was three tenths of a second clear of the next best time in the session.

“Timing was everything…” said Pumpelly, adding that he had fallen back to “…help [Daniel] Morad, and then he towed me around most of the lap [the pole lap].”

Tyler Mcquarrie had provisional pole right up until the final lap of the session when he was knocked down to second in class after his 1:55.461 was bested by Pumpelly. Mcquarrie’s #39 Carbahn Motorsports Audi R8 LMS GT4 clocked in 7 laps.

Finally in third was the best of the blue ovals, the #60 Roush Performance Mustang GT4 piloted by Kyle Marcelli clocked in a 1:56.013 for third place. The Ford’s dominated the final practice session before qualifying but could not find similar pace in the more important session.

Two incidents worth noting in GS was the #56 Murillo Racing Mercedes AMG GT4 which came in part way through the session with a punctured right front tyre. As well as Daniel Morad who brought in his #18 RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 with heavy, but repairable damage to the left hand side of the car, the cause unclear.

In the new-for-2018 TCR class it was all about the Audi RS3 TCR’s that held six out of the seven entries in the class, and specifically the three entered by Compass Racing.

Kuno Wittmer in the #74 Compass Racing Audi RS3 set the quickest time of the session with a 2:00.550, just 0.070 seconds clear of the next best time set by Britt Casey in the #77, also entered by Compass Racing.

Pole Sitter Wittmer saying he was, “Very proud of the Compass Racing team…” adding that they “… really put the package together.” With attention now shifting to the race Wittmer said that it “… will not be an easy race but it will be a lot of fun in this machine.”

Rounding out the top three and the sweep of the qualifying podium in TCR for Compass Racing was the #75 Audi RS3 LMS, Pierre Kleinubing piloting that car to a 2:00.738.

Meanwhile in the Street Tuner class the top three spots were all taken by three different manufactures. The lone BMW, the #81 328I of Bimmerworld Racing set the best time with a 2:04.217 from Devin Jones.

“I have to thank everyone from this team, it’s a great start to the year,” said Jones after securing pole. Also adding that the draft factor at Daytona created some more complications with getting in an ideal lap.

In second and two tenths behind Jones was Nate Norenberg with a 2:04.418 in the #37 Mini JCW entered by the MINI JCW team.

The #55 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman driven by Justin Piscitell set a 2:04.709 to round out the top three and give all manufacturers a spot at the front of the line for the four hour race.

Tomorrow’s four-hour CTSC race at Daytona is set to begin at 13:00 local time.

QUALIFYING TIMES >>>

Featured image courtesy of Continental Tire