The IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship is racing at Lime Rock Park this weekend for the first of two GT-only rounds, and with just seven turns the short circuit, unsurprisingly produced a tight qualifying result.
In GTLM Antonia Garcia in the #3 Corvette C7.R GTE topped the session that saw all eight cars in the class qualify within a second of each other. Garcia’s time of 49.754 bested the lap record and marked the Spaniard’s first pole in over two years.
“It felt really good,” said Garcia “…this is the fun part of it, not needing to take care of the tyres.”
Laruens Vanthoor qualified the #912 Porsche 911 RSR second in the class, just one tenth of a second off of pole position.
The #66 Ford GT with Dirk Mueller ended the session in third in class with a time of 49.945, making it three different manufactures in as many positions.
There was drama in the morning practice sessions involving the #911 Porsche 911 RSR which found itself nose first into the barriers with Patrik Pilet on board, the car was repaired well in time for the qualifying session but Pilet brought up the rear of the GTLM field with a time of 50.656.
Patrick Long took Pole in GTD meanwhile, putting in the fastest lap in the #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. His time of 51.491 shattered the qualifying track record by nearly a full second, and marked Long’s first pole position since the ALMS and Grand-Am merger in 2014. It provided a welcome boost to the former PWC-regular, which is racing with just a single Porsche this weekend, after having originally planned to enter two in the GT3-based class.
Second in class was the #14 Lexus RC F GT3 from 3GT Racing with Dominik Baumann at the wheel, who was just two tenths of a second behind Long’s Porsche.
The sister Lexus with Jack Hawksworth on the other hand, came close to sitting out the 15-minute session. The #15 Lexus RC F GT3 spent much of Qualifying with mechanics inside the engine bay fixing an issue.
As a result of going out late, Hawksworth was able to take advantage of clean track and put in a 51.705 for third place in the session.
The championship-leading #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini was qualified by Bryan Sellers whose time of 51.838 was good enough for fourth.
The Northeast Grand Prix from Lime Rock Park is scheduled for later this afternoon at 19:00 UTC.
Photos courtesy of IMSA