On Friday afternoon, Multimatic Motorsports‘ Scott Maxwell claimed the pole for Saturday’s 2.5 hour IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Road America. Maxwell’s lap of 142.487 seconds (102.275 mph) was nearly a half-second faster than CJ Wilson Racing‘s Daniel Burkett in second. Compass360 Racing‘s Paul Holton was third quickest in his Ford Shelby GT350R-C, followed by Till Bechtolsheimer in the second CJ Wilson Racing Cayman GT4, which is carrying the colors of the Chicago Blackhawks Charities this weekend. Peter Ludwig in Muehlner Motorsports America‘s No. 21 Porsche Cayman GT4 is fifth.
For Maxwell, it is his 14th career pole in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, extending an all-time record that he set earlier this season. However, this pole position came as a surprise to Maxwell.
“I didn’t expect to win the pole, because we’ve been struggling today,” Maxwell said in the Media Center after the session. “We made some late changes just before qualifying. The car was quite good, and I drove a good lap. I think that bodes well for tomorrow. Psychologically, it puts us in a good spot, but we know what we’re going up against. It’s going to be a long two and a half hours, for sure.”
In Street Tuner, there really wasn’t all that much progression in the times at the top of the time sheet, but that didn’t tell the whole story. Chad McCumbee set the early standard in his ModSpace-sponsored Mazda MX-5 for Freedom Autosport. However, the MX-5 is relatively underpowered and thus, not really suited for the 4.048-mile road course. On the second lap of the session, Andy Lee set a lap at 152.062 seconds (95.835 mph) in his No. 22 Porsche Cayman for Kris Wright Racing with Goldcrest Motorsports. A number of drivers took shots at Lee’s best time, but no one could top it.
For Lee, it is his first career pole in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge after spending years racing in Pirelli World Challenge. Lee is very happy for himself and his race team.
“I’m excited for Goldcrest and Wright Motorsports, because this is only our first year in the series full-time,” Lee said after the session ended. “We’re learning a lot. It’s a big milestone for us. Today was only the second time I’ve qualified in this series. Today was also the first time I’ve driven here on sticker tires, and I learned how they’re going to react. So I kind of know what to expect on the first lap tomorrow, and hopefully that will give us a leg up.”
Lee’s pole held up by a mere one-hundredth of a second over BimmerWorld Racing‘s Tyler Cooke in second in the sole F30-series BMW 328i to take part. McCumbee was third quickest, followed by CRG-I Do Borrow‘s Sarah Cattaneo fourth in the sole Nissan Altima Coupe. MINI Team JCW‘s Derek Jones rounded out the top 5.
Five teams did not put up a time. Murillo Racing‘s No. 65 BMW E90-series 328i was heavily damaged in a crash in opening practice on Friday, along with the No. 81 BMW F30-series 328i from BimmerWorld Racing. The No. 81 of Kyle Tilley and Jerry Kaufmann has been withdrawn as a result. The No. 65 of Brent Mosing and Tim Probert was sent off-site to a shop in order to be put on a frame machine. It is unclear whether they’ll race or not. The No. 56 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman of Eric Foss was also in the crash, but the team was able to repair the No. 56. They will start tenth in ST.
Team TGM‘s No. 46 did not put a time. The team seems to pick which car to race based on practice. The No. 64 has been chosen and team owner Ted Giovanis qualified it eighth quickest. Honda of America Racing Team‘s Chad Gilsinger stalled on course and could not put up a time. Rebel Rock Racing‘s No. 7 for Sam Adams and Elliott Skeer also did not set a time.
The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Road America is due to start today at 12:35 p.m. The race will be livestreamed at either IMSA.com or FansChoice.tv. Highlighted coverage of the race will air on Aug. 14 at 11 a.m. on FOX Sports 1.