For most of this season, the Cadillac DPi-V.R.’s have been the class of the field. So far this weekend at Watkins Glen International, that has not been the case. Tequila Patron ESM’s Pipo Derani claimed the overall pole for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen with a lap of 94.405 seconds (129.654 mph). The lap is an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship track record at the famed road course.
Derani will be joined on the front row by PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ Olivier Pla, who was one tenth of a second slower in the sole Ligier JS P217-Gibson in the field. Action Express Racing’s Christian Fittipaldi will start third, a full nine-tenths of a second off the pole winning time. Ricky Taylor will have to start his run for six wins in a row from fourth. Finally, Johannes van Overbeek in the second Tequila Patron ESM Nissan DPi rounds out the top five.
In Prototype Challenge, Performance Tech Motorsports was once again on top. James French took his fourth pole of the season with a lap of 100.049 seconds (122.340 mph). The lap was just over two seconds faster than BAR1 Motorsports’ Don Yount.
In GT Le Mans, a last-minute lap of 102.507 seconds (119.406 mph) by Joey Hand won the pole for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. Hand’s lap was three-tenths of a second faster than BMW Team RLL’s Alexander Sims. Martin Tomczyk was third quickest in the No. 24 BMW, followed by Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Richard Westbrook. Porsche GT Team’s Patrick Pilet will start fifth in class.
GT Daytona saw a duel between 3GT Racing’s No. 15 Lexus of Jack Hawksworth and Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s No. 93 Acura for Andy Lally. The two drivers swapped quick laps back and forth throughout the session. However, once the dust cleared, Lally had the pole with a lap of 106.051 seconds (115.416 mph).
Stevenson Motorsports’ Lawson Aschenbach was second quickest, two-tenths of a second back. Hawksworth was charging on his final lap of the session, but a spin exiting Turn 9 ruined any chance of getting to Lally, turning the third quickest time. Jeff Segal in the No. 86 Acura will start fourth in class, while Dream Racing Motorsport’s Paolo Ruberti will start fifth.
Sixth at the end of the session was the No. 14 Lexus of Sage Karam. However, Karam spun out with three minutes remaining, while exiting Turn 9 and hit the wall, bringing out the red flag. When you bring out a red flag, you lose your fastest lap. As a result, Karam will start ninth if the 3GT Racing team can fix their Lexus.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen is scheduled to go green at 10:10 a.m. ET on Sunday morning. The race will air live on FOX Sports 1 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., then move to FOX Sports 2 for the finish.