CORE autosport’s Colin Braun entered lap time territory Saturday (July 6) at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park that has not been seen in over a decade. He claimed the overall pole for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura with a lap at 135.250 mph. It is a WeatherTech SportsCar Championship track record and less than a second off the all-time track record set by Marco Werner in a diesel-powered Audi R10 in 2007.
“Honestly, we made a last-minute decision to have me qualify. We had good speed in practice, so we decided to give it a whirl,” Braun said after the lap. “I did an ok lap, then I went for a greedy lap. That stuck pretty good, so I thought, ‘ah, I should have gone for an even greedier lap’. I was still very proud of the lap.”
For Braun, Saturday marks his first pole of the 2019 season. However, it is currently unclear as to whether he’ll start from the pole or not. Last year, Braun earned three poles in his ORECA 07-Gibson, but CORE autosport made the decision each time to put Jon Bennett in the car for the start. If that decision is made, then the CORE autosport Nissan DPi would have to start at the back of the DPi class. Also, unlike NASCAR, such a decision would have to be made prior to the pre-race Fan Walk so that the grid could be properly assembled prior to the race.
Braun’s lap was seven-hundredths of a second faster than Acura Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves. Castroneves attempted to improve on his time later in the session, but he ended up spinning out at Moss Corner while on a fast lap.
Mazda Team Joest’s Jonathan Bomarito, fresh off of victory at Watkins Glen, will start third on Sunday, followed by Acura Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya. Tristan Nunez in the second Mazda will start fifth. LMP2 saw Performance Tech Motorsports’ Kyle Masson go fastest with a lap at 129.780 mph.
The GT Le Mans class was unusually spread out Saturday. BMW Team RLL came out to play as Jesse Krohn set a new class record to win the pole with a lap at 121.123 mph. The lap was nearly a half-second faster than teammate Tom Blomqvist. Blomqvist was in position to improve on his time, but he lost control of his BMW M8 GTE and spun out exiting turn 9.
The GT Daytona class is looking fairly depleted for Sunday. Originally, 16 teams had entered. By the time qualifying came around, it was down to 12 as Paul Miller Racing was forced to withdraw their Lamborghini after Ryan Hardwick crashed Saturday morning in the third practice session after contact with one of the JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillacs.
Once qualifying got underway, it was a battle for the top spot as a couple of teams swapped the pole back and forth. After 15 minutes, it was Turner Motorsport’s Robby Foley that won the class pole with a lap at 116.216 mph for his first career pole.
Foley’s lap was eight-hundredths of a second faster than the Mercedes of Riley Motorsports’ Ben Keating. Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Acuras were third and fourth with Trent Hindman in front of Ana Beatriz. PFAFF Motorsports’ Zacharie Robichon will start fifth.
IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP MOBIL 1 SPORTSCAR GRAND PRIX PRESENTED BY ACURA QUALIFYING RESULTS
Tomorrow’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Acura is scheduled to go green at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. Live coverage of the race will start at 1 p.m. on NBC.