Mueller, No. 66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT Keep Up Momentum With Road America Pole
Saturday, August 4, 2018

Qualifying Results

Two weeks after winning the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, Dirk Mueller led the way again in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class by taking the pole position at Road America during qualifying for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.

Mueller’s quickest time of the session was two minutes, 2.479 seconds (118.981 mph). While he, co-driver Joey Hand and the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT team are seeking their third win of the season – and their second in a row at Road America – this was the third consecutive pole for Muller at Road America.

“Having the three in a row here feels really great and I’m really thrilled and happy,” said Mueller who, with Hand, holds a one-point lead in the GTLM championship standings. “Maybe it’s because I’m German and I do like the Nordschleife (in Nurburg, Germany), that’s definitely one of my favorite places in the world. Over here, it’s definitely Road America and there’s a lot of corners and places where it looks the same.”

Yet Mueller and his team are keeping their confidence in check, given the strength of the GTLM field.

“Our class is so competitive, you never know what’s going on,” said Mueller. “We were P1 in the second practice, the Porsche was fastest in the first and BMW was fastest in the third. Sometimes you just need to dig down and focus on yourself.”

Making it a pair of Ford GTs on the front row was Ryan Briscoe in the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi entry. Briscoe and co-driver Richard Westbrook are also seeking their third win of the season, in addition to their teammates.

Starting third is the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen. Garcia scored the GTLM pole at Lime Rock and, following three straight runner-up finishes, the No. 3 team is more than eager for its first win of the season.

The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase starts at 2:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. local time) and will be televised live on FS1. It also will be carried live by IMSA Radio on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio (Sirius 119/XM 202/App 972).  

Long Secures Second Consecutive GTD Motul Pole Award for Wright Motorsports Porsche

Patrick Long only needed seven and a half minutes at Road America to secure the Motul Pole Award in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.

In the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche GT3 R, Long posted his quickest time of two minutes, 6.593 seconds (115.115 mph) immediately before a full-course caution was called after the No. 51 Squadra Corse Garage Italia Ferrari 488 GT3 of Francesco Piovanetti, wound up in the gravel in Turn 12 of the four-mile course.

The field went back to green with three minutes remaining, yet Long and the Wright Motorsports team elected not to return to track. His time held for the duration of the 15-minute qualifying session, ultimately taking back-to-back pole positions after scoring the top qualifying spot at Lime Rock Park two weeks ago.

The red flag played a big part,” said Long, who co-drives the No. 58 Porsche with Christina Nielsen. “The key was getting our lap in early. We didn’t plan on the probability of yellow or red in qualifying. But because of the increased heat since this morning’s Practice 3, we had pressured up and thought to maximize the peak of the tire. It was going to be a short run, so that played into our hands.”

Another team that remained in the pits following the caution flag was Dominik Baumann in the No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3. Baumann posted a time of 2:06.850 during the first half of the session and will start alongside Long in second place with co-driver Kyle Marcelli.

The top five cars in the GTD starting lineup consisted of five different manufacturers. The championship-leading No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers will start third; the No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Cooper MacNeil and Alessandro Pier Guidi will start fourth; and fifth will be the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Ben Keating at Jeroen Bleekemolen

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