Whilst Porsche dominated early in LMP1, it was the last four and a half minutes of the session, which changed the whole complexion of the session. Leading to the Toyota #8 driven by Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi taking pole with a 1:49.093 average time in the WEC’s unusual qualifying format of having two drivers, complete two flying laps each of the laps banked by each of the two drivers to gather a four lap final average time.
The session became more one of controversy and penalties following the red flag resumption after the #12 Rebellion R-ONE ground to a halt but also brought about excitement with four and a half minutes remaining. The #14 Porsche would have a lap-time deleted for overuse of ERS energy per lap. Whilst at Audi, the tough FIA WEC season (Besides Le Mans) continues, with the cars starting forth and sixth in tomorrow’s race after suffering software issues.
Porsche’s #14 still starts second tomorrow with an average time of 1:50.293 whilst the #20 Porsche entry starts third for tomorrow’s race at a time of 1:50.302. A further investigation could also yet potentially change tomorrow’s grid with Toyota #7 under investigation for blocking a Porsche earlier in the session. The car provisionally qualified fifth.
The LMP1-L competition was basically down to one car as a result of the above mentioned issue for the #12 and the no show in qualifying of the Lotus entry due to a gearbox failure. This left the #13 Rebellion to be the highest starter of the LMP-L competitors.
In LMP2, It was a complete domination by the Ligier JS P2, leading the entire session with the G-Drive Racing squad with a time of 1:56.075. Elsewhere a strong session by Extreme Speed Motorsports team, led to them qualifying a highly respectable third position as a “wildcard” entrant. Meanwhile the #37 SMP Oreca 03 had an issue late in the session coming to a stop at turn one.
In GTE Pro, an exciting session with changing conditions led to the #51 AF Corse entrant taking class pole at 2:06.456 from Aston Martin’s #97 and the #92 Porsche Team Manthey entry, Corvette Racings WEC entry qualifies last in class, in drying conditions whilst the #75 Prospeed Porsche took class pole in the GTE Am category
In TUSC qualifying, It was the Oak Racing Liger JS P2 driven by Alex Brundle who set an incredible lap in the new to TUSCC prototype, eclipsing the Wayne Taylor Racing entrant by 0.834 seconds, setting overall pole.
In GTLM, it was the additional Porsche entry, brought in to TUSCC via the WEC team been in town on the same weekend which took home class pole from the SRT Viper #93 of Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer starting second in class. TUSCC qualifying was also tough for the Corvette racing team, starting the race tomorrow in 8th and 10th in class respectively.
Meanwhile in PC, it was Sean Rayhall who starts on pole, whilst In GTD, the TRG-Aston martin Racing #007 entry starts the day on pole position.
Overall, both series saw interesting qualifying sessions today with plenty of action, brought ever more challenging with changing weather conditions affecting the event throughout the day. We also got a potential look at how the lap times differ between the IMSA TUSCC balance of performance set up and the version which is translated into the WEC, I plan to explore that more later.
For now however, look forward to tomorrow’s Lone Star Le Mans races, with two major sports car championship’s at one venue on the same weekend, it’s guaranteed to throw up some great racing, hopefully much like was seen today in the CTSC race.