In the hotly contested qualifying in the GTLM class, in which all vehicles were within almost one second, Patrick Pilet (France) posted the sixth quickest time in the #911 Porsche 911 RSR. His teammate is Dirk Werner, with whom he scored the first victory for the new 911 RSR at Lime Rock. The eighth grid spot on the 3.601-kilometre racetrack in the dunes of Monterey is occupied by Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), who shares the second 911 RSR (#912) fielded by the Porsche GT Team with Gianmaria Bruni (Italy).
In the GTD class, Porsche customer teams put in a strong performance with the 911 GT3 R: clocking the second fastest time, Alegra Motorsports takes up the race from the first grid row. Park Place Motorsports claimed the third starting position.
Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “Once again, we used the qualifying to focus on preparing for the race. I think we had a divided field today – one half ran an aggressive setup to go for pole position, the rest concentrated on the race. We belonged to the second group and our result is in line with our expectations. Sunday will be the warmest day of the race weekend, hence we’ve prepared for this in all our practices.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “We have a good car for the race. It was obvious from the outset that we weren’t going to be among the fastest during the qualifying session. However, I think we have good chances over the race distance. Since overtaking is difficult on this track, of course we would’ve liked to have started from further up the grid. But I’m sure we’ll be able to make up some positions tomorrow.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “Actually, my lap today was almost perfect, but it wasn’t enough to land on pole. We had a hard time finding enough grip on this racetrack. However, it’ll be quite a lot warmer tomorrow, and that will change the track conditions. I hope those conditions suit us better."
1. Fisichella/Vilander (I/SF), Ferrari 488 GTE, 1:21.914 minutes
2. Hand/Müller (USA/D), Ford GT, + 0.242 seconds
3. Edwards/Tomczyk (USA/D), BMW M6, + 0,263
4. Auberlen/Sims (USA/GB), BMW M6, + 0,264
5. Westbrook/Briscoe (GB/USA), Ford GT, + 0,666
6. Pilet/Werner (F/D), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0,842
7. Garcia/Magnussen (E/DK), Corvette, + 0,875
8. Vanthoor/Bruni (B/I), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0,926
9. Gavin/Milner (GB/USA), Corvette, + 1,095
1. Snow/Sellers (USA/USA), Lamborghini GT3, 1:24.463 minutes
2. Morad/Long (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.252 seconds
3. Bergmeister/Lindsey (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.485
10. MacNeil/Jeannette (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 1.174
14. Braun/Bennett (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 2.835
The 2:40-hour race takes off on Sunday, 24 September, at 14.05 hrs local time (23.05 hrs CEST). Outside the USA, the race is broadcast live on www.imsa.com.