Keen Earns TOTAL Pole Award In GTD For Porsche, Alex Job Racing
BMW Team RLL already has four podiums in four TUDOR United SportsCar Championship races this season, but the team will start Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen (FOX Sports 1 , live at 11 a.m. ET) from its best position yet.
Andy Priaulx gave BMW its first GT Le Mans (GTLM) pole in TUDOR Championship competition Saturday at Watkins Glen International, driving the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE to a lap of 1 minute, 44.084 seconds (117.597 mph). Priaulx will be joined by co-driver Bill Auberlen in the six-hour event which is also Round 3 of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.
“The pole is nice and it’s always nice for the ego, but we’ve got to maintain our position in the championship,” said Priaulx who earned his first TUDOR Championship pole. “I was delighted to get the chance to qualify today; in all fairness Bill [Auberlen] has been quick and you know we’ve got a great car this weekend. Bill has been a front-runner here a long, long time, so I’ve just got to work on bringing Bill a clean car.”
A potential BMW front-row sweep was spoiled by Jan Magnussen in the closing minutes of the 15-minute session. Magnussen drove the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R he shares with Antonio Garcia to second with one minute, 30 seconds remaining. That lap of 1:44.376 (117.268 mph) was just 0.001 seconds ahead of Dirk Mueller’s lap of 1:44.377 (117.267 mph) in the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE he co-drives with John Edwards.
Four manufacturers made up the top five positions with Michael Christensen qualifying fourth in the No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR at 1:44.482 (117.149 mph). Christensen will be joined Sunday by full-time co-driver Patrick Long and Patrón Endurance Cup driver Patrick Pilet.
Jonathan Bomarito qualified fifth in the No. 93 SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R at 1:44.606 (117.010 mph). He shares the ride with co-drivers Kuno Wittmer and Marc Goossens.
Keen Drives Alex Job Racing Porsche To TOTAL Pole Award In GTD
Four different manufacturers made up the top four positions in GT Daytona (GTD) qualifying, but it was Leh Keen’s No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche 911 GT America that ended the 15-minute qualifying session with the TOTAL Pole Award.
Keen’s lap of 1 minute, 48.831 seconds (112.468 mph) was good enough to earn the first pole for the Porsche 911 GT America in TUDOR Championship GTD competition, just 0.192 seconds ahead of the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 driven by Dane Cameron. The Porsche 911 RSR has one pole and two wins so far this season in the GTLM class.
It was Keen’s 11th career pole in North American professional sports car competition.
“It’s a great car and we’re happy to be in it with Alex Job Racing,” said Keen, who will be joined by full-time teammate Cooper MacNeil and Philipp Frommenwiler. “Yesterday we came off the truck just perfect. We really haven’t done a lot to the car. It’s been great, so we’re just going to keep on keepin’ on.”
Cameron jumped to second with a lap of 1:49.023 (112.270 mph) with four minutes remaining in the session. The Sebring pole winner will be joined by Markus Palttala this weekend.
Jeroen Bleekemolen qualified third in the No. 33 ViperExchange.com he shares with co-driver Ben Keating with a lap of 1:49.119 (112.171 mph). Fourth went to the No. 45 Venezuela/eSilicon Audi R8 LMS driven by Spencer Pumpelly and co-driver Nelson Canache Jr at 1:49.253 (112.034 mph).
Rounding out the top-five was Andy Lally in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America he will share with full-time co-driver John Potter and Sebastian Asch, 1:49.371 (111.913 mph).