Bryan Sellers definitely seems to know the quick way around street circuits, and he proved it again in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class qualifying for Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic.
Piloting the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3, Sellers captured the Motul Pole Award on Friday afternoon after posting the fastest lap of one minute, 28.942 seconds (95.117 mph) at the 2.3-mile Belle Isle Park street circuit in Detroit.
Sellers will lead the GTD field to green on Saturday afternoon before handing the reins over to co-driver Madison Snow in the 100-minute Chevrolet Sports Car Classic, which will be televised live on FS2 at 12:30 p.m. ET. A re-air of the race is set for Sunday, June 3 on FS1 at 8:30 a.m.
The pole is Sellers’ third in the WeatherTech Championship, with the previous two also coming at street circuits – in 2016 at Belle Isle and at the 2017 BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach. The pole continues the momentum for Paul Miller Racing, as the team won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts in March and has finished on the podium in each of the three GTD races so far in 2018.
“When we finished the second session, we thought there was no way we would even be close to this but getting in clear air is a huge advantage here,” Sellers said. “It gives you an opportunity to gain and gain and gain and luckily at three, four, five laps all on my own where I could just work on it, the last lap was just the right way. I got it all put together – how I wanted, when I wanted – and the crew did a great job on the car. We struggled in the second session with balance, but the temperatures came down and I think it all came into our hand a little bit.”
Cooper MacNeil in the No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 and Dominik Baumann in the No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 also took turns atop the leaderboard in the slightly shortened qualifying session. Typically 15 minutes in duration, qualifying on Friday afternoon was reduced to 12 minutes due to track cleanup following an incident in the session prior for another series.
Meyer Shank Racing’s two Acura NSX GT3s will start behind the No. 48 Lamborghini – the No. 86 of Katherine Legge and Mario Farnbacher, followed by the No. 93 of Lawson Aschenbach and Justin Marks. Legge is a defending winner of the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic, while Farnbacher won the GTD race at Belle Isle in 2015.
Additionally, both Lexus RC F GT3s from 3GT Racing qualified fourth and fifth, the No. 14 of Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli – winners of the most recent GTD race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in early May – and the No. 15 of Jack Hawksworth and David Heinemeier Hansson, respectively.
The No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 of John Potter and Andy Lally was the only GTD car to not participate in qualifying. Damage from an incident earlier Friday afternoon in Practice 2 forced the team to forgo qualifying to repair the car. Lally and Potter will start Saturday’s race from the back of the 12-car field. Lally co-drove to the GTD victory last year with Legge.