Braun Earns Third Prototype Challenge TOTAL Pole Award Of 2014 Season
National Tequila Day took on more meaning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Thursday when Tequila Patrón drivers Ryan Dalziel and Johannes van Overbeek swept the front row in qualifying for Friday’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Brickyard Grand Prix (5:30 p.m. ET, Live, FOX Sports 1).
Defending Brickyard Grand Prix winner Dalziel piloted the No. 1 HPD ARX-03b/Honda to a best lap of 1 minute, 17.603 seconds (113.145 mph) to take his first TOTAL Pole Award of the year. Extreme Speed Motorsports teammate Van Overbeek, who gave the team its first TUDOR Championship pole and teamed with Ed Brown for their first win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, qualified second at 1:17.879 (112.744 mph).
“We’ve been close to the pole a few times,” Dalziel said. “We’ve had a couple of poles until the last man crossed the line and took it from us. This is great.
“Track conditions changed a lot, so we’ll have to be smart and predict what tomorrow night is going to be like. We’re going to be racing in conditions we didn’t test in. This is a great start. National Patrón Tequila Day — we got the pole, we’ve got the front row, so it was a perfect day.”
Gustavo Yacaman, who picked up his first career TUDOR Championship victory two weeks ago at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, qualified third in the No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan/Nissan with a lap of 1:17.908 (112.702 mph). Yacaman is joined this weekend by co-driver Ho-Pin Tung.
Christian Fittipaldi qualified fourth in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP with a lap of 1:18.102 (112.422 mph), followed by Richard Westbrook in the No. 90 VISITFLORIDA.com Racing Corvette DP at 1:18.188 (112.299 mph).
BRAUN TAKES PROTOTYPE CHALLENGE POLE
Prototype Challenge points leader Colin Braun picked up his third TOTAL Pole Award of the season in the No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09 he shares with co-driver and team owner Jon Bennett. Braun posted a best lap of 1:19.849 (109.963 mph). The duo are going for their fifth class victory in six PC races this season.
“It’d be huge to win tomorrow,” Braun said. “We want to do as good as we can at any event, whether it’s Kansas or Indy, but winning here would be really cool. It’s a cool place and we’re going to keep our heads down and keep working.
“I was surprised how close we were to the Prototypes during the last practice. It looked like the front half of the class was pretty quick and the back half wasn’t so quick. So I’m sure all those guys will get quicker. It was tough with all of the traffic to get a clean lap. We were able to do a clean one in practice and put a big time up on the board. It’s going to be a good race.”
Bruno Junqueira, who qualified on the pole for the 2002 Indianapolis 500, qualified second in PC with a lap of 1:20.076 (109.651 mph) in the No. 09 Linospresso USA ORECA FLM09 for RSR Racing. Luis Diaz qualified third in PC at 1:20.111 (109.603 mph) in the No. 25 Takis/Speedsters ORECA FLM09 from 8Star Motorsports.