SEBRING, Fla. – official series release — Jake Galstad/LAT photo courtesy of IMSA —
Multimatic Motorsports nailed the setup on the No. 15 Ford Performance Ford Shelby GT350R-C for Thursday’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge qualifying, and Scott Maxwell used his first flying lap to capture the TOTAL Pole Award for Friday’s Sebring 150.
The Canadian driver recorded a lap of 2:16.834 (98.397 mph) to win his 11th career pole, and fourth in the Grand Sport (GS) class over the past two seasons. He will co-drive with Billy Johnson in round two of the 2016 season, which takes the green flag at 12:20 p.m.
“Sebring is probably the hardest track in the series to find a ‘happy place’ on the car,” Maxwell said. “Billy Johnson, myself and the team found a sweet spot for it on sticker tires, but we’ll have to see if that carries out over the two and a half hours tomorrow. The Porsche Cayman GT4s are a lot lighter than our Mustang, and we might struggle some over a long duration with the extra weight we carry.”
Hugh Plumb qualified second with a lap of 2:17.213 (98.125 mph) in the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 911. Taking the second row were Danny Burkett in the No. 33 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche GT4 Clubsport, and Paul Holton in the No. 76 Compass360 Racing Ford Shelby GT350R-C. The new Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars took the next three positions.
Watching his team struggle to bounce back from a fire during Tuesday’s test day, Tyler Cooke was looking forward to turning one good lap in ST qualifying. He got in that lap in the red-flag shortened session, which was good enough to win his second career TOTAL Pole Award.
With only three laps in practice on Wednesday after his team – working with Roush Performance – replaced the electronics and other parts, Cooke ran a lap of 2:25.863 (92.306 mph) in the No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i. It was the fourth career pole for BimmerWorld Racing, and first since Cooke won the pole at Road America in 2013. He went on to claim his lone career victory in that race.
“What a way to start the week, with the fire, and what a way to come back,” said Cooke, who co-drives with team owner James Clay. “I’ve really got to thank the whole team – and Roush Engine Products – for all their hard work. It really paid off today.”
Elliott Skeer, who was looking for his third career pole in as many qualifying attempts, will start second in the No. 8 Rebel Rock Racing / Borla Porsche Cayman. Jeff Mosing in the No. 56 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman and Justin Piscitell in the No. 34 Alara Mazda MX-5 will start from the second row.
CREDIT: IMSA Communications