SRT Viper has captured the pole on the brand’s return as a factory effort to the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Marc Goossens took the GTLM class pole in SRT Motorsports’ No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R, with a best lap of 1:44.506. Goossens will co-drive with Dominik Farnbacher and Ryan Hunter-Reay in the opening round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
After a good test at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 earlier this month, Goossens estimated the Viper had the pace for pole from the off.
“It was a good run,” Goossens told Sportscar365. “We were strong here when we tested. It’s always a matter of where the competition is at.
“Sometimes we know we can get a little bit faster in the infield; maybe give up a little on the straightaways. It’s always trying to find a right balance, and we seem to have enough over the competition.
“It’s good to see the Vipers 1 and 3 for the start of the 24 hours.”
The Belgian led a top five that was separated by only 0.240 of a second. Nick Tandy clocked in second in the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR, at 1:44.582. Tandy will co-drive with fellow Porsche factory drivers Richard Lietz and Patrick Pilet.
Jonathan Bomarito made it two SRT Vipers in the top three in the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R at 1:44.617; he co-drives with Kuno Wittmer and Rob Bell this week.
The debuting Corvette Racing C7.R made it up to fourth in the hands of Oliver Gavin in the No. 4 entry (1:44.729), which he’ll share with Tommy Milner and Robin Liddell.
Patrick Long took fifth in the second Porsche, the No. 912 911 RSR, with a best lap of 1:44.746. The American shares the car with longtime co-driver Jorg Bergmeister and Porsche’s newest factory driver, Michael Christensen.
Corvette’s second car, the No. 3, had an electrical issue that prevented it from setting a time. The team changed the wiring harness, but the throttle wouldn’t respond.
Meanwhile Risi Competizione’s No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia only completed one timed lap due to electrical issues.
In GTD, Paul Miller Racing initially scored the inaugural class pole, with Christopher Haase the only driver to clock a lap in the 1:46 range. The German’s time was originally disallowed due to having a rear wing endplate violation; however, on Friday, the penalty was rescinded and the No. 48 Audi R8 reinstated.
It would have promoted Toni Vilander to the pole in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 GT3, the 2013 Rolex Series GT championship-winning car. Vilander’s best lap was 1:47.028; the Finn will co-drive with Alessandro Balzan, Jeff Westphal and Lorenzo Case.
The No. 46 Fall-Line Audi R8 of Oliver Jarvis, who had clocked in the third quickest time in class, was also disallowed due to a ride height infraction and will start from the rear of field on Saturday.
As a result, the No. 65 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari, qualified by Daniel Serra, will start third behind the original front row.