Matt Bell (GS) and Chad McCumbee (ST) have scored the pole positions for the sixth round of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season at Lime Rock Park.
For Bell, it’s his 12th career pole position, and third this year (Sebring, Monterey) in the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R he’ll share with Lawson Aschenbach.
Bell set a best lap of 57.654 seconds around the 1.53-mile circuit, as the pair seeks their first win of the year.
“The first flying lap was actually good enough for pole, but good enough is usually not enough,” Bell said. If you can get more out of the car you can, and that second flying lap was a good one. It was perfect.”
Rum Bum Racing will start second, as the team seeks to defend its 2014 win. Hugh Plumb qualified the No. 13 Porsche 911 at 57.755 seconds and will hand over to Matt Plumb.
The second Stevenson Camaro, the No. 6 car driven by Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell, qualified third. Davis and Liddell lead the Plumbs by 17 points (167-150) heading into Saturday’s race.
Youngsters Austin Cindric and Nic Hammann, the latter in his series debut, completed the top five in qualifying.
Meanwhile the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Shelby GT350R-C, brand new after its accident at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, did not set a time with an electrical issue.
McCumbee, in the No. 5 CJ Wilson Racing Mazda MX-5, scored Mazda’s fifth straight ST pole, after Justin Piscitell took the pole from Sebring through Watkins Glen, and Devin Jones did at CTMP. McCumbee will share the car with Stevan McAleer.
This is McCumbee’s third career pole, after he also won two in 2013 (COTA, Indianapolis).
“We made a lot of changes. We unloaded good and got better,” McCumbee said. “We picked up time, drivability. We were P2 the last practice but made major changes, and that’s the best it’s drove yet. This year has really been pretty pronounced on that.”
Piscitell, now confirmed for the rest of the season in the No. 34 Alara Racing Mazda MX-5, made it a Mazda 1-2 on the grid in the repaired car. He’ll start and hand the car over to Christian Szymczak.
Murillo Racing’s No. 56 Porsche Cayman will roll off third, qualified by Jeff Mosing in the car he’ll share with Eric Foss.
Of note, the No. 21 Burton Racing BMW 128i qualified by Bill Auberlen will start eighth before he hands over to John Edwards, and defending Lime Rock ST race winner Liam Dwyer qualified 15th in the No. 26 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5.
Dwyer and co-driver Andrew Carbonell lead McAleer and McCumbee by 11 points (138-127) heading into Saturday’s race.
Saturday’s two-hour, sixth round of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season from Lime Rock Park will be live streamed on IMSA.com at 10 a.m. ET.