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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Burkett Takes CJ Wilson Porsche to CTSC Pole at Monterey

Danny Burkett takes CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 to pole…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

Danny Burkett claimed his first career Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge pole for Saturday’s Continental Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Burkett logged a series of clean laps before lowering the gauntlet on his fourth run with a lap of 1:35.023 in the No. 33 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

His time was 1.421 seconds clear of the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Shelby GT350R-C of Scott Maxwell.

It marked the first GS class pole for CJ Wilson Racing. Burkett will share driving duties with Marc Miller in tomorrow’s two-hour and 30-minute race.

“At Daytona, I thought we were going to get the pole,” Burkett told Sportscar365.

“At Sebring I thought we were going to get the pole and finally here by doing it and just smashing it was fantastic.

“I’m really excited put this is only step one, step two is tomorrow.”

Maxwell pulled his car down pit lane shortly after Burkett laid down his flyer lap and had to settle for second place.

Burkett’s teammate Till Bechtolshiemer in the No. 35 entry rounded out the top-three with a late improvement on his seventh lap of the 15-minute session.

In ST, James Clay claimed his first career class pole in the No. 84 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328I and the second straight pole for the team.

Clay made consistent improvements before finally laying down 1:40.069 flying lap to distance himself from second place Chad Gilsenger by 0.171 seconds.

“Each one was just a little bit better as the track surface came up,” Clay told Sportscar365. “We worked overnight on some changes to give us a little bit more front grip.

“It’s a sandy racetrack, it’s difficult to reach around the apex on some of these places and we hit it.”

Clay will share driving duties tomorrow with Tyler Cooke, who claimed pole at Sebring.

Gilsenger logged the second quickest lap of the session at 1:40.240 and bumped Chad McCumbee back to third place with just 3 minutes remaining in the session.

McCumbee was the only Mazda MX-5 in the top-five and was followed by of the Porsche Caymans of Remo Rucitti (RS1 Porsche Cayman) and Jeff Mosing (Murillo Porsche Cayman).

A spin and crash by points leader Sarah Cattaneo in the No. 44 CRG Honda Civic Si brought the session to an end 2 minutes early. Cattaneo limped the car back to the pits under its own power.

Saturday’s two-hour and 30-minute Continental Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda goes green at 1:25 p.m. PT.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Josh Farmer (@jfarmer7710) is a motorsport journalist who has covered sports car racing and other forms of motorsport since 2012. He also contributes to Tribute Racing and other motorsports outlets.

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