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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Martin Leads Mustang Front Row Lockout at Daytona

Dean Martin led a Ford Mustang 1-2 in CTSC Daytona Qualifying…

Photo: Jake Galstad

Photo: Jake Galstad

The new Ford Mustang will start 1-2 for the BMW Endurance Challenge, with Dean Martin in the KohR Motorsports No. 59 machine edging the Multimatic Motorsports-run car driven by Scott Maxwell by just 0.034 seconds for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season-opener.

Martin’s time of 1:55.754 unofficially broke the existing class track record which had been held by Jade Buford since 2014. Coincidentally, Buford is Maxwell’s teammate this weekend in the No. 15 Mustang.

KohR Motorsports’ pole comes as something of a coup for the first customer program for Ford’s new challenger, which edged its factory-supported counterpart to start first. The team only took delivery of the car at its North Carolina base at 8:30 p.m. last Tuesday.

The car turned just two laps in Practice 2 and missed all of Practice 3 while dealing with a vibration before returning for Practice 4 just before qualifying after an extensive search for the root of the problem.

Matt Plumb will start third in the No. 76 McLaren 570S GT4 for C360R and Dylan Murcott’s No. 28 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR will start fourth.

In ST, Connor Bloum earned the class pole position for RS1 in the No. 18 Porsche Cayman that he will share with Aurora Straus and Nick Longhi in tomorrow’s race.

It was Bloum’s first-career Continental Tire Challenge pole position in his first-ever qualifying attempt; Bloum’s co-driver has qualified the car in all of his previous series starts according to IMSA Radio.

The San Diego native set the fast time of 2:04.900 on his third timed lap. That time was never truly threatened, with Pierre Kleinubing in the No. 75 C360 Audi S3 checking in 0.498 seconds adrift in second.

Derek Jones in the No. 73 MINI JCW will start third with Jeff Mosing’s No. 65 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman alongside in fourth.

The BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona is set for 12:15 p.m.. ET on Friday with live coverage available at IMSA.com with a telecast scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11 at 11:30 a.m. ET on FS1.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is a pit reporter for SRO America's TV coverage as well as for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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