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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Holton on Pole, McLaren Sweeps Road Atlanta Front Row

Paul Holton leads McLaren 1-2 in Continental Tire Challenge qualifying at Road Atlanta…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Paul Holton scored his second-straight IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge pole at Road Atlanta, and his third in his last three series starts, to lead a McLaren sweep of the front row.

Holton’s best time in the No. 76 Compass Racing McLaren 570S GT4 of 1:28.326 was enough to stave off a late rally from Corey Fergus’ MIA-entered McLaren for the top spot.

Spencer Pumpelly will start third for RS1, followed by Tyler McQuarrie and Patrick Gallagher. Championship leader Owen Trinkler, meanwhile, will line up 14th.

Five different manufacturers were represented in the top six: McLaren, Porsche, Audi, Ford, and BMW

Tom O’Gorman stormed to the TCR class pole for Racing by 0.700 seconds over Tom Long in the No. 76 Compass Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR.

Luke Rumberg broke up the Audi stranglehold with a strong drive to the third starting position in the No. 31 Volkswagen Golf GT1 TCR, followed by Michael Johnson and Kieron O’Rourke.

In ST, Nick Galante put the championship-leading No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i in the final race for the class.

Nate Norenberg was second 0.246 seconds back in the No. 37 MINI JCW followed by Max Faulkner’s BodyMotion Racing Porsche Cayman and Mike LaMarra in the No. 73 MINI.

Rodrigo Sales hit trouble when his No. 74 Audi stopped on track midway through the combined TCR/ST session and had to be towed back to the paddock.

Sales and co-driver Kuno Wittmer, who enter the weekend trailing Long and Britt Casey Jr. by just five points in the TCR class championship, will line up eighth for Friday’s race.

Russell Ward brought out the only red flag of the short Practice 3 session which immediately preceded qualifying when his No. 33 Winward Racing Mercedes went off course in Turn 5, bringing the practice to an early end.

The car suffered front end damage after making contact with the wall and did not take part in qualifying. He was credited with the second fastest lap in Practice 3 just prior to the accident.

The Fox Factory 120 gets underway Friday at 1:25 p.m. EDT.

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 the lead announcer for SRO America's TV coverage as well as a pit reporter for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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