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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Wittmer, AWA McLaren Score Daytona Pole

Kuno Wittmer blitzes field to take the first pole of 2021 by over a half second…

Photo: IMSA

Kuno Wittmer will start on pole for the BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway to open the Michelin Pilot Challenge season. It is Wittmer’s second-consecutive GS class pole at Daytona.

The Canadian clocked in a lap of 1:62.773 in the No. 13 AWA McLaren 570S GT4, a full 0.629 seconds faster than second place Andrew Davis in the No. 8 McCann Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4.

An Audi and a McLaren will also make up Row 2, led by Alex Papadopulos in third and series newcomer Spencer Pigot in fourth for Fast MD Racing and Motorsports In Action, respectively.

Thomas Collingwood completed the top five in the No. 38 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport for BGB Motorsports.

The No. 7 VOLT Racing with Archangel Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Trent Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson did not take part after losing an engine in practice.

Without a spare engine on site the team has opted to switch chassis and will be running Notlad Racing by RS1’s spare car in Saturday’s race.

Noaker Narrowly Takes TCR Pole

Robert Noaker pipped Tim Lewis on his final flying lap to take the TCR class pole position by 0.025 seconds.

Noaker, driving the No. 84 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR, set a class-best time of 1:58.530 seconds. Lewis will start on the outside of the front row in the No. 5 KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR.

Row two will consist of Rory van der Steur’s Hyundai Veloster N TCR and William Tally in the first Audi RS3 LMS TCR in the field.

The best of the new Hyundai Elantra N TCRs qualified 10th in the hands of Harry Gottsacker.

Three cars, the No. 61 Road Shagger Racing and the No. 85 AOA Racing Audis, and the No. 98 Hyundai Elantra, did not take part in the qualifying session.

Of note, IMSA made Balance of Performance adjustments to both the Hyundai Elantra N TCR and the sequential gearbox version of the Audi RS 3 LMS TCR prior to qualifying, with the new-for-2021 Hyundai getting an increased engine map setting and the Audi decreased by one level.

The in-event changes are understood to have been due to the lack of data for both configurations, which only turned their first laps at Daytona during last weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24.

The BMW Endurance Challenge gets underway at 1:35 p.m. ET with live coverage on Trackpass on NBC Sports Gold and on IMSA Radio.

RESULTS: Qualifying

John Dagys contributed to this report

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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