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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Wittmer Scores Dominant Daytona Pole

Kuno Wittmer turned in a blisteringly fast lap to claim the Michelin Pilot Challenge pole at Daytona…

Photo: IMSA

Kuno Wittmer scored the GS class pole for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season opener at Daytona International Speedway, taking the top spot by over half a second over his nearest challenger.

Wittmer turned in a best lap of 1:52.951 in his No. 13 AWA McLaren 570S GT4 that he shares with Orey Fidani on his second lap and was never truly challenged.

Tyler McQuarrie will start on the outside of the front row in the No. 39 Audi R8 LMS GT4 for CarBahn with Peregrine Racing.

He was followed by the Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Russell Ward and the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Nate Stacy out of the KohR Motorsports stable in their debut with the car.

McQuarrie and Ward managed to turn a lap within a second of Wittmer’s pace setting time, but the gap from fourth to 12th on the grid was under half a second.

Eight different marques made an appearance in the Top 10 in GS class qualifying.

Alfa Takes TCR Pole

Tim Lewis Jr. stormed to the TCR class pole position for KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering in the lone Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR in the field.

Lewis’ best lap of 1:59.296 seconds was 0.372 seconds clear of second place Harry Gottsacker in the first of the Byran Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR entries.

Former TC America standout Stephen Vajda impressed by checking in with the third fastest time for Team Premat in an Audi RS 3 LMS TCR, followed by the Honda Civic Type R TCR cars of Mike LaMarra and Brian Henderson for LA Honda World and Atlanta Speedwerks, respectively.

All four TCR manufacturers were represented in the Top 5, and the fastest eight qualifiers in class were separated by under one second.

Pilot challenge teams will have one brief 20-minute practice session Friday morning before the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona gets underway at 1:10 p.m. EST.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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