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Bamber Crashes, Takes GTLM Pole in Qualifying at Road Atlanta

Earl Bamber scores GTLM pole, crashes Porsche in qualifying…

Photo: Tony DiZinno

Photo: Tony DiZinno

Earl Bamber scored GT Le Mans class pole for Saturday’s Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda, despite crashing his Porsche 911 RSR in a treacherous, rain-soaked qualifying session Friday at Road Atlanta.

Bamber lost control of his No. 912 Porsche North America entry at the Esses with less than five minutes remaining in the 15-minute session, after reeling off two quick laps good enough for the class pole.

While his best time, a 1:30.074, was erased due to bringing out the session-ending red flag, Bamber’s second-best time of 1:30.304 held for the top spot, his second in TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competition.

Bamber edged out teammate Nick Tandy by 0.094 seconds for another all-Porsche front-row, with the No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin qualifying third.

Bamber will share driving duties in Saturday’s ten-hour enduro with Joerg Bergmeister and Fred Makowiecki.

Lucas Luhr (BMW Team RLL) and Giancarlo Fisichella (Risi Competizione) completed the top-five in the challenging session.

Bamber wasn’t the only Porsche to hit trouble, with Bryan Sellers crashing his No. 17 Team Falken Tire car in the opening minutes.

Sellers managed to limp back to the pits but the car did not set a time.

Cameron Lawrence scored a shocking GTD class pole, bumping Spencer Pumpelly on Lawrence’s final flying lap.

The Riley Motorsports driver reeled off a 1:38.295 lap in his No. 93 Dodge Viper GT3-R with just seconds left on the clock in the 15-minute session.

It marked the 23-year-old’s first TUDOR Championship pole in a car he’ll share with Marc Goossens and Al Carter on Saturday.

Pumpelly, who topped the time charts for the majority of the session, was second in his No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America, thanks to a 1:38.886 lap.

The No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche of Leh Keen was third, with Guy Cosmo, returning to Flying Lizard Motorsports this weekend, in fourth.

Ben Keating made it two Vipers in the top-five, ahead of Jeff Segal in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 in sixth.

Championship leader Christina Nielsen will roll off from seventh on the grid.

The 18th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda gets underway Saturday at 11:10 a.m. ET.

RESULTS: Qualifying

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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