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Blomqvist Scores First Career GTLM Pole for BMW

Tom Blomqvist, Ben Keating take GT class poles for the IMSA Road Race Showcase…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

BMW qualified first and third in the GT Le Mans class at Road America, as Tom Blomqvist scored his maiden IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole.

The 25-year-old Brit turned in a time of 2:00.344 to break the class lap record and secure a front-row grid start for the No. 25 Team RLL BMW M8 GTE.

Blomqvist, who shares driving duties with Connor De Philippi, set his best time on slick tires with four and a half minutes of the session left, despite scattered rain falling just before the green flag.

The lead BMW will cohabit the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s race with the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, which qualified second in the hands of Oliver Gavin.

Ford’s Ryan Briscoe initially shot to second place right at the end of the 15-minute session, but had his time deleted for exceeding track limits at the first corner.

This enabled Gavin to assume the position, while Briscoe dropped to fourth on the grid, behind the other BMW of Jesse Krohn and one place above Dirk Mueller’s Ford.

Gavin’s teammate Jan Magnussen was set on the back foot from the start of the session after an off-track moment on the final corner of his out-lap.

The Danish driver recovered to set a string of times, although he could only manage the seventh-best effort, in between the two Porsche 911 RSRs.

Keating Also Takes First Pole in GTD

Ben Keating chalked up his first career GT Daytona class pole in a qualifying session that was shortened by a weather-induced red flag period.

Despite no rain falling, reports of lightning to the northwest resulted in the decision to end the session early with around three minutes to go.

Keating was on top of the leaderboard when the red flags were shown, having posted a time of 2:05.250 behind the wheel of the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3.

This put him ahead of Matt Plumb in the Compass Racing McLaren 720S GT3, which ended up qualifying third after a late improvement from Corey Lewis.

Lewis, driving the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, mounted a challenge on his final flying lap but fell four-tenths short of Keating’s table-topper.

Zach Robichon set the fourth-best time in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, ahead of Trent Hindman in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

The Road America Road Race Showcase gets underway Sunday at 1:35 p.m. CT.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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