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Dalziel Takes Shock Pole at Road America

Ryan Dalziel takes ESM HPD ARX-03b to surprise pole at Road America…

Photo: Darren Pierson

Photo: Darren Pierson

Ryan Dalziel saved the best for last in qualifying at Road America, as the Scot soared to a surprise pole for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.

With the checkered flag waving, the Extreme Speed Motorsports driver took his No. 1 HPD ARX-03b P2 car to a best time of 1:55.166, bumping Richard Westbrook from the top spot.

Dalziel became the first repeat Prototype pole-sitter of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season after taking top qualifying honors just to weeks ago at Indianapolis.

After a DP sweep in all three practice sessions this weekend, Dalziel’s pole run came as a shock, especially given the characteristics of the 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit that have suited the more powerful DPs.

Dalziel will share driving duties in Sunday’s two-hour and 45-minute race with team owner Scott Sharp.

Westbrook and co-driver Michael Valiante were to line up second, thanks to the Englishman’s 1:55.487 lap time, but the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP failed the post-qualifying stall test and will now start from the rear of the 50-car field.

It has promoted the No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldi to second, ahead of Olivier Pla, who made it two P2 cars in the top-three, thanks to the Frenchman’s 1:56.019 in the OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan.

Ricky Taylor was fourth, while Johannes van Overbeek completed the top-five overall and in the Prototype class.

Memo Rojas (Ganassi Riley-Ford), Ozz Negri (MSR Riley-Ford), Burt Frisselle (Marsh Corvette) and Andy Meyrick (DeltaWing) were sixth through ninth.

IndyCar star James Hinchcliffe, completed the top-10 overall and in class after making significant gains with the returning Honda-powered Starworks Motorsport Riley DP, which was less than three seconds off Dalziel’s pole time.

RSR Racing picked up where it left off at Indy, with the team’s two Oreca FLM09 sweeping qualifying honors in Prototype Challenge.

Bruno Junqueira claimed his third class pole of the season, edging out teammate Jack Hawksworth in the heated session that saw the two exchange the top spot no fewer than four times.

It was Junqueira’s 1:59.411 lap time, however, that stood as the quickest, outpacing the IndyCar rising star by just 0.082 seconds.

While it was Hawksworth and Chris Cumming that claimed victory at the Brickyard, Junqueira and co-driver Duncan Ende seek their first class win of the season on Sunday.

The No. 25 8Star Motorsports entry of Luis Diaz will roll off third, followed by Renger van der Zande’s in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport machine in fourth.

David Ostella completed the top five, surprisingly ahead of championship leader Colin Braun, who was only able to muster a 2:00.273 after joining the session late after a trip to the garage for an unspecified change.

The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase takes the green flag Sunday at 1:15 p.m. CT/2:15 p.m. ET, with same-day coverage on FOX Sports 1 at 6:30 p.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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