John Edwards snatched the top spot from Antonio Garcia for BMW in the waning minutes of GT Le Mans qualifying at Road Atlanta to start from the class pole in Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans.
It marks the first class pole for the Bobby Rahal-led organization in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale and the 26th in program history.
Edwards’ 1:17.006 lap in the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE, a Road Atlanta class qualifying record, was fractionally better than Garcia in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, who lost out on the pole by just 0.024 seconds.
Earl Bamber was third for Porsche in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, followed by Richard Westbrook and Patrick Pilet for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and Porsche, respectively.
Garcia and Jan Magnussen head into tomorrow’s ten-hour enduro with a nine-point lead over Ford CGR’s Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe, who will be joined by Scott Dixon in the No. 67 Ford GT tomorrow.
Serra Claims GT Daytona Pole
Daniel Serra narrowly edged Jack Hawksworth and Sheldon van der Linde to earn the GT Daytona class pole in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3.
Serra’s best lap of 1:19.695 was just 0.037 seconds faster than Hawksworth in the No. 15 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3, while van der Linde was a further 0.012 seconds back in third for Montaplast by Land Motorsport.
Bryan Sellers ensured Paul Miller Racing’s bid to clinch the class championship will start with a slight advantage by outqualifying Alvaro Parente’s No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3.
Sellers and his co-drivers Madison Snow and Corey Lewis will start fifth in the championship-leading No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3, while Parente will start the car of their closest title pursuer Katherine Legge alongside in sixth.
Of note, Ben Keating pulled the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 off track halfway through the session with an apparent problem. Keating will start ninth.
Wright Motorsports, meanwhile, elected not to qualify the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R after making an engine change.
The car is expected to be ready for the race, and the Patrick Long, Christina Nielsen, and Robert Renauer-driven machine will start at the back of the 14 car GTD field.
The 21st Motul Petit Le Mans gets underway Saturday at 11:05 a.m. EDT with live coverage on FS1.