Christian Fittipaldi has secured Action Express Racing’s first pole position of the season ahead of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Chevrolet Sports Car Classic, following a scrap with Ricky Taylor.
Fittipaldi, in the No. 5 Corvette DP, posted a 1:24.746 and edged Taylor, in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP, by just 0.05 of a second. Taylor was second at 1:24.796.
Fittipaldi will share his car with Joao Barbosa for Saturday’s 100-minute race, and Taylor with brother Jordan Taylor.
For Fittipaldi, it is his second pole in the TUDOR Championship (2014 Petit Le Mans), and it is the third for the Action Express team.
The Taylors sought their third pole in a row, after Ricky (Long Beach) and Jordan (Monterey) had won the last two pole positions. The Taylors won this race last year following a thrilling scrap with Action Express, and Jordan seeks his fourth consecutive victory in this race.
The No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP made it a Corvette 1-2-3 in qualifying with GM headquarters in the backdrop, with Michael Valiante driving in this session.
Neither the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford nor the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda posed a realistic threat for pole, with both cars more than a second in arrears of the polesitting Action Express car.
James French denied Chris Cumming his second straight Prototype Challenge pole, courtesy of a final lap flier in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09.
French set a 1:29.317, which edged Cumming in the No. 11 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 by just 0.004 of a second. Cumming’s best time was 1:29.321.
The pole is not only French’s first, but the first for the Brent O’Neill-led Performance Tech Motorsports team in PC. The team has been a longtime stalwart of the class dating to the American Le Mans Series days.
Starworks Motorsport qualified third, courtesy of a good effort from Mirco Schultis even despite slight wall contact.
The seven Prototype and six Prototype Challenge cars will lead the way in the combined 23-car field in Saturday’s 100-minute race, which is live at noon ET on FOX Sports 2 and IMSA Radio.