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Hand Powers Ganassi Riley-Ford to Road America Pole

Joey Hand takes Ganassi Riley-Ford DP to Road America pole…

Photo: Ford Performance

Photo: Ford Performance

Joey Hand will start Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase from the overall pole, following an impressive qualifying effort by the Chip Ganassi Racing driver Saturday at Road America.

The No. 01 Riley-Ford DP was more than a half-second clear of the Prototype competition, thanks to Hand’s 1:56.452 lap time in the car he’ll share with Scott Pruett on Sunday.

It marked Hand’s first pole of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season and the first for the team since Long Beach last year.

Christian Fittipaldi pedaled his No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP to a best time of 1:57.020 to line up alongside Hand on the front row, ahead of championship leader Michael Valiante in the Racing Corvette in third.

The top-five was completed by Ricky Taylor and John Pew, with the Michael Shank Racing driver recording a respectable 1:57.502 lap time in the Ligier JS P2 Honda.

James French scored his third class pole of the season, following a duel with Chris Cumming for top qualifying honors in Prototype Challenge.

French took his Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09 to a best lap of 1:59.658 with just seconds left on the clock.

It bumped Cumming from the top spot by just 0.052 seconds and gave the Brent O’Neill-led team its third pole in the last four qualifying sessions.

Sheboygan, Wis. native French will share driving duties on Sunday with Conor Daly, who had topped the overall time charts in Friday’s opening practice.

The Lime Rock class pole-sitting JDC/Miller Motorsports entry of Chris Miller qualified third, ahead of championship contender Mike Guasch in fourth.

Jon Bennett completed the top-five in his CORE autosport machine.

The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase gets underway Sunday at 2:05 p.m. CT.

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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