Porsche has claimed the first class pole for its new mid-engined 911 RSR in worldwide competition, with Dirk Werner set to start tomorrow’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix from the top spot in GT Le Mans.
The German reeled off a 1:14.085 in the 15-minute session to outrun the Watkins Glen class-winning No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM of Bill Auberlen by a mere 0.018 seconds.
Werner’s teammate Laurens Vanthoor qualified the sister No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR in third, with a 1:14.251 lap.
It marked the first class pole for the CORE autosport-run Porsche GT Team since the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona, when Nick Tandy set the quickest overall time in the mixed-condition session.
The No. 24 BMW of Martin Tomczyk qualified fourth, with the pair of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs in fifth and sixth and the Corvette C7.Rs bringing up the rear of the field after struggling for pace.
Sage Karam gave Lexus its first pole in the GT Daytona class, which saw five different manufacturers in the top-five.
Karam recorded a 1:16.563 lap in the No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 to edge out the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS of Andrew Davis by 0.162 seconds.
Jeff Segal qualified third in the No. 86 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3, with the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and Christina Nielsen’s No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 completing the top-five.
The top eight cars in GTD were separated by less than one second.
It was a bitter-sweet day for Lexus and 3GT, as the team’s No. 15 car remained in the paddock undergoing repairs following Jack Hawksworth’s heavy crash in final practice.
Karam, who became the 10th consecutive different pole winner in GTD competition, will share driving duties with Scott Pruett in tomorrow’s two-hour and 40-minute race.
The Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix gets underway Sunday at 12 p.m. ET, with live coverage on FS1.