Richard Westbrook came out on top in GT Le Mans in a hectic rain-affected qualifying session for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday afternoon.
The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing driver set a late lap of 1:55.580 on rain tires in drying conditions on the track which was partially dry and partially wet in different areas.
This led to a complicated session for the GTLM runners, many of which ended up driving off track or spinning in the wet areas.
Points leader Westbrook will start tomorrow’s race from pole in the No. 67 Ford GT he shares with Ryan Briscoe despite conditions meaning the GTLM field set slower times than GT Daytona cars.
Patrick Pilet was the second fastest GTLM driver for Porsche while BMW Team RLL’s John Edwards and Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia made it four manufacturers in the top four.
It marked Ford’s second pole position of the day after the UK-based team had a similar success in qualifying for the Six Hours of Silverstone, where Stefan Muecke and Olivier Pla took the GTE-Pro top spot.
Hawksworth Takes Fourth GTD Pole of Season
Jack Hawksworth took his fourth GT Daytona class pole of the season for 3GT Racing with the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 that he shares with David Heinemeier Hansson.
He set a best time of 1:44.107 to go two-tenths quicker than Jeroen Bleekemolen’s Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 entry.
The GTD session was held in mainly dry conditions, and although the rain did arrive late on, it was after all cars had set representative lap times.
Bill Auberlen and Kyle Marcelli qualified third and fourth to put the Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 and No. 14 3GT Lexus onto the second row, meanwhile.
The Michelin GT Challenge will get underway at 1:05 p.m. EDT on Sunday.