Olivier Beretta has captured his first pole position of the Pirelli World Challenge season ahead of Sunday’s Round 5 at Long Beach.
Beretta, who is the only driver with two wins this season, set a new track record around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street course of 1:19.313 in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
The pair of K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports McLaren 650S GT3s were next with Robert Thorne ahead of COTA Round 2 winner Kevin Estre, with defending Long Beach winner Johnny O’Connell fourth in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R and Ryan Dalziel fifth in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
All of the top five were in the 1:19 bracket, and all of the top nine were under the previous track record of 1:20.386, set by O’Connell last year.
Michael Lewis (No. 41 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R) and Colin Thompson (No. 11 Kelly-Moss Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) scored the GTA and GT Cup presented by MOMO poles, respectively. Lewis and Thompson each have three wins in the first four races to start the season.
Of note, Tim Pappas qualified 26th in his first race in a new Dodge Viper GT3-R, which replaces his previous Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 for Black Swan Racing.
Round 5 goes green on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. PT and local time.