Nicolai Elghanayan scored his first Pirelli GT4 America Sprint pole of the season with a series of quick laps near the end of Friday’s qualifying session at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The Marco Polo Motorsports driver, piloting the No. 71 KTM X-Bow GT4, appeared at the sharp end of the order with the third-best time six minutes from the end of the 15-minute session.
Elghanayan then produced an even quicker effort on his next lap to go second-fastest behind Spencer Pumpelly, before snatching pole three minutes from the end with a time of 1:23.465.
This prevented Pumpelly, who ended the session 0.128 seconds short of the pole, from taking his fourth primary grid start of 2019.
The qualifying result handed Elghanayan his first outright GT4 pole and the 24-year-old’s second in any class of SRO America competition.
Nate Stacy qualified third on a time of 1:23.805 in the No. 55 KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4, and will share the second row of the grid for race 1 with the No. 72 Robinson Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R of Shane Lewis.
McLaren factory driver Michael Cooper rounded out the top five ahead of Team Panoz Racing’s Ian James, as six different manufacturers claimed the top six starting positions.
UPDATE: Stacy’s car was later found to have fallen outside the ride height limits stated in the technical regulations and was demoted to the back of the 15-car grid.
Jarett Andretti scored his first Am class pole since the St. Pete season-opener with a time of 1:24.245 that set the Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4 driver in sixth overall.
Second in Am by 0.091 seconds was Michael Fassnacht, who is coming off the back of two straight wins at VIR, while Drew Staveley will line up third.
Saturday’s 50-minute race – the first of two this weekend – is scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m. local time (2 p.m. UK).