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GT World Challenge America

Cooper Takes Cadillac to Pole at Barber

Michael Cooper scores first career PWC pole at Barber…

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPix.com

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPix.com

Michael Cooper has claimed his first career Pirelli World Challenge GT class pole, after taking his No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3 to the top of the time sheets in qualifying for Saturday’s Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park.

The reigning PWC GTS champion, in his first year of GT class competition, jumped to the top of the time sheets early in the qualifying session and set his fastest lap of 1:22.748.

“I am super excited to get my first pole for Cadillac and to start up front for this afternoon’s race,” Cooper said. “Hopefully I will have a clean shot at the first few laps.”

Alvaro Parente held the fastest lap of Friday’s two practice sessions in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 but had to settle for second in qualifying, just 0.012 seconds behind the Cadillac driver.

Michael Lewis took the No. 41 Porsche 911 GT3 R to third for EFFORT Racing, which means three different manufactures occupy the top three spots on the grid.

Johnny O’Connell nearly put his Cadillac in the third starting spot, coming up just 0.001 seconds shy of Lewis’ qualifying effort.

Brian Heitkotter’s Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 will roll off fifth, while Patrick Long, Andrew Palmer, and James Davison rounded out the top-eight in a Porsche, Bentley, and Nissan respectively.

In all, the top-13 drivers were covered by less than a second.

Martin Fuentes nabbed the GTA pole with a time of 1:23.779 in the No. 07 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.

His time was 0.295 seconds clear of second-place Frankie Montecalvo’s Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3, with Friday pacesetter Michael Schein taking third for Wright Motorsports.

Alec Udell was the quickest of the GT Cup entrants, posting a time of 1:26.743 in the No. 17 GMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine.

Corey Fergus qualified second while GT Cup points leader Sloan Urry had to settle for third.

Race 1 of the Grand Prix of Alabama weekend is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. CT. The live stream will be available here.

RESULTS:
Qualifying

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is a pit reporter for SRO America's TV coverage as well as for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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