Johnny O’Connell took what was the previous test and show car for Cadillac Racing to the pole position on track Friday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, for Saturday’s Round 8 of the Pirelli World Challenge season.
The team updated the test and show car and converted it into the new No. 3 Cadillac ATS-V.R following a fire on his primary car at Barber.
O’Connell repaid the team with a new track record lap of 1:15.296 to score his first pole position of the season. O’Connell is the seventh GT class pole winner in eight races.
While this is the first time the new ATS-V.R has topped an official qualifying session, it is not the first pole for the car this year. Andy Pilgrim started Round 4 at St. Petersburg from pole by virtue of setting the fastest race lap in the first race of that weekend.
Points leader Olivier Beretta was second in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 at 1:15.493.
Butch Leitzinger posted a season-best third place in qualifying in the rebuilt No. 20 Bentley Team Dyson Racing Bentley Continental GT3, and teammate Chris Dyson was fifth in the No. 16 Bentley.
The pair of McLaren Toronto K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports McLaren 650S GT3s were fourth and sixth, with Kevin Estre fourth in the No. 9 McLaren and Robert Thorne sixth in the No. 6 McLaren.
Ryan Dalziel, who is second in points and 10 back of Beretta entering the weekend, qualified 13th in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, albeit only 0.829 of a second behind O’Connell.
Frankie Montecalvo was fastest of GTA classified drivers in seventh overall at 1:15.855 in the No. 66 DragonSpeed Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.
Colin Thompson took his No. 11 Kelly-Moss Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to its seventh pole in eight races with a best time of 1:20.076.
Saturday’s Round 8 of the season goes green at 1:15 p.m. ET.