Race Weekend Central

Gianmaria Bruni Wins Northeast Grand Prix Pole for Porsche

On Friday afternoon, Porsche GT Team’s Gianmaria Bruni claimed the overall pole for Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.  Bruni’s lap of 50.404 seconds (105.277 mph) is the fastest lap of the weekend for any IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver.

Afterwards, Bruni noted the general lack of experience that both he and teammate Laurens Vanthoor have at Lime Rock.

“Obviously since this morning we have to go through some program since seven years [have passed since I’ve] been here,” Bruni said in the Media Center.  “With a new car and new team, and my teammate (Vanthoor) was new here so we [went] slowly into the program learning the track and not making big changes in the car, just get the best out of it knowledge from the circuit.”

Lime Rock marks only the third race weekend for Bruni in the No. 912 Porsche.  He’s still learning the car as he goes.

“For me, I [just started] in June driving the car in North America, so from now on I expect an easy approach every time I step in the car,” Bruni continued.  “Because every time I step in the car the first ten laps I am still in the mind of the other car (Ferrari), even the switches and how the teams works is completely different. Its nice the changing and the new challenge, a new experience is always nice and very challenging. Obviously you have to work hard, and this is why I choose the new challenge.”

The session was a back-and-forth affair between both Porsches, the No. 67 Ford and the No. 3 Corvette.  Bruni ended up on top by about one-seventh of a second over Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Richard Westbrook.  Dirk Werner will start third in the No. 911 Porsche, followed by BMW Team RLL’s John Edwards.  Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner will start fifth.  The entire GTLM class was separated by just over a half a second over the 1.474-mile course.

In GT Daytona, things were very close as well.  The top 15 cars in class were within one second of pole.

However, by the end of the session, it was Paul Miller Racing’s Madison Snow who was fastest.  Snow’s lap of 52.508 seconds (101.058 mph) gives Paul Miller Racing their second pole of 2017.

Snow was quite satisfied with his run.

“We topped Practice No. 2, but we didn’t know how well everybody else was out there, or how hard they were pushing,” Snow said in his press conference.  “Even though we were good in Practice No. 2, we had no way of knowing how we would be for qualifying.

“I did everything that I could out there,” Snow said in his post-qualifying press conference.  “[We got a good lap] early in the session, trying to get a clear lap.  I was nervous that someone else was going to pull [off a pole lap] in the middle or late in the session.  That happens quite a bit, but I ended up being able to get another quick lap at the end of the session that kept me up on pole.”

Snow’s lap ended up two-tenths of a second faster than CORE autosport’s Colin Braun.  Alegra Motorsports’ Patrick Long will start third in GTD, followed by 3GT Racing’s Jack Hawksworth.  Turner Motorsport’s Jens Klingmann will start fifth in class.

Results of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Northeast Grand Prix Qualifying

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Northeast Grand Prix is scheduled to go green at 3:10 p.m. on Saturday.  The race will air live on FOX Sports 2.  Those of you with authentication via your internet service provider and/or programming provider can also watch on FOX Sports GO.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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