SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Motorsports In Action’s Jesse Lazare blitzed the field Saturday morning (Sept. 16) to win the pole for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Indianapolis Motor Speedway 240 with a lap at 99.225 mph. It is Lazare’s first pole of the year and the first IMSA pole for the McLaren Artura GT4.
“I do believe that [the Indianapolis Motor Speedway] truly suits this car with the flat surface, long straights and heavy braking zones,” Lazare told Frontstretch afterwards. “[The car] puts the power down so well to get onto the long straights. I put a perfect lap together and it paid off.”
All weekend long, the two fastest cars were the Rennsport One Porsche shared by Stevan McAleer and Eric Filguerias and the Motorsports In Action McLaren of Lazare and Alex Filsinger. McAleer and Lazare split the two practice sessions Friday (McAleer was fastest in the morning, while Lazare was quicker in late afternoon).
In qualifying, McAleer set down a quick lap early on, then Lazare beat it. On his next lap, he comprehensively stomped the field with his pole lap. It allowed him to pull into the pits halfway through the session and let the rest of the field take shots at it, to no avail.
Lazare won the pole by.841 seconds over McAleer. Archangel Motorsports’ Billy Johnson will start third, followed by Van der Steur Racing’s Austin McCusker, who set a quick time late to get into the top-five. Murillo Racing’s Kenny Murillo will start fifth.
In TCR, most of the top teams moseyed around the 2.439-mile course early on due to a fairly high amount of tire wear. Eventually, everyone came out to play.
The chase for pole ultimately came down to a fight between JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Chris Miller and Bryan Herta Autosport teammates Harry Gottsacker and Michael Lewis. Gottsacker put himself on pole, then Lewis usurped him, followed by Miller.
Eventually, Miller was able to set a lap at 96.407 mph. That was good enough for the pole in 16th overall.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway 240 is scheduled to go green at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon. The race will be streamed live on Peacock starting at 4:25 p.m. ET.
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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