SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Penske Porsche Motorsport’s Matt Campbell (left, pictured with teammate Felipe Nasr) continued a sweep of the weekend in qualifying Saturday (Sept. 16), winning the pole for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks with a lap at 119.182 mph.
Campbell won the pole by .152 seconds over teammate Mathieu Jaminet. Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Tom Blomqvist will start third in his Acura, then Chip Ganassi Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais. Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport’s Ricky Taylor qualified fifth.
After a series of warmup laps, it was WeatherTech Racing’s Gianmaria Bruni that set the first truly representative time in his Porsche 963. Bruni was able to improve that time into the low 74-second bracket, a little slower than Campbell was in Practice No. 2 Saturday morning.
Then Campbell came out to play, setting the first 73-second lap of the weekend to put himself on pole. He then improved to set the ultimate pole time that no one could touch.
Despite that, Campbell continued to try to improve on his time. He had two separate laps after setting the pole lap with the fastest second sector of the entire session, but was unable to improve.
The LMP2/LMP3 session was affected by the only red flag of qualifying. With a little under eight minutes to go, Riley Motorsports’ Gar Robinson spun off exiting the quick chicane to get onto Hulman Boulevard and went hard into the tires. This crash brought out the red flag and ended Robinson’s day. As per IMSA rules, Robinson lost his two best times and will start at the rear of the LMP3 class.
The cleanup actually took beyond the remaining time to clear Robinson’s car. However, IMSA added extra time to the session to allow teams to meet the 10-minute minimum.
After the red flag, everyone came back out for one last shot. Keating capitalized on it to set a lap at 112.641 mph to win the LMP2 pole.
Prior to his crash, Robinson was quickest in LMP3 early on, but was usurped by VP Racing SportsCar Challenge LMP3 leader Bijoy Garg with a lap at 109.056 mph. Robinson tried, but was unable to improve his time before the wreck.
When the session resumed, Garg chose not to go back out. The rest of the class (sans Robinson) took one more shot at it, but could not prevent Garg from winning his first career WeatherTech pole.
Garg’s lap was .469 seconds faster than Jr III Racing teammate Nolan Siegel. Andrew Wojteczko Autosport’s Orey Fidani, despite a trip to the gravel in practice Saturday morning, will start third in class. Performance Tech Motorsports’ Alexander Koreiba was fourth, then MLT Motorsports’ Jason Rabe.
In the GTD session, 22 cars went out to set times in the session. The GTD class appeared to be fastest early on as The Heart of Racing’s Roman DeAngelis put himself on top of the chart in the first five minutes with a lap roughly equal to the best practice times on Friday.
On his second lap at speed, Paul Miller Racing’s Madison Snow turned in a lap at 105.692 mph. The lap ended up being the fastest of all GT runners and gave Snow the class pole.
Snow’s lap was .349 seconds faster than Korthoff/Preston Motorsports’ Mikael Grenier. Turner Motorsport’s Patrick Gallagher was third, then US RaceTronics’ Misha Goikhberg. Winward Racing’s Russell Ward will start fifth.
In GTD Pro, VasserSullivan’s Jack Hawksworth, who was the fastest GT driver in practice Friday, put himself on top of the class. The other four teams had plenty of time to take their shots at it.
Pfaff Motorsports’ Klaus Bachler, who was quickest in GTD Pro during Practice No. 2 Saturday morning, set a lap at 105.610 mph. This lap held up to win the class pole, but could not beat Snow, who was .065 seconds quicker.
The TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks is scheduled to go green at 1:10 p.m. ET Sunday. The race is scheduled to air live on NBC starting at 1 p.m. ET. Check your local listings to make sure your local affiliate is showing the race.
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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