RIDING TO THE POLE

Antonio Garcia

JOHANNES van OVERBEEK/No.2 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b is on pole for Sunday afternoon’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. His lap was 1:18.970. Van Overbeck was also fastest in the second Tudor Championship practice session just prior to qualifying.

He said “The long fast corners definitely suit this style of car, we’re still not nearly as fast on the straightaway but we make it up in other places. I think with that it will make a very interesting race tomorrow.”

Van Overbeek, from nearby Oakland, has an annual tradition of bike riding to the track for the race. This year he took a circuitous route from San Jose, through the hills of Morgan Hill, Mount Madonna, Elkhorn Slough, Castroville and onto the track. He had a gang, including five of his ESM crew, two from his former Flying Lizards crew, and some friends. It must have done the trick.

All four class pole sitters set new qualifying track records.

Johannes van Overbeek

Johannes van Overbeek

Van Overbeek didn’t think traffic would be too much of a problem with the GTLM cars in Sunday’s two-hour race. The two groups race well together.

The Prototype class fairly growled as they accelerated out of the Pit Lane onto the 2.238-mile road course. The temperature was a brisk 63 degrees.

Second and third in the Prototypes were RICHARD WESTBROOK/No.90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP Chevrolet with co-driver MICHAEL VALIENTE, and RYAN DALZIEL/No.1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b, teamed with SCOTT SHARP, who led early on.

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA/No.09 RSR Racing ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet/Continental took pole for the PC class. His lap was 1:19.723. His co-driver is DUNCAN ENDE. Second and third fastest in class were MICRO SCHULTIS & RENGER van der ZANDE/No.8 Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet and LUIS DIAZ & SEAN RAYHALL/No.25 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet.

Antonio Garcia

Antonio Garcia

ANTONIO GARCIA/No.3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7 R/Michelin has the pole for the GT Le Mans class, turning a 1:38.496. Afterwards he was all smiles and happy talk. “The lap was pretty good… right on the limit everywhere. The Corvette C7 worked pretty good and I just hope to carry on the momentum we do have.” His co-driver is Kevin’s father, JAN MAGNUSSEN.

Second and third were JOHN EDWARDS/No.56 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE, with DIRK MULLER, and NICK TANDY/No.911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR Porsche, with RICHARD LIETZ. Edwards was all revved up after his earlier overall victory and in the Grand Sports class of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race. He skipped meeting the press to go back to Pit Lane and get in the car for qualifying. His teammate is DIRK MUELLER.

In the large GT Daytona class, SPENCER PUMPELLY/No.45 Flying Lizards Audi R8 LMS was quickest at 1:25.6951. NELSON CANACHE Jr is the co-driver. Second and third in class were LEH KEEN & COOPER MacNEIL/No.22 Alex Job Porsche 911 GT America Porsche, and CHRISTOPHER HAASE & BRYCE MILLER/No.48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS Audi. This group was very competitive, with a new leader seemingly every lap or so.

Sunday the four classes will be split into two separate races, with the first one at 10.15am PT for Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona classes, with 30-32 cars. The number depends on two PC ORECA FLMS. No.88 BAR1 Motorsports has withdrawn, but the Starworks Motorspor car possibly had a wiring harness problem which kept it from qualifying. The team hopes to make the race.

The second race for Prototypes a GT Le Mans will be at 2:45pm PT, with 22 cars.

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