Porsche have locked out the front row for tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship Battle on the Bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with Matt Campbell ahead of Mathieu Jaminet.
Campbell set a 1:13.672 to claim pole in the #7 Porsche 963, with Jaminet a tenth and half behind in the sister #6 Porsche.
The two red and white were quick all session, but it was Gianmaria Bruni in the customer #99 Proton Porsche 963 who set the initial pace. However, Campbell soon beat him, and was the first driver into the 1:13s.
Jaminet soon followed through to go second, but the Frenchman couldn’t quite beat his Kiwi teammate all session. Tom Blomqvist did briefly take second with a few minutes to go, but Jaminet responded and also got into the 1:13s, following his Porsche teammate through.
Blomqvist, in the #60 Meyer Shank Acura ARX-06, had to settle for third, just under two tenths adrift of Campbell and only 0.040 slower than Jaminet.
Fourth was Sebastien Bourdais in the #01 Cadillac V-Series.R, making it three manufacturers in the top 4. The veteran Frenchman took his time to set his lap, only grabbing fourth on his penultimate lap but failing to improve by the necessary amount — under a tenth of a second — to take third away from Blomqvist.
Ricky Taylor claimed fifth, onboard the #60 Wayne Taylor Acura ARX-06, while the two BMWs, with Philip Eng and Nick Yelloly at the wheel, could only manage sixth and seventh. Eng was the faster of the two, 0.498 slower than Campbell in the #24 BMW M Hybrid V8, with his teammate just 0.003 slower in the sister #25 BMW.
Ben Keating claimed pole in LMP2, with the American car dealer setting a 1:17.950, the only driver to make it into the 1:17s.
The #52 PR1 Mathiasen Oreca 07-Gibson driver was quickest all through the session, with Keating at one point just 0.002 faster than George Kurtz in the #04 Crowdstrike by APR Oreca 07-Gibson, with Keating’s initial lap being a 1:18.388.
In LMP3, Bjorn Garg was quickest, at the wheel of the #29 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P320. The American-Indian driver set a 1:20.513, just 11 thousandths of a second faster than his teammate, Nolan Siegel, in the sister #30 Jr III car.
However, midway into the LMP2/LMP3 session, Gar Robinson, driving the #74 Riley Ligier JS P320, crashed heavily into the tyres on the road course section of the speedway. While the driver was okay and got out of the car under his own steam, this caused a halt in proceedings and a red flag while the Ligier was extracted from the tyre barriers and placed onto a flatbed truck.
When the session resumed there were 2 minutes and 20 seconds added to the clock — enough to do an outlap and a single flying lap.
Keating subsequently improved from his initial lap before the red flag to set his pole lap time, while Kurtz couldn’t improve further. This put Keating 0.440 ahead of the tech entrepreneur, with Steven Thomas third in the #11 TDS Racing Oreca 07-Gibson, a further 0.233 down.
With Jr III taking the top two spots in LMP3, third fell to Orey Fidani in the #13 AWA Duqueine D08, over 1.1 seconds away from Siegel in second.
In the two GTD classes, GTD Pro and GTD, Madison Snow took the overall pole for Paul Miller Racing, with the #1 BMW M4 GT3 driver setting a 1:23.075.
The American set the time early on in the session, before halfway, and no one in either of the two GT3 classes could beat him. This means he not only has the most poles of anyone in the GT classes, but the most pole of anyone in the series this year.
Vasser Sullivan’s Jack Hawksworth initially held GTD Pro pole, setting a 1:23.354 by the halfway mark in the session, but Klaus Bachler pipped him in the #9 Pfaff Porsche 911 GT3 R, with the German lapping the Indianapolis road course in 1:23.140 to take class pole — although it’s only a front row start as Snow was fractionally quicker.
Jules Gounon also went faster than Hawksworth, with the Frenchman, in the #79 WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 second in GTD Pro and third amongst both classes. He was 0.150 off Bachler at the line. Hawksworth rounded out the top 3 in the #14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, 0.055 off Gounon.
Second in GTD but sixth overall in the combined GT classes was Mikael Grenier in the #32 Korthoff Mercedes-AMG GT3, while Patrick Gallagher, in the #96 Turner Motorsportr BMW M4 GT3, was third and seventh in the combined class.