Ligier takes Tudor pole in Austin

No. 42 Ligier takes pole in dominating fashion

Alex Brundle put the Ligier chassis from OAK Racing on the pole for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race at Circuit of The Americas in the car's first race under Honda power.

"We knew the chassis, but we didn't know the engine," said Brundle, who was 0.834 seconds ahead of the Ricky Taylor's Corvette DP. "We didn't know how it would work in terms of setting up the electronics, the balance of the car and the turbo lag."

After a day of occasional rain, conditions were dry for qualifying. Brundle said the team worked very quickly through the adaption of the twin turbo Honda engine during practice with few of the usual teething problems to get his second pole in the TUDOR Championship. He will lead a field of 51 cars in Saturday's two hour, 45-minute race.

Memo Rojas took third on the grid in the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Ford EcoBoost/Riley DP. He was followed by Christian Fittipaldi in the Corvette DP of Action Express Racing. Fittipaldi and co-driver Joao Barbosa enter the season's penultimate race with a 16-point lead over Taylor and his brother Jordan, who drive for father Wayne Taylor.

Action Express's manager Gary Nelson said his team will not be racing just for points. "We'll try to win the race, because that's what we've been doing all season," said Nelson. "We will calculate the risk in some situations a little more carefully."

For Brundle and teammate Gustavo Yacaman, the goal will be to redeem a missed opportunity at Watkins Glen International this summer. After starting on the pole and leading 22 laps, Brundle lost the lead on a late-race restart, leaving OAK Racing still in pursuit of its first victory.

"Winning the race is the next step for our team," said Bundle of the Le Mans-based outfit that previously used an open-top Morgan chassis with normally aspirated Nissan power.

In the Prototype Challenge class, Sean Rayhall captured the pole, a half second clear of runner-up Colin Braun. Leading by 40 points, Braun and co-driver Jon Bennett have an opportunity to close out their championship bid before the season-ending Petit Le Mans.

In the GTLM class, the Porsche 911 RSR chassis driven by Patrick Pilet won the pole by 0.237 seconds over the Dodge Viper SRT of Jonathan Bomarito, but failed post-qualifying inspection after IMSA officials found the car was missing a required camera pod.

Bomarito and co-driver Kuno Wittmer inherited the pole position and are looking to overtake Corvette Racing driver Antonio Garcia in the chase for the driver's championship, who leads by six points. Garcia's Corvette was qualified eighth in class by co-driver Jan Magnussen, 0.545 seconds from the pole and 0.308 seconds behind the Viper SRT of Bomarito.

In GTD, James Davison earned a third straight pole for TRG-AMR in his No. 007 Aston Martin V12 Vantage. Of the five drivers tied for the lead in the championship, Dane Cameron qualified best. He will start his Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 third, well ahead of the Ferrari 458 Italia of Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell (15th in class) and the Porsche 911 GT America of Leh Keen and Cooper MacNeil (16th).

Lineup

Pos CP Class No. Drivers Time Speed Behind Make
1 1 P 42 (Yacaman)/Brundle* 1:57.809 103.897 0.000s Ligier JSP2 HPD
2 2 P 10 (R.Taylor*)/J.Taylor 1:58.643 103.167 0.834 Corvette DP
3 3 P 01 Pruett/(Rojas*) 1:58.928 102.919 1.119 Ford EcoBoost/Riley
4 4 P 5 Barbosa/(Fittipaldi*) 1:59.072 102.795 1.263 Corvette DP
5 5 P 2 (Brown)/van Overbeek* 1:59.074 102.793 1.265 HPD ARX-03b
6 6 P 90 Westbrook*/(Valiante) 1:59.498 102.428 1.689 Corvette DP
7 7 P 60 Negri Jr.*/(Pew) 2:00.042 101.964 2.233 Ford EcoBoost/Riley
8 1 PC 25 (Diaz)/Rayhall* 2:00.528 101.553 2.719 ORECA FLM09
9 8 P 31 Curran*/(Said) 2:00.972 101.180 3.163 Corvette DP
10 2 PC 54 (Bennett)/Braun* 2:01.085 101.086 3.276 ORECA FLM09
11 3 PC 09 (Ende)/Junqueira* 2:01.260 100.940 3.451 ORECA FLM09
12 4 PC 7 (Fuentes)/Jo.Martin*/Popow 2:01.321 100.889 3.512 ORECA FLM09
13 5 PC 8 (Schultis)/van der Zande* 2:01.734 100.547 3.925 ORECA FLM09
14 6 PC 52 Jeannette*/(Montecalvo) 2:01.982 100.343 4.173 ORECA FLM09
15 7 PC 87 Plowman*/(Drumwright) 2:02.596 99.840 4.787 ORECA FLM09
16 9 P 07 Joel.Miller/(Nunez*) 2:02.960 99.545 5.151 Mazda Prototype
17 1 GTLM 93 Bomarito*/(Wittmer) 2:03.539 99.078 5.730 Dodge Viper SRT
18 2 GTLM 911 Tandy*/(Bergmeister) 2:03.649 98.990 5.840 Porsche 911 RSR
19 10 P 70 (Tremblay*)/T.Long 2:03.719 98.934 5.910 Mazda Prototype
20 3 GTLM 912 P.Long*/(Christensen) 2:03.900 98.789 6.091 Porsche 911 RSR
21 4 GTLM 91 (D.Farnbacher)/Goossens* 2:04.003 98.707 6.194 Dodge Viper SRT
22 5 GTLM 56 Müller/(J.Edwards*) 2:04.253 98.509 6.444 BMW Z4 GTE
23 8 PC 85 (C.Miller)/Simpson* 2:04.380 98.408 6.571 ORECA FLM09
24 6 GTLM 55 Auberlen/(Priaulx*) 2:04.495 98.317 6.686 BMW Z4 GTE
25 9 PC 88 (Papadopoulos)/Mowlem* 2:04.726 98.135 6.917 ORECA FLM09
26 7 GTLM 3 Magnussen*/(Garcia) 2:04.847 98.040 7.038 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
27 8 GTLM 17 (Henzler*)/Sellers/Holzer 2:04.936 97.970 7.127 Porsche 911 RSR
28 9 GTLM 4 Gavin*/(Milner) 2:05.093 97.847 7.284 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
29 10 GTLM 62 Fisichella/(Kaffer*) 2:05.348 97.648 7.539 Ferrari F458 Italia
30 1 GTD 007 (Carter)/J.Davison* 2:08.502 95.251 10.693 Aston Martin V12 Vantage
31 2 GTD 33 J.Bleekemolen*/(Keating) 2:08.814 95.021 11.005 Dodge Viper SRT
32 3 GTD 300 Cameron*/(Palttala) 2:08.826 95.012 11.017 BMW Z4
33 4 GTD 71 (Vess)/Skeen* 2:08.984 94.895 11.175 Porsche 911 GT America
34 5 GTD 30 (H.Cisneros)/Giermaziak* 2:09.007 94.879 11.198 Porsche 911 GT America
35 6 GTD 81 (Barker)/Faulkner* 2:09.040 94.854 11.231 Porsche 911 GT America
36 7 GTD 44 (Potter)/Lally* 2:09.113 94.801 11.304 Porsche 911 GT America
37 8 GTD 58 (Snow)/Heylen* 2:09.130 94.788 11.321 Porsche 911 GT America
38 9 GTD 27 (Dempsey)/A.Davis* 2:09.291 94.670 11.482 Porsche 911 GT America
39 10 GTD 45 (Canache Jr.)/Pumpelly* 2:09.337 94.636 11.528 Audi R8 LMS
40 11 GTD 73 (Lindsey)/Siedler* 2:09.504 94.514 11.695 Porsche 911 GT America
41 12 GTD 23 James/(M.Farnbacher*) 2:09.537 94.490 11.728 Porsche 911 GT America
42 13 GTD 35 (Neiman)/von Moltke*/Pumpelly 2:09.664 94.398 11.855 Audi R8 LMS
43 14 GTD 48 Haase*/(B.Miller) 2:09.772 94.319 11.963 Audi R8 LMS
44 15 GTD 555 (Sweedler)/To.Bell* 2:09.914 94.216 12.105 Ferrari 458 Italia
45 16 GTD 22 (MacNeil)/Keen* 2:10.140 94.053 12.331 Porsche 911 GT America
46 17 GTD 63 Balzan*/(Westphal) 2:10.184 94.021 12.375 Ferrari 458 Italia
47 18 GTD 18 (Al Qubaisi*)/Pegram 2:13.725 91.531 15.916 Porsche 911 GT America
48 10 PC 08 Hawksworth*/(Cumming) -.— ORECA FLM09
49 11 PC 38 Ostella*/(French) -.— ORECA FLM09
50 19 GTD 19 (Klenin)/Udell -.— Porsche 911 GT America
51 11 GTLM 910 (Makowiecki)/Pilet* -.— Porsche 911 RSR
52 20 GTD 46 Espenlaub/Putman -.— Audi R8 LMS

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