Gavin Speeds to Laguna Seca Pole

Oliver Gavin speeds at Laguna Seca
Oliver Gavin sped to the 2018 America's Tire 250 pole, leading a GTLM class separated by less than a second. | Photo: Jake Galstad / IMSA

Despite not topping the timesheet in any of the three practices leading up to qualifying, the Corvette C7.R piloted by Oliver Gavin flew to the pole position for Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Throughout the 15-minute qualifying session for the GT Le Mans division, only the two bright yellow Corvette Racing entries occupied the top spot with the provisional pole alternating between Gavin and teammate Jan Magnussen in the sister No. 3 car.

Four minutes into the session on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course, Gavin set a 1:22.700 that remained untouched through the final 11 minutes.

Dirk Mueller came closest in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 66 Ford GT, lapping 0.087 seconds shy of Gavin’s pole-winning time. Despite remaining on track until the checkered flag while Gavin sat on pit lane, Mueller could not eclipse Gavin’s time.

Mueller’s effort dropped Magnussen to third with a 1:22.806 while Ganassi teammate Ryan Briscoe qualified to the outside of the second row in the No. 67 Ford.

Alexander Sims put one of BMW Team RLL’s BMW M8 GTEs into the top five with a 1:22.972 while both of the Porsches — fastest in Practice 3 — qualified to the sixth and seventh positions. Jesse Krohn qualified last in class with all eight cars within 0.827 seconds of the pole winner.

Legge Grabs First GTD Pole

Championship hopeful Katherine Legge blazed through GT Daytona qualifying, establishing a new class track record at Laguna Seca en route to capturing her first WeatherTech Championship pole.

Legge, who trails championship-leading Paul Miller Racing drivers Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers by 13 points, will lead the class to the green flag in her Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 thanks to a 1:24.456, set on her fourth and final lap.

Katherine Legge sweeps through Laguna Seca turn
Katherine Legge earned her first career pole in WeatherTech Championship competition. | Photo: Jake Galstad / IMSA

Starting alongside Legge will be Snow and Sellers in their Lamborghini Huracan GT3 while the third car in the championship fight, Riley Motorsports’ Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating, will start third.

Patrick Long, who had the fastest GTD lap of the weekend heading into the 15-minute qualifying session, qualified fourth in the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R he shares with Christina Nielsen.

Patrick Lindsey, the fastest GTD driver in Practice 2, completed the top five in Park Place Motorsports’ Porsche, less then a half-second slower than Legge’s pole-winning time.

The No. 51 Squadra Corse Garage Italia Ferrari driven by Francesco Piovanetti brought up the rear of the 13-car class at more than three seconds off the pace established by Legge.

Next up for both classes is a brief 20-minute warm-up Sunday morning ahead of the two-hour, 40-minute race, set to begin at 2:05 p.m. PDT with live coverage on FS1.

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