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Laguna Seca United SportsCar: ESM gets first pole for an LMP2 car

Extreme Speed HPD, Laguna Seca USC 2014

Johannes van Overbeek stole the show in a fantastic United SportsCar qualifying battle at Laguna Seca, taking the first pole for an LMP2 car in the new series.

Extreme Speed HPD driver van Overbeek battled early pacesetter Richard Westbrook's Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP right down to the wire, with the American producing a 1m18.561s to oust the Brit with only seconds to spare.

Despite topping the session early on, van Overbeek's team-mate Ryan Dalziel could only manage third after a fierce battle with Gustavo Yacaman's OAK Racing Morgan. Christian Fittipaldi's Action Express Corvette rounded out the top five.

The winner of the last two races, the #01 Ganassi Riley-Ford, only managed seventh in the hands of Scott Pruett.

The GTLM category was topped by Corvette Racing's Antonio Garcia, winner of the preceding Long Beach round along with Jan Magnussen.

Garcia laid down a 1m22.373s that remained unbeaten through the session, as drivers looked to preserve the tyres they will start on in Sunday's race.

Works BMW driver Jon Edwards in second led Brits Nick Tandy, Oliver Gavin and Andy Priaulx with the top five covered by less than six tenths of a second.

Bruno Junqueira was the only man under 1m20s with a stunning time for RSR on his last lap of the PC session. The CART race winner, who took pole last time out at Long Beach, was a class apart as he topped Renger van der Zande and Sean Rayhill with a lap of 1m19.723.

In the GTD category, Spencer Pumpelly produced a stunning lap in the Flying Lizard Audi to overturn Leh Keen's banker time set at the start of the session.

Keen had led before the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari had forced the session to be shortened after a trip into the gravel.

With over 50 cars in the entry at the 2.2-mile circuit, the event will be split into a pair of two-hour races on Sunday, with the PC and GTD categories running first before the P and GTLM classes have a separate event later in the afternoon.

Leading qualifying times (all P class):

Pos  Drivers             Team/Car                    Time       Gap
 1.  Brown/van Overbeek  Extreme Speed HPD           1m18.561s
 2.  Westbrook/Valiante  Spirit Corvette DP          1m18.788s  +0.227s
 3.  Sharp/Dalziel       Extreme Speed HPD           1m18.970s  +0.409s
 4.  Yacaman/Brundle     OAK Morgan-Nissan           1m19.076s  +0.515s
 5.  Barbosa/Fittipaldi  Action Express Corvette DP  1m19.175s  +0.614s
 6.  Taylor/Taylor       Taylor Corvette DP          1m19.504s  +0.943s
 7.  Pruett/Rojas        Ganassi Riley-Ford          1m19.962s  +1.401s
 8.  Pew/Negri           Shank Riley-Ford            1m20.107s  +1.546s
 9.  Meyrick/Legge       DeltaWing                   1m20.327s  +1.766s
10.  Curran/Said         Marsh Corvette DP           1m21.393s  +2.832s
PC pole:
     Ende/Junqueira      RSR FLM                     1m19.723s
GTLM pole:
     Magnussen/Garcia    Corvette                    1m22.373s
GTD pole:
     Canache/Pumpelly    Flying Lizard Audi          1m26.695s
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Extreme Speed takes first USC P2 win