Find out more about our subscriptions

Detroit United SportsCar: Richard Westbrook grabs last-gasp pole

Spirit of Daytona, Detroit US 2014

Richard Westbrook used his final flying lap to give Corvette a hometown pole position for Saturday's United SportsCar race on the Belle Isle street circuit in Detroit.

The Spirit of Daytona driver provisionally held the top spot when the chequered flag waved, only to be bumped when fellow Brit Ryan Dalziel managed to better his time in his Extreme Speed HPD.

But Westbrook had crossed the line with just enough time for one more lap, and made the most of it with a 1m25.011s that put him back into first by just 0.01 seconds.

"On the radio there was so much chatter - 'you're P1, you're P2, you're P1, you're P2," Westbrook said.

"I did a 1m25.1s with three laps to go and was on a cool-down lap when I heard that Ryan had done a 1m25.0s. I just threw all caution to the wind, and sometimes you get rewarded for that on a street circuit and sometimes it bites you."

The late scramble quashed what potentially looked like a Corvette 1-2-3 on the grid: Christian Fittipaldi fell to third behind Dalziel in an Action Express car that looked like it had survived minor contact, while Jordan Taylor's Wayne Taylor Racing entry was knocked back to fifth by Olivier Pla in his OAK Morgan.

A mostly uneventful session was punctuated by just one incident of note when Memo Rojas slid into the escape road. He was able to continue, and will start his Ganassi Riley from eighth.

The battle for GTD honours was won by Spencer Pumpelly in the Flying Lizard Audi R8. Riley SRT Viper driver Jeroen Bleekemolen came closest to unseating the American, finishing 0.2s down on the class pole time. The Prototype and GTD divisions are the only ones present for the Detroit event.

Follow the Detroit United SportsCar race as it happens with AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live from approximately 5pm UK time on Saturday

Leading qualifying times:

Pos  Cl   Qual driver            Team/Car                    Time       Gap
 1.  P    Richard Westbrook      SDR Corvette DP             1m25.011s
 2.  P    Ryan Dalziel           Extreme Speed HPD           1m25.029s  +0.018s
 3.  P    Christian Fittipaldi   Action Express Corvette DP  1m25.139s  +0.128s
 4.  P    Olivier Pla            OAK Morgan-Nissan           1m25.555s  +0.544s
 5.  P    Jordan Taylor          Taylor Corvette DP          1m25.586s  +0.575s
 6.  P    Oswaldo Negri Jr       Shank Riley-Ford            1m25.776s  +0.765s
 7.  P    Johannes van Overbeek  Extreme Speed HPD           1m26.192s  +1.181s
 8.  P    Memo Rojas             Ganassi Riley-Ford          1m26.199s  +1.188s
 9.  P    Boris Said             Marsh Corvette DP           1m26.952s  +1.941s
10.  P    Joel Miller            SpeedSource Mazda           1m31.344s  +6.333s
Class poles:
12.  GTD  Spencer Pumpelly       Flying Lizard Audi          1m32.914s
  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Taylors win in wild USC finish