Austin United SportsCar: Scott Pruett puts Ganassi on pole

Ganassi driver Scott Pruett secured pole position for Saturday's United SportsCar Championship race in an entertaining qualifying session at Austin

Austin United SportsCar: Scott Pruett puts Ganassi on pole

Pruett's fastest time, a 1m58.441s, was enough for him to edge out Michael Shank Racing's Oswaldo Negri Jr by 0.071 seconds.

Negri was the first driver to dip below the two-minute marker in his Ligier and gradually lowered that to a 1m58.512s.

But Pruett, who had been fastest in the day's earlier final practice session, exploited IMSA's more open approach to track limits rules than the headlining World Endurance Championship to go quickest on his first lap.

He then improved his time halfway through the session to nudge back ahead of Negri.

And despite his efforts to retaliate, Negri's final lap was half a second shy of his previous best after his tyres fell away to leave him and team-mate John Pew second to Pruett and Joey Hand's Riley-Ford.

Early leader Michael Valiante ran into trouble in his Corvette DP as he coasted through the pitlane, before coming to a halt on the inside of Turn 1. He was able to get going again, but was forced to settle for a place on the third row of the grid.

RSR Racing's Chris Cumming had a more straightforward run to the Prototype Challenge pole, 0.475s ahead of nearest challenger Matt McMurry in the JDC/Miller entry.

Cumming looked the quickest throughout and his margin back to third-placed James French's Performance Tech car was a second-and-a-half.

Early signs in the GT Le Mans session suggested that Patrick Pilet and Earl Bamber would dominate in their respective Porsche 911s, but Dirk Werner produced an impressive lap to split the pair in his and Bill Auberlen's Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE.

Dion Von Moltke will start from the GT Daytona pole after he qualified his and Christopher Haase's Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS more than half a second ahead of Ben Keating (Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT).

Championship challengers Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell ended up third in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari, ahead of points leader Christina Nielsen's TRG Aston Martin.

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

Pos Class Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 P J.Hand, S.Pruett Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Riley/Ford 1m58.441s -
2 P J.Pew, O.Negri Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ligier/HPD 1m58.512s 0.071s
3 P J.Barbosa, C.Fittipaldi Action Express Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 1m59.008s 0.567s
4 P R.Taylor, J.Taylor Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 1m59.033s 0.592s
5 P E.Curran, D.Cameron Action Express Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 2m00.011s 1.570s
6 P R.Westbrook, M.Valiante visitflorida.com Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 2m00.111s 1.670s
7 P M.Rojas, K.Legge Claro / TracFone DeltaWing Racing DeltaWing/Elan 2m01.570s 3.129s
8 PC B.Junqueira, C.Cumming RSR Racing ORECA/Chevrolet 2m02.222s 3.781s
9 PC M.Goikhberg, M.McMurry JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 2m02.697s 4.256s
10 P T.Nunez, J.Bomarito Mazda Motorsports Mazda 2m02.779s 4.338s
11 P T.Long, J.Miller Speedsource Mazda 2m03.484s 5.043s
12 PC J.French, C.Daly Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 2m03.586s 5.145s
13 PC J.Bennett, C.Braun CORE Autosport ORECA/Chevrolet 2m03.697s 5.256s
14 PC R.van der Zande, M.Hedlund Starworks Motorsport ORECA/Chevrolet 2m04.009s 5.568s
15 GTLM N.Tandy, P.Pilet Porsche North America Porsche 2m04.396s 5.955s
16 PC M.Guasch, T.K.-Smith PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 2m04.432s 5.991s
17 GTLM B.Auberlen, D.Werner BMW Team RLL BMW 2m04.490s 6.049s
18 GTLM J.Bergmeister, E.Bamber Porsche North America Porsche 2m04.625s 6.184s
19 GTLM J.Magnussen, A.Garcia Corvette Racing Chevrolet 2m04.651s 6.210s
20 GTLM B.Sellers, W.Henzler Team Falken Tire Porsche 2m04.813s 6.372s
21 GTLM J.M.Edwards, L.Luhr BMW Team RLL BMW 2m04.968s 6.527s
22 GTLM O.Gavin, T.Milner Corvette Racing Chevrolet 2m05.245s 6.804s
23 GTLM P.Kaffer, G.Fisichella Risi Competizione Ferrari 2m05.996s 7.555s
24 PC D.Yount, R.Lewis BAR1 Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 2m08.350s 9.909s
25 GTD C.Haase, D.von Moltke Paul Miller Racing Audi 2m11.097s 12.656s
26 GTD B.Keating, J.Bleekemolen Riley Motorsports Dodge 2m11.658s 13.217s
27 GTD B.Sweedler, T.Bell Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 2m11.729s 13.288s
28 GTD C.Nielsen, K.Wittmer TRG-AMR Aston Martin 2m11.761s 13.320s
29 GTD P.Lindsey, S.Pumpelly Park Place Motorsports Porsche 2m12.213s 13.772s
30 GTD J.Potter, A.Lally Magnus Racing Porsche 2m12.478s 14.037s
31 GTD D.Knox, M.Goossens Lone Star Racing Dodge 2m12.835s 14.394s
32 GTD I.James, M.Farnbacher Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 2m12.935s 14.494s
33 GTD M.Marsal, M.Palttala Turner Motorsport BMW 2m13.054s 14.613s
34 GTD C.MacNeil, L.Keen Alex Job Racing Porsche 2m13.126s 14.685s
35 GTD M.Vess, J.Hart Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi 2m16.353s 17.912s
36 GTD R.Mason, P.Kleinubing Compass360 Racing Audi 2m16.518s 18.077s
37 PC T.Slusher, J.Falb BAR1 Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet - -
38 PC A.Popow, S.Rayhall Starworks Motorsport ORECA/Chevrolet - -


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