Petit Le Mans: Pla takes Road Atlanta pole in Michael Shank Ligier

Olivier Pla claimed pole position for the Petit Le Mans IMSA SportsCar Championship finale at Road Atlanta for the Michael Shank Racing Ligier squad.

Petit Le Mans: Pla takes Road Atlanta pole in Michael Shank Ligier

The Frenchman set the pace with a 1m13.061s aboard the MSR Ligier-Honda JSP2 LMP2 to take the top spot by four tenths of a second from the best of the SpeedSource-run Mazda Motorsports Lolas in the hands of Tristan Nunez.

Nunez was initially the better part of a second behind Pla, but set a sequence of laps aboard his Lola-Mazda B12/80 to end up on a 1m13.520s.

Pla, who was quickest in every session of free practice leading up to qualifying, said: "That was more or less what I was expecting, because the car has been very competitive from the beginning and we have been improving it every session.

"I love the American tracks and feel very comfortable here."

Third place went to the best of the Daytona Prototypes in the hands of Dane Cameron.

The American, who leads the Prototype standings with team-mate Eric Curran, finished the session eight tenths down on Pla with a 1m13.903s aboard his Action Express Coyote-Chevrolet Corvette DP.

The second Lola-Mazda ended up fourth in the hands of Tom Long, while Christian Fittipaldi was fifth in the second of the Action Express Coyotes.

WESTBROOK TAKES GTLM POLE FOR FORD

Richard Westbrook claimed pole for Ford in the GT Le Mans class.

The Briton, who lies second in the points with team-mate Ryan Briscoe, posted a 1m18.131s in his Ganassi Ford GT to end up just over a tenth clear of Chevrolet Corvette driver Antonio Garcia.

The Spaniard's 1m18.283 put him a tenth up of Risi Ferrari driver Toni Vilander in third place.

Tommy Milner, who leads the standings with team-mate Oliver Gavin by 11 points, ended up only seventh in the second Corvette, albeit with a time less than four seconds off the pace.

Pole in the one-make Prototype Challenge class went to Robert Alon in the PR1/Mathiasen ORECA-Chevrolet FLM09.

His 1m16.411s lap put him six hundredths up on Alex Popow in the best of the Starworks entries.

Jeroen Bleekemolen set two laps good enough for pole in the GT Daytona class aboard the Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R.

QUALIFYING TIMES:

Pos Class Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 P J.Pew, O.Negri, O.Pla Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ligier/HPD 1m13.061s - 9
2 P T.Nunez, J.Bomarito, S.Pigot Mazda Motorsports Lola/Mazda 1m13.520s 0.459s 8
3 P E.Curran, D.Cameron, S.Pagenaud Action Express Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 1m13.903s 0.842s 7
4 P T.Long, J.Miller, S.Pigot Mazda Motorsports Lola/Mazda 1m14.061s 1.000s 9
5 P J.Barbosa, C.Fittipaldi, F.Albuquerque Action Express Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 1m14.160s 1.099s 10
6 P R.Dalziel, M.Goossens, R.H.-Reay Visit Florida Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 1m14.276s 1.215s 8
7 P S.Sharp, P.Derani, J.van Overbeek Tequila Patron ESM Ligier/HPD 1m14.360s 1.299s 11
8 P K.Legge, S.Rayhall, A.Meyrick Panoz DeltaWing Racing DeltaWing/Elan 1m14.446s 1.385s 7
9 P R.Taylor, J.Taylor, M.Angelelli Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 1m14.533s 1.472s 11
10 PC R.Alon, J.Gutierrez, T.K.-Smith PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 1m16.411s 3.350s 13
11 PC R.van der Zande, A.Popow, D.H.Hansson Starworks Motorsport ORECA/Chevrolet 1m16.470s 3.409s 13
12 PC D.Yount, T.Drissi, J.Mowlem BAR1 Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 1m16.495s 3.434s 13
13 PC J.French, K.Marcelli, K.Koch Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 1m16.640s 3.579s 13
14 PC J.Dayson, Q.Lall, S.Coletti Starworks Motorsport ORECA/Chevrolet 1m16.858s 3.797s 13
15 PC M.Goikhberg, C.Miller, S.Simpson JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 1m17.205s 4.144s 9
16 GTLM R.Briscoe, R.Westbrook, S.Dixon Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford 1m18.131s 5.070s 8
17 GTLM A.Garcia, J.Magnussen, M.Rockenfeller Corvette Racing Chevrolet 1m18.283s 5.222s 11
18 GTLM G.Fisichella, T.Vilander, J.Calado Risi Competizione Ferrari 1m18.294s 5.233s 11
19 GTLM J.Hand, D.Muller, S.Bourdais Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford 1m18.327s 5.266s 11
20 GTLM D.Serra, A.P.Guidi, A.Bertolini Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 1m18.349s 5.288s 9
21 GTLM J.M.Edwards, L.Luhr, K.Wittmer BMW Team RLL BMW 1m18.382s 5.321s 7
22 GTLM O.Gavin, T.Milner, M.Fassler Corvette Racing Chevrolet 1m18.468s 5.407s 10
23 GTLM E.Bamber, F.Makowiecki, M.Christensen Porsche North America Porsche 1m18.712s 5.651s 9
24 GTLM B.Auberlen, D.Werner, A.Farfus BMW Team RLL BMW 1m18.752s 5.691s 7
25 GTLM P.Pilet, N.Tandy, R.Lietz Porsche North America Porsche 1m18.866s 5.805s 10
26 PC M.Kvamme, R.Bradley, M.Hanratty Starworks Motorsport ORECA/Chevrolet 1m19.407s 6.346s 12
27 GTD B.Keating, J.Bleekemolen, M.Miller Riley Motorsports Dodge 1m21.305s 8.244s 9
28 GTD J.Bergmeister, M.McMurry, P.Lindsey Park Place Motorsports Porsche 1m21.765s 8.704s 8
29 GTD I.James, M.Farnbacher, A.Riberas Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 1m21.898s 8.837s 8
30 GTD C.Nielsen, A.Balzan, J.Segal Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 1m22.103s 9.042s 10
31 GTD M.Bell, L.Aschenbach, D.von Moltke Stevenson Motorsports Audi 1m22.114s 9.053s 11
32 GTD R.Liddell, A.Davis, M.Skeen Stevenson Motorsports Audi 1m22.139s 9.078s 12
33 GTD B.Sellers, M.Snow, B.Miller Paul Miller Racing Audi 1m22.143s 9.082s 6
34 GTD C.Lewis, S.Pumpelly, R.Antinucci Change Racing Lamborghini 1m22.231s 9.170s 9
35 GTD B.Curtis, J.Klingmann, A.Freiberg Turner Motorsport BMW 1m22.421s 9.360s 10
36 GTD P.Ruberti, L.Persiani, C.Sbirrazzuoli Dream Racing Lamborghini 1m22.680s 9.619s 11
37 GTD J.Potter, A.Lally, M.Seefried Magnus Racing Audi 1m22.950s 9.889s 9
38 GTD M.Marsal, M.Palttala, C.Lawrence Turner Motorsport BMW 1m24.172s 11.111s 5

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