Cameron flyer headlines Road America polesitters

August 3, 2019

Cameron flyer headlines Road America polesitters

August 3, 2019

Dane Cameron’s flyer headlined the polesitters for the pair of Michelin races with IMSA at this year’s stop to Elkhart Lake, Wis.’ Road America.

Cameron scored his second and Acura Team Penske’s fourth DPi pole of the year (teammate Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves have one apiece).

A past winner here, Cameron set a best time of 1:48.715 in the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 around the 4.048-mile circuit.

The pole time came after a brief shower dampened parts of the circuit and after a significant temperature increase. Per Michelin engineers, initial ambient and track temperatures of 75 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit rose to 84 and 96, respectively, by the time qualifying occurred.

Cameron held off Castroneves by just 0.016 of a second, having maximized grip at all parts of the circuit.

All 10 DPi runners were significantly under last year’s pole time of 1:51.933, set by Robert Alon in an LMP2 spec ORECA 07.

“From the driver seat you want to be in the fastest car you can be,” Cameron said. “It’s cool to see progression year to year. The Michelin tire this year, everyone running at a higher power level, and the cars are so much fun to drive. It’s so good to come to the tracks and see the progress of pace. Corners that weren’t flat now are. It’s amazing to see that progression over the years and the pace we have now.

“Here and Sebring – we’re getting close to the unlimited budget days and the tire war days. And it’s coming from different (automotive) manufacturers. DPi is an awesome place right now, and it is getting better and better.”

The DPi cars qualified in manufacturer order. Two Acuras are ahead of two Mazdas. Then it’s all five Cadillacs and the lone Nissan. Local driver James French of Sheboygan, Wis. scored the LMP2 class pole in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca.

In GT Le Mans, BMW was fastest on the road but later both of its M8 GTEs were sent to the back of the class for an infringement discovered in post-qualifying technical inspection. Provisionally, Tom Blomqvist had continued the trend of first-time GT Le Mans polesitters (after Jesse Krohn at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for BMW and Laurens Vanthoor at Lime Rock Park for Porsche). In his first trip to the circuit, Blomqvist set a best time of 2:00.344 in the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE.

The No. 4 Corvette was second ahead of the No. 24 BMW, with the two Fords next. The pair of Porsches sandwiched the No. 3 Corvette in sixth and eighth. All eight cars in class eclipsed last year’s pole time of 2:02.479.

Once the penalties were applied to the two BMWs, Oliver Gavin inherited the pole in the No. 4 car. His time was 2:00.663.

In GT Daytona, the lone WeatherTech qualifying session that ran before the rain, Ben Keating delivered a hot lap of 2:05.250. He shares the No. 33 Wynn’s Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Jeroen Bleekemolen.

MCQUARRIE, BLACKSTOCK ON PILOT CHALLENGE POLES

Current GS points leader CarBahn Autoworks claimed the pole for today’s two-hour IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race (5:05 p.m. EDT, IMSA.TV). Tyler McQuarrie and Jeff Westphal share the No. 39 Audi R8 LMS GT4. McQuarrie’s pole time of 2:16.512 was the first of eight GS cars to beat last year’s pole time of 2:18.586.

In TCR, L.A. Honda World Racing’s Shelby Blackstock claimed the class pole in the No. 37 Honda Civic Type R. Blackstock and Tom O’Gorman look to recapture their early season form when they won back-to-back races to start the year. Blackstock’s time of 2:19.712 was the first of nine TCR cars under last year’s pole time, 2:21.748.

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