Michelin sets new qualifying records in Watkins Glen

June 29, 2019

Michelin sets new qualifying records in Watkins Glen

June 29, 2019

Michelin’s long lasting performance helped teams in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi, LMP2 and GT Le Mans class cars set major new qualifying records ahead of this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Results are linked here.

It continues a run of qualifying records set in DPi and GTLM throughout this season.

In DPi and LMP2, nine of the 13 combined cars set laps significantly under last year’s pole time.

Oliver Jarvis set the new benchmark in his No. 77 Mazda RT24-P, as one of four DPi cars into the 1:29 bracket at the 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International track.

Jarvis’ new best time of 1:29.639, on his eighth and final flying lap, was more than 2.7 seconds faster than the 2018 pole set by Colin Braun of 1:32.350.

This is Jarvis’ third pole and qualifying record with Michelin this year, having also done so in Daytona and at Mid-Ohio.

“Apologies for my voice. I lost it. But we seem to go well when I do,” Jarvis told IMSA Radio’s Shea Adam.

“There is so much grip (with these tires at this track). That was fun. To be honest I’ve struggled all weekend with the balance until today. That’s important for us.”

Other drivers into the 1:29 bracket included Dane Cameron and Ricky Taylor in Acura Team Penske ARX-05s and Harry Tincknell in the second Mazda.

LMP2 polesitter Gabriel Aubry was eighth overall in his PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 chassis, and more than six tenths of a second faster than Braun was last year.

In GTLM, more records fell. Antonio Garcia set the mark in the 1:40 bracket in his No. 3 Corvette C7.R, at 1:40.799. That was 1.2 seconds faster than last year’s class pole. And like Jarvis, it occurred on his eighth and final flying lap.

The top seven of eight cars in the manufacturer-backed class were all under the 2018 pole time.

“The track didn’t get super grippy yesterday either. So yesterday it was a really good track right away,” said Garcia. “Today it might have improved a bit better in free practice three. It seems like we just went back to how it was yesterday, just with lower fuel and these tires, you just go faster. Track conditions are good and way cooler than last year too.”

While GTD didn’t see a qualifying record, Meyer Shank Racing’s Trent Hindman still hailed the Michelin consistency as he set his fastest lap on his sixth and final lap.

“The new Michelin tire is a factor into the GTD category,” Hindman, who co-drives the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 Evo, explained. “Every GTD team is learning every time they run that tire. Every single lap, and every race track.

“One of the things we are finding very unique so far this weekend about this tire and this race track, no matter what the condition is, the tire is staying extremely consistent over the course of a short stint. It’s getting quicker and quicker and constantly improving.

“It’s my first time running the Sahlen’s Six Hour so I can’t speak much comparatively speaking to last year, but certainly interesting to see a tire get better and better as you get closer to laps nine and ten, and so forth.”

The IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series also saw records set in their qualifying session prior to today’s four-hour Tioga Downs 240.

GS polesitter Indy Dontje, in the No. 33 Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4, set a pole time by 1.7 seconds over 2018. His best time was 1:54.709 compared to a 1:56.454 in 2018. The top 12 of 24 cars in class were under last year’s qualifying record.

And in TCR, there was a 1.2-second improvement year-on-year as Michael Lewis scored the pole in the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR. Lewis’ 2019 pole was 1:56.888 while the 2018 pole was 1:58.028. Lewis and Mark Wilkins won the most recent IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race at Mid-Ohio, courtesy of Lewis’ storming defense on the MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport GT S9M slick tires on a damp, spritzing and drying track.

Sunday’s WeatherTech race airs via live stream at 9:30 a.m. EDT on the NBC Sports App and is televised on NBCSN at 7 p.m. EDT.


Class 2019 Pole 2018 Pole Cars Under 2018 Pole
DPi 1:29.639 (-2.711) 1:32.350 (by LMP2 car) 9 of 13 cars (DPi/LMP2)
GTLM 1:40.799 (-1.149) 1:41.948 7 of 8 cars
GS 1:54.709 (-1.745) 1:56.454 12 of 24 cars
TCR 1:56.888 (-1.140) 1:58.028 4 of 13 cars

*Note: The top LMP2 time also under best LMP2 time from 2018 as well, 1:31.735

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