Pruett takes Long Beach pole

April 11, 2014

Pruett takes Long Beach pole

April 11, 2014

pruett_pole_4_11_14Scott Pruett continued building on his amazing sportscar record by becoming the first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship pole winner on the streets of Long Beach and also recording the first pole for the Ford Ecoboost V6 Daytona Prototype engine.

The Chip Ganassi Racing ace and Sebring winner stopped the clocks at 1:15.325 on the final lap – putting the pole out of reach from the fellow Ford-powered Oswaldo Negri for Michael Shank Racing.

pruett_pole_4_11_14_a-(1)Christian Fittipaldi was third fastest for Action Express Racing. In what was a huge day for “old age and experience” – the top three have a combined age of 146 years! Getting old, but still fast.

“Thats one of the things about Long Beach, you get faster and faster the longer you go around the track,” Pruett said.

“You get a little braver, a little braver, until you start scraping the walls. It took a time for us to get going this season, Daytona was a bit disastrous, then we went to Sebring and got the win, and now the pole. It makes all those long hours and seven days a week and lots of work starting to show themselves and pay off. It’s certainly better to start at the front, in Long Beach you don’t know what to expect.

“I’ve been here in Indycars where it was green to checker without a yellow, but then other races where it was constant yellow. We unloaded with a good car and all we’ve had to do was fine tune it. We had the qualifying setup in and we’ll dial it back a bit for the race tomorrow, which is odd to go straight from qualifying without any more track time.

“You just keep digging deeper, you get a bit braver to find a little more speed here, and a little more there. Thats what makes IMSA and the TUDOR series so interesting. Its about knowing how to get a little bit more out of the car and take a little bit more chances, that just comes from experience.”

Oak Racing’s Olivier Pla was fourth fastest and the first of the Le Mans-style P2 prototype machines. Throughout the practice sessions today, the P2 machine had struggled to get within a second of the Daytona Prototype times.

Top Three Prototypes

(1) #01-P Scott Pruett (Riley DP Ford EcoBoost) 1:15.325
(2) #60-P Oswaldo Negri Jr (Riley DP Ford EcoBoost) 1:15.366 (0.041-)
(3) #5-P Christian Fittipaldi (Corvette DP) 1:15.571 (0.246-)

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