Trinkler, Lewis on MICHELIN Pilot Challenge poles in Lime Rock

July 19, 2019

Trinkler, Lewis on MICHELIN Pilot Challenge poles in Lime Rock

July 19, 2019

Owen Trinkler (GS) and Michael Lewis (TCR) continued Michelin’s record-setting pace in qualifying for Saturday’s Lime Rock Park 120 (11 a.m. EDT, IMSA.TV).

Trinkler banked his third GS pole position of the year in the No. 46 Team TGM Mercedes-AMG GT4. The pole comes a year after he and Hugh Plumb delivered the car its first win in North America.

“The TeamTGM Mercedes AMG-GT4 gets it done here. A big thank you to everyone including my co-driver Hugh Plumb, Ted Giovanis, Kristina, and all of the guys,” Trinkler told IMSA Radio after the session.

“This is our third pole of the year and now we go to the race looking for that win. We are fighting very hard to get that first win of the season and having a great car underneath us this weekend will help that fight.

“I hope it keeps heating up tomorrow so we can show what our car can do. We have good chances in the heat and we have done very well in similar circumstances. We started the weekend great in practice. And we put down some long runs during practice because we need to get better on our race runs. Hopefully we can bring this momentum into the race tomorrow.”

As noted, the heat was intense throughout the day in four total IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge sessions – three practices and qualifying. Most sessions ran with the ambient temperature over 90 degrees and the track over 110 degrees. Qualifying itself saw the Pilot Challenge field qualify with 94 degrees ambient and 115 on track. The series is running on the harder compound MICHELIN(R) Pilot(R) Sport GT S9M commercial tire.

Trinkler’s pole lap of 53.963 seconds at the 1.474-mile circuit was the only GS time under the TCR pole, set by Lewis in the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR. Lewis’ second pole of the year came with a best lap of 54.034 seconds.

In all 22 of the 32 cars entered beat the 2018 GS pole time of 55.025 seconds. By class, 13 of the 22 in GS and 11 of the 12 in TCR eclipsed their class pole time from 12 months ago on a significantly hotter weekend.

The TCR field’s pace was such that three of the top 10 cars overall were TCR entries, and five of the top 15. However IMSA reorders the grid by class tomorrow, so the TCR leaders start behind the rear of the GS field.

The points championship is close in both classes. Among the three GS class contenders, the No. 39 Carbahn Audi starts second, the No. 69 MIA McLaren starts fifth and the No. 82 Bimmerworld BMW starts 10th. In TCR, the points-leading No. 37 L.A. Honda World Honda starts fourth.

RESULTS: (OverallBy Class)

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