Braun Shoots to Pole for IMSA’s Sahlen’s Six-Hours of The Glen

Pole winning CORE Autosport team cruises over rumble strips en route to first place. [Joe Jennings Photo]

Pole winning CORE Autosport team cruises over rumble strips en route to first place. [Joe Jennings Photo]

By Joe Jennings

Watkins Glen, N. Y.- Colin Braun upset the favorites to put the CORE Autosport ORECA LMP2 car on the pole for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six-Hours of The Glen, the sixth race of IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

The Texan blazed around the legendary 3.4-mile road course in a record time of 1:32.350 seconds or a speed of 132.539 miles per hour to earn his first Prototype pole position. Pipo Derani set the previous mark of 1:34.405 in 2017.

Including other IMSA classes, Braun picked up his seventh pole and when his poles in GRAND-AM and the ALMS are combined, his total poles increase to 16.

“I am a little surprised to get the pole to be honest,” Braun said. “I was a little nervous after nearly getting the pole at Daytona, only to lose out at the end to the DPi cars. In practice, we were biased toward race set-up. For qualifying, we just bolted on new tires and went out and did our thing.”

Braun is sharing the driving duties with Jonathan Bennett and Romain Dumas.

Qualifying second fastest was another LMP2 car, the United Autosports Ligier driven by Brit Paul DiResta. His time was 1:32.356 seconds.

Bruno Senna and Phil Hanson are DiResta’s co-drivers.

Ricky Taylor placed the Acura Team Penske DPi in the third slot with the team car driven by Dane Cameron next fastest.
Record and oppressive heat and heat index conditions are expected to be factors in Sunday’s long race. These conditions will affect teams and spectators alike with each number projected to hover around or exceed the 100-degree mark.

Ford Chip Ganassi qualified its two Ford GTs atop the GTLM class with Paul Westbrook and Joey Hand the drivers.

Westbrook timed at 1:41.948 seconds with Hand a whisker behind at 1:42.059.

“I am really happy with the pole as this track is very special for me,” Westbrook said. “Tomorrow’s heat shouldn’t bother the drivers that much, but it will cause tire degradation much faster.”

Led by Tom Milner, a pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs ran third and fourth fastest.

In the GTD class, Jack Hawksworth vaulted from fourth to first as time ran out to win the pole spot. The Brit drives the 3GT Racing Lexus RCF GT3 entry. His time was a record-setter at 1:44.499 seconds.

Christopher Mies raced to second fastest in the Montaplast Audi R8.

Kyle Marcelli took third in the second 3GT Racing Lexus.

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