A beautiful Georgia autumn day at Petit Le Mans saw frenetic qualifying sessions in each class with records falling like the leaves from the trees around the Road Atlanta circuit.
DPi and LMP2
4/1000th of a second separated the top 4 DPi cars with the existing lap record being shattered by the halfway mark. At the flag Felipe Nasr took DPi and overall pole in the #31 Action Express Racing Cadilliac DPi with a lap of 1.08.457 with the top five all within half a second of the pole sitter. Ricky Taylor took P2 in the #7 Acura with Filipe Alburquerque putting the #5 Cadillac in P3.
The LMP2 field consisted of just two cars and as the old adage goes, you only need two cars to have a race and they proved the point swapping positions throughout the session. It was the #38 of Kyle Masson that came out on top ahead of Matt McMurry in the #52 Oreca.
Half a second covered the top 8 as the top spots were traded between Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, Ford and Chevrolet. Eventually it was the #62 of James Calado in the Risi Competizione’s Ferrari that grabbed pole 1.15.639 ahead of the #3 Chevrolet Corvette of Antonio Garcia with early pole sitter Phillipp Eng taking P3 in the BMW M8 GTE.
Porsche and Ford made sure there were 5 different manufacturers in the top 5 with Laurens Vanthoor putting the #912 Porsche in P4 and Joey Hand putting the #66 Ford GT in P5.
GTD qualifying was disrupted by a red flag to recover the #96 BMW which found itself in the gravel trap early in the session.
Once back underway it was Ricky Feller who looked to take pole in the final 10 minutes of green flag running driving the #29 Audi R8 whilst a challenge from the #47 of Michimi wasn’t sufficient after he lost time in the final sector of a hot lap and eventually dropped down the order.
It was Cory Lewis who stole P2 in the #48 Lamborghini Huracan, a car that was rebuilt following Marco Seefried’s off earlier in the week. Ben Keating took P3 in the #33 Mercedes AMG GT3 whilst 4th was picked up by Jeff Westphall in the #63 Ferrari 488 GT3.
With all the cars in the pit lane at the end of the session the #29 provisional pole sitter had all its times removed. It’s transgression was that the team opened the door of the car during the red flag which fell foul of the rule of not allowing the team to have contact with the car in a red flag period. This promoted Cory Lewis in the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini to pole with a qualifying lap record 1.19.530 whilst Feller starts form 10th in class, P38 overall.