Colin Braun obliterated the IMSA Prototype lap record at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on his way to pole position for Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix. The Texan’s spec ORECA 07-Gibson LMP2 entered by CORE autosport took Ricky Taylor’s pole lap from 2017 (1m08.459s) and dropped it to 1m06.315s, travelling the Canadian road course more than two seconds faster than the previous standard.
The Braun-Cameron show continued as CORE driver and the Acura Team Penske pilot completed the rare feat of finishing 1-2 in all four sessions held this weekend. Cameron’s Acura DPi (+0.225s) slipped ahead of the impressive Robert Alon, who elevated his JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA 07-Gibson P2 to third overall (+0.526s) which represented his best qualifying performance to date.
Still, the main story in qualifying was Braun’s Herculean lap to rewrite the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s lap record at CTMP on the way to capturing his second pole in a span of seven days.
“This ORECA is fast, obviously,” Braun told IMSA Radio. “It’s just a blast to drive out here. It’s an efficient car; we’re a single-car team, a small team, and we’re learning along the way. You wouldn’t believe the amount of knowledge we gain at every race. We’re five races into our first season with this car.”
Porsche GT Team’s dominance at CTMP was on display once more as Nick Tandy took his 911 RSR (1m13.517s) to pole over an insurgent Ryan Briscoe from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. After three straight sessions of Corvette coming second to Porsche, Briscoe wedged his Ford GT in between its rivals (+0.314s) as Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen was relegated to third in his C7.R (+0.417s).
“Qualifying’s one thing, but the race is obviously not one lap long,” Tandy said. “I’m sure we won’t have such an advantage. We qualified on pole here in 2015 and won the race. So we hope to carry on that stream.”
With the CORE ORECA on pole in Prototype after leading all four sessions this weekend at CTMP, and the CORE-run Porsche GT Team on GTLM pole after mirroring its sister effort by topping all four of its sessions, the North Carolina-based outfit has possibly achieved something that has never been done before in IMSA’s 49-year history.
Coming off its session-topping speed Saturday morning, the 3GT Lexus RC F GT3 team took command of GT Daytona in qualifying as Jack Hawksworth (1m15.581s) led a decisive 1-2 for the Japanese brand and became IMSA’s first three-time Motul Pole Award winner this season.
Teammate Dominik Baumann (+0.439s) and Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers in his Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (+0.805s) were well behind the Englishman who took his third class pole in the last four WeatherTech Championship events.
“I’m just adjusting my hat because my head’s getting bigger,” he said with a laugh. “We knew this track was suited to our car; it’s almost like it was designed for us. I think the speed’s coming easy and really enjoying driving as well. On to the race; I think we have a great chance.”
John Potter, who gave his Magnus Racing team some work to do after a crash in practice, was able to make it out for qualifying in his Audi R8 LMS GT3 and will start 11th and last in the field.