Saturday’s Pirelli GT4 Sprint series qualifying for the Streets of Long Beach Presented by AWS event saw The Racers Group’s efforts pay off, its Pro driver Spencer Pumpelly capturing the pole in the No. 66 Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR after a session-long battle for top honors.
Pumpelly’s pole-winning lap, a 1m25.916s, set a new GT4 qualifying mark (provisionally) for the street circuit.
“The first lap we did, the tires weren’t quite up to temp, but it was a decent lap that was good enough for P1 at the time,” Pumpelly explained. “As we went on, I knew it wouldn’t hold so I started to prep for a second one — and I got a little worried that we may have used up too much tire trying to get by Ian [James].
“The pole here is important. Now that we’re there, we just have to make sure we can make our car last.”
Starting next to Pumpelly on the front row will be Team Panoz Racing pro Ian James, driving the No. 40 Panoz Avezzano GT4. James 1m26.114s best was just short the pole, which he exchanged with Pumpelly and others throughout the morning session.
“We’re looking forward to tomorrow. It’s going to be tough to overtake but we’ll give it max effort,” said James. “This is GT4 racing — there’s never a time to relax. Hopefully we’ll be strong the whole stint and hopefully Spencer won’t, so we look forward to some good clean racing tomorrow.”
Third was the highest qualifying Am, James’ Team Panoz teammate Matt Keegan (No. 51 Panoz Avezzano GT4) with a 1m26.285s that edged MarcoPolo Motorsports’ Nicolai Elghanayan’s (No. 71 KTM X-Bow) 1m26.326s by just 0.041s.
Fifth and sixth were Ams Drew Staveley (No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4) and Jarrett Andretti (No. 18 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4), with the top 12 qualifiers covered by just one second in an almost even distribution of Pro and Am drivers,
The GT4 Sprint race will Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT. Follow along with live timing and scoring, free live streaming, or free satellite radio on SiriusXM. Timing and scoring and live stream links can be found on www.GT4-America.com, and SiriusXM will broadcast on channel 383 (983 app).
CBS Sports Network will premiere the Streets of Long Beach episode on Sunday, April 21 at 7 p.m. EDT. Check your local listings for channel and encore broadcast times.