Flexing the muscle of the Nissan DPi, Colin Braun broke his own track record at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to capture the pole for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix.
Braun ran a quick lap of 1m05.452s in the No. 54 CORE autosport Nissan Ligier JS P217, edging out the No. 7 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 of Helio Castroneves by 0.074 seconds. The Team Penske driver made a late attempt to take the pole, but spun and continued in Turn 5.
“We made a last-minute decision to have me qualify,” said Braun, whose co-driver Jon Bennett usually qualifies and starts the race. “We had good speed in practice, so we thought we’d give it a whirl. I’m happy we could qualify it as well with our race car.
“I did an OK lap, then I did a greedy lap, and it stuck pretty good, so I thought I should have done an even greedier lap. But I was proud of that lap. It was certainly on the edge in a few places and over some exit curbs that I didn’t like to be over, but you gotta do what you gotta do.”
Jonathan Bomarito will start third in the No. 55 Team Joest Mazda RT-24P, at 1m05.780s. He will be joined on the second row by Juan Pablo Montoya, 1m05.872s in the No. 6 Acura. Felipe Nasr led the Cadillacs, sixth fastest in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R.
Kyle Masson was fastest in LMP2, 1m08.211s in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA Gibson.
Krohn takes GTLM pole as BMWs sweep
Jesse Krohn captured the GTLM pole with a track-record lap of 1m13.086s, leading a front-row sweep for BMW Team RLL. Krohn was at the wheel of the No. 24 BMW M8 GTLM, 0.462s ahead of Tom Blomqvist in the No. 25 BMW. Blomqvist attempted to better his teammate late in the session, but spun and continued in Turn 9.
“Finally — I’ve waited for this for a long time,” said Krohn after scoring his first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole. “The car was great today. We went for the good old one-lap banger. I put it all on one lap. We know it’s going to be critical on tires tomorrow, so the more you can save in qually, the better you can be in the race. Definitely a great job by the guys, giving me the car that I have today.”
Ryan Briscoe was third in the No. 67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, at 1m13.804s, followed by the Porsche GT Team of Patrick Pilet (No. 911) and Laurens Vanthoor (No. 912). The fastest Corvette was Jan Magnussen, seventh in the No. 3 Corvette Racing C7.R.
Robby Foley captured the GTD pole, running 1m16.162s in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 co-driven by Bill Auberlen.
“This one feels good,” Foley said. “It’s a high-commitment track here, probably the highest speeds we do all year. It’s nice to have a good result in qualifying, and we’ll look to convert tomorrow.”
Ben Keating was second in the No. 33 Wynns Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3, with a 1m16.253s, followed by the Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3s of Trent Hindman (No. 86) and Bia Figueiredo (No. 57).
Paul Miller Racing withdrew the No. 48 1st Phorm/Total Lubricants Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Ryan Hardwick was uninjured in a Turn 2 incident in Saturday morning’s final practice that left the car badly damaged. Bryan Sellers was scheduled to co-drive. This reduced the GTD field to 12 cars, with 33 competitors expected to take the green flag on Sunday.
UP NEXT: Sunday’s race takes the green flag at 1:05 p.m. ET for two hours, 40 minutes of racing. The race airs live on NBC.