Harry Tincknell put the No. 55 Mazda on top of the time sheets in the warm-up for today’s Motul Petit Le Mans as the team prepares for its final race.
The Mazda of Tincknell, Jonathan Bomarito and Oliver Jarvis will start outside the front row for today’s 10-hour race after being just nipped for the pole yesterday by Felipe Nasr in the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac. Tincknell turned a 1m10.181s in warm-up, while Ricky Taylor was 0.812s behind in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura. Earl Bamber, subbing for an ill Kevin Magnussen in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Cadillac, got up to speed quickly and posted the third-fastest time, ahead of Nasr.
The two WeatherTech Porsches topped GTLM, with Matt Campbell quickest in the No. 79 at 1m17.740s. After that it was the the two BMWs, John Edwards in the No. 24 quickest, and then the two Corvettes, which seemed to be out only for some easy system-checking laps.
Bill Auberlen was the quickest of the GTD field in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6. Championship contender Laurens Vanthoor was second in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports 911 GT3R. Kyle Tilley was quickest in LMP2 in the No. 18 ERA Motorsport Oreca, and Malthe Jakobsen topped LMP3 in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier
• Kevin Magnussen, who has consistently been the quickest in the No. 01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing machine, has fallen ill and will be replaced by Earl Bamber. As a result, the car will be moved to the back of the class for today’s race start.
• The No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3.R that suffered what could have been a weekend-ending crash on Thursday, emerged for qualifying yesterday after a massive thrash by the Wright crew that involved retrieving a car from Ohio and replacing most every part on the backup car with good parts from the crashed car. Trent Hindman qualified the Porsche sixth in GTD for today’s race. The effort was especially critical as Hindman, Patrick Long and Jan Heylen are leading the Michelin Endurance Cup points in GTD, and this is also Long’s last race, having announced that he was stepping back from driving to take on new roles with Porsche.
• Bill Auberlen may be on a mission to win GTD today after suffering a crushing defeat in the Michelin Pilot Challenge race yesterday. He and Dillon Machavern had the GS points lead coming into the race, and he just needed to finish ahead of Jan Heylen to claim the title. But he came together with Eric Foss in the Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG while fighting for the lead and ended up in the gravel trap, while Heylen went on to the victory and the championship. Auberlen, Machavern and Robby Foley won GTD at Petit Le Mans in 2019. This year Aidan Read joins Auberlen and Foley as the third driver in the BMW, which will start third in the 15-car class.