Leh Keen puts the No. 22 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America on the pole at the Glen
WATKINS GLEN, New York. Porsche added to its long motorsport history at Watkins Glen International today with another first for the German marque; the inaugural pole position for the bespoke TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Porsche 911 GT America. Leh Ken (Atlanta) drove the No. 22 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America to the first-ever GT Daytona (GTD) pole position for the car. The two factory Porsche 911 RSR entries, the Nos. 912 and No. 911, will start the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen in fourth and tenth, respectively, in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class when the clock begins to tick off the six hours of competition tomorrow at 11 a.m. (ET).
Porsche 911 GT America
Leh Keen, who, with Andrew Davis (Athens, Georgia), won the 2011 Rolex Grand-Am race at Watkins Glen en route to a season championship, carried that magic to this year's Tudor Championship GT Daytona qualifying session, capturing the pole position in his No. 22 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America.
For Keen, who will share the car with Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois), it is his 11th top qualifying spot in his professional racing career, but the first one of this year and the first pole for the new 2014 Porsche 911 GT America. Keen and MacNeil are in second place, only two points out of the points lead in the GTD class.
The other Porsche 911 GT America entry in the GTD top-five, was the Magnus Racing car which was qualified fifth by veteran Andy Lally (Dacula, Georgia). Lally and co-driver John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah) were 2012 Tequila Patron North American Endurance Champions, and won this year's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. They have added Sebastian Asch (Germany) as a third driver for this event.
Porsche 911 RSR
Michael Christensen (Denmark) piloted the No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR to fourth quickest in the ultra-competitive GTLM class. He is entered in the Porsche factory car with Patrick Long (Playa del Rey, California) and Patrick Pilet (France) as a third. The young Dane's best lap, a one-minute, 44.482-seconds of the 3.4-miles, 14-turn racecourse, was the best time set by a Porsche 911 RSR.
Austrian Richard Lietz was given qualifying duties in the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR he shares with fellow "works" drivers Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Pilet. His quickest lap, a 1:45.219, was good for tenth on the GTLM grid.
For Tandy, regardless of the results at the end of tomorrow's fifth round of the Tudor Championship, the weekend will be memorable. On Friday, Tandy's fiancé gave birth to their first child, a girl. While duties at the track prevented him from being present at the birth, the Brit celebrated with his US "family", the Porsche North America race team. Pilet, who is entered in both the No. 911 and the No. 912, was brought to The Glen to serve as relief driver should Tandy need to return to England. The Frenchman co-drove with Tandy and Lietz to victory at the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Georgia), who will alternate behind the wheel of the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR with factory driver Wolf Henzler (Germany), turned a time of 1:45.134. Proving the intensely close nature of the GTLM class, the top-eight cars in the class were separated by less than one second. The laps of Sellers and Lietz were 1.2-seconds off the GTLM pole position time of 1:44.084 set by the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE.
Andy Lally, No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America: "I'm actually very happy with the car. We have a really good balance for the race, and a very strong lineup, so I'm feeling really good about our chances tomorrow."
Michael Christensen, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "The car was very good. More than I expected. I am happy with the car and I am sure we can be strong for the race with this. A few tricks for the race and we'll be even better. Traffic will be an issue in the race. This is one thing to keep in mind but I think we can handle this. What I could not handle was the grasshopper that got into my mouth during practice earlier today."
Richard Lietz, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "The qualifying was not what we excepted. We tried a new thing but it went in the wrong way. I am confident of a better way for the race. It is a six hour race, if we change the car in the right direction, which I am sure we can, everything is possible."
Bryan Sellers, No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR: "We are continuing to make improvements with the Falken Tire Porsche. We took a big chunk out of the gap to the leaders but we still need a bit more. We have one more chance at a change for morning warm-up and then we see what we have for the race."
Leh Keen, No. 22 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America: "Those were some awesome laps. I just love this track. The WeatherTech Porsche was unbelievably good right off of the trailer today and yesterday. The last time that Alex was here was five years ago with a DP car. We were able to translate that set-up to this car. We carried the momentum of being the fastest in practice yesterday forward to qualifying. I am really happy to turn a [one-minute] 48 [second lap]. I didn't think we could go that quick. But the car is great and driving really well around here. It is great to get the pole after qualifying second a couple of times this year."
GT Le Mans Results:
1.No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE, Andy Priaulx (France), :44.084
2. No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, Jan Magnussen (Denmark), 1:44.376
3. No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE, Dirk Mueller (Switzerland), 1:44.377
4. No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, Michael Christensen (Denmark), 1:44.482
5. No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R Jonathan Bomarito (USA) 1:44.606
9. No. 17 Porsche 911 RSR, Bryan Sellers (USA), 1:45.134
10. No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, Richard Lietz (Austria), 1:45.219
GT Daytona Results:
1. No. 22 Porsche 911 GT America, Leh Keen (USA), 1:48.831
2. No. 94 BMW Z4, Dane Cameron (USA), 1:49.023
3. No. 33 SRT Viper.GT3-R, Jeroen Bleekemolen (Monoco), 1:49.119
4. No. 45 Audi R8 LMS, Spencer Pumpelly (USA), 1:49.253
5. No. 44 Porsche 911 GT America, Andy Lally (USA), 1:49.371
9. No.23 Porsche 911 GT America, Mario Farnbacher (Germany), 1:50.024
11. No. 27 Porsche 911 GT America, Andrew Davis (USA), 1;50.050
12. No. 58 Porsche 911 GT America, Jan Haylen (USA), 1;50.450
13. No. 81 Porsche 911 GT America, Damien Faulkner (Ireland), 1:50.456
15. No. 30 Porsche 911 GT America, Kuba Giermaziak (Poland), 1:51.009
17. No. 73 Porsche 911 GT America, Jaap Van Lagen, 1;51.502
18. No. 18 Porsche 911 GT America, Peter Ludwig (USA), 1:53.744
About Porsche Motorsport North America
Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), located in Santa Ana, California, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Porsche AG and the sole sales and service provider for the German sports car maker's North American customer sports programs. Porsche is the largest manufacturer of race cars with a wide range of products from the 911 GT3 Cup car to the ultimate 911 GT3 RSR. PMNA sells these models to customer teams in North America and provides them with parts, service and expertise in between races and at the track. The PMNA service truck is a fixture at most race tracks in the U.S. and Canada, staffed by factory engineers to service all of Porsche's customer teams.
About Porsche Cars North America
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga. is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars, including the Macan and Cayenne SUVs and the Panamera sports sedan. Established in 1984, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs approximately 270 people who provide parts, service, marketing and training for 189 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand's 66-year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety, and efficiency.
At the core of this success is Porsche's proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000 motorsport wins to date.
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