Wolf Henzler put the Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR third on the GTLM grid for tomorrow's Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. A hot and slick track greeted the Porsche drivers today in qualifying for Sunday's TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix. Despite the challenging conditions, the incredibly tight competition again shone through at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park while setting the grid for the two-hour and 45-minute race. In GT Le Mans (GTLM) class qualifying, factory driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) led the way for the trio of Porsche 911 RSR qualifying third. The Porsche North America 911s will start sixth (No. 911) and eighth (No. 912). In the GT Daytona (GTD) class, Team Seattle Alex Job Racing was fourth in class, the highest qualifying position for the Porsche 911 GT America.
Porsche 911 RSR
Team Falken Tire made a significant gain in the third of three practice sessions leading into today's qualifying session. Teammates Henzler and Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Georgia) worked closely with Falken Tire, Porsche Motorsport and team engineers to fine-tune the only customer Porsche 911 RSR in the Tudor Championship. Henzler turned a strong lap of one-minute, 15.36 seconds to come within striking distance of the class pole position-winning Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R falling only 0.16 seconds off the best lap in the class. It is the best qualifying effort for the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche this season.
The two Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR factory cars were within the same second of Henzler and the pole position. Nick Tandy's lap of 1:15.72 was only 15/100ths of a second from taking pole position. To highlight the incredibly tight field in qualifying trim, the native of Great Britain's time was only 1,000ths of a second quicker than seventh-place on the grid. Patrick Long, who calls Playa del Rey, California his home, was eighth with a lap of 1:15.94 on the 2.459-miles/10-turn natural terrain road course. As in previous events, the top-eight of the GTLM class was less than 0.8 seconds apart.
Porsche 911 GT America
In GT Daytona class, the Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America was the fastest Porsche qualifier in fourth place with Mario Farnbacher (Germany) at the helm. Farnbacher was two-tenths of a second off the pole for the 15-minute session, which saw the top 14 cars qualify within the same second. Jan Heylen (Tampa, Florida) was sixth in the Snow Racing/Wright Motorsport Porsche, while Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) put the WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche in seventh position on the grid. The pole was won by Jeroen Bleekemolen (Monaco) in an SRT Viper GT3-R.
The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix can be seen live on FOX Sports 1, Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET. Radio coverage can be found on affiliates of MRN with timing and scoring and in-car camera footage from the No. 912 on IMSA.com.
Wolf Henzler, No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR: "Our car was very good today. Since the first practice, the car and the tries have been working really well. We found a good balance from the beginning and just did some little tuning. I tried to get a little bit more for the pole but that was it. I think P3 [third position] is a really good result for us. Everyone on the team can be happy. Everyone was working very hard. I am really looking forward to the race."
Nick Tandy, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "When the track is clear it is really amazing. It's a lot of fun. It's fast. It has a technical last section that is tricky to master."
Patrick Long, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: "This is not an easy place to pass. We were hopeful to find a little more in track position with qualifying but it is right where we have been pace-wise this week. If it rain's tomorrow, that is a good equalizer. We need a little bit of help with the old horsepower so the rain is something that can play into our hands."
Mario Farnbacher, No. 22 Team Seattle-Heart of Racing Porsche 911 GT America: "Wow! In today's practice the car was not that good. This is a fast track. I did a lot of homework to try and learn the track as this is my first time here. When I drove it the first time on Friday, I thought this place is really crazy. Each practice and each lap brought more confidence. I really like it now. I cannot believe that they used to run F1 and Group C cars here. I like every corner here - turn four is really scary - but I like it."
Owen Hayes, Director of Operations, Porsche Motorsport North America: "Obviously we'd like to be a little bit further up but we need to look and see where we are in the race. I think rain just stacks the cards in a new way. It might be good to see in our situation. Even if it is dry, we will just give our best."
GT Le Mans Results:
1. No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R, Kuno Wittmer (Canada) 1:15.20
2. No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, Antonio Garcia (Spain), 1:15.27
3. No. 17 Porsche 911 RSR, Wolf Henzler (Germany), 1:15.36
4. No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, Oliver Gavin (Great Britain), 1:15.47
5. No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE, Dirk Mueller (Switzerland), 1:15.49
6. No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, Nick Tandy (Great Britain), 1:15.72
7. No. 91 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R, Dominic Farnbacher (Germany), 1:15.72
8. No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, Patrick Long (Playa del Rey, California), 1:15.94
9. No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia, Pierre Kaffer (Germany), 1:16.34
10. No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE, Andy Priaulx (France), 1:16.39
GT Daytona Results:
1. No. 33 SRT Viper.GT3-R, Jeroen Bleekemolen (Monaco), 1:19.004
2. No. 45 Audi R8 LMS, Spencer Pumpelly (USA), 1:19.159
3. No. 94 BMW Z4, Dane Cameron (USA), 1:19.175
4. No.23 Porsche 911 GT America, Mario Farnbacher (Germany), 1:19.213
5. No. 35 Audi RS LMS, Dion von Moltke (USA), 1:19.223
6. No. 58 Porsche 911 GT America, Jan Haylen (USA), 1:19.249
7 . No. 22 Porsche 911 GT America , Leh Keen (USA), 1:19.356
8. No. 007 Aston Martin V-12 Vantage, James Davison (Australia), 1:19.358
9. No. 73 Porsche 911 GT America, Kevin Estre (France), 1;19.532
10. No. 48 Porsche 911 GT America, Christopher Haase (Germany), 1.19.555
12. No. 44 Porsche 911 GT America, Andy Lally (USA), 1:19.763
14. No. 27 Porsche 911 GT America, Andrew Davis (USA), 119.806
15. No. 81 Porsche 911 GT America, Damien Faulkner (Ireland), 1:20.062
16. No. 18 Porsche 911 GT America, Chris Greene (Canada), 1:20.8098
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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