Both WEC and Tudor United Sportscar Championship series qualified for the Lone Star Le Mans on Saturday at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. With the temperatures approaching 97 degrees, the grid took shape in the late afternoon for all series engaging in battle tomorrow.
IMSA series GTD drivers took to the track to open qualifying action. With Scuderia Corsa and TRG-AMR battling for the championship, it was Dion von Moltke of Paul Miller Racing in an Audi R8 LM5, who set the early pace and took pole position. Ben Keating, in the Dodge Viper of Riley Motorsports, grabbed second position while Bill Sweedler of Scuderia Corsa grabbed the third spot just ahead of Christina Neilsen.
In GT Le Mans, the pair from Porsche North America traded the top spot early in the session before Patrick Pilet claimed the top result and held it throughout. Pilet and Nick Tandy have won the last thee races and will start from pole tomorrow. Dirk Werner in the BMW grabbed P2 and Earl Bamber took P3 in the other Porsche North America entry.
In Prototype Challenge, Chris Cumming, with RSR Racing took the top spot followed by Matt McMurry, of JDC/Miller Motorsport and James French of Performance Tech Motorsports. Series leader Jon Bennett took forth position as the CORE autosport team looks to capture their second straight championship.
Finally, in the Prototype class, Scott Pruett of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates took pole position and will lead the field to green at the Lone Star Le Mans. Oswaldo Negri took the second spot with Michael Shank Racing while Christian Fittipaldi took third with Action Express Racing.
After the IMSA cars engage tomorrow, the WEC cars will take to the track for the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas. The event will run into the warm Texas evening and will be a hot battle for the WEC contenders. The Grand Touring Endurance Pro teams qualified first with pole position taken by Richie Stanaway in the # 99, Aston Martin in LMGTE Pro. This will feel good in Texas with local sponsor Valero being based in Texas and featuring prominantly on the car. Patrick Long took pole in LMGTE Am which is the team of Patrick Dempsey, Dempsey-Proton Racing.
Rounding out the day, the Prototypes of the WEC qualified with Timo Bernhard of the Porsche factory effort holding the top position until teammate Neel Jani grabbed the LMP1 pole with no time left on the clock. LMP2 pole position was obtained by Richard Bradley of KCMG.