Scott Pruett claimed pole position for Saturday’s Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach, leading a Ford 1-2 in qualifying for the third round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. (Sat. 6 p.m. on FOX Sports 1)
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver stormed to the top of the time charts early in the 15-minute session and kept his No. 01 Riley-Ford on the point, despite challenges from a half-dozen other Prototype contenders.
A red flag for the stationary No. 1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b of Ryan Dalziel set up a three-minute shootout, which saw the top seven of the eight P-class entries make improvements.
Pruett’s 1:15.325 lap time edged out the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford of Ozz Negri by just 0.041 seconds, marking a sweep of the front row for the Blue Oval and its first pole in TUDOR Championship competition.
The No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa will line up third overall and in class, followed by the No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan, the best of the P2 cars in fourth, thanks to a flying 1:15.668 lap time by Olivier Pla. The Frenchman’s time was within four-tenths of the pole.
Ricky Taylor completed the top-five in his No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP, with the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette of Michael Valiante qualifying sixth.
The two ESM HPDs will roll off seventh and eighth in class, with trouble hitting the pole-contending No. 1 machine of Dalziel.
Corvette Racing will lead the GT Le Mans field to the green, following an impressive lap by Jan Magnussen.
Magnussen stormed to the top of the time charts with less than five minutes on the clock, bumping what was looking to be a BMW front row.
The Dane reeled off a fast lap of 1:17.939 in his No. 3 Corvette C7.R, clearing the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE of Bill Auberlen by 0.152 seconds.
It marked the factory Pratt & Miller squad’s first pole in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and also the first for the new Corvette C7.R.
Magnussen will share driving duties with Antonio Garcia in tomorrow’s 100-minute sprint race.
BMW Team RLL’s Auberlen and co-driver Andy Priaulx, who head into the weekend as class points leaders, will roll off from second on the grid, followed by the sister No. 56 BMW, qualified by Dirk Mueller, in third.
The top-five was completed by the No. 4 Corvette of Tommy Milner and the Nick Tandy-driven No. 911 Porsche North America entry, which made a noteworthy rebound following driveshaft issues in the morning.
Porsche’s sister works entry of Michael Christensen was sixth after engine problems in the first session, followed by the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia, qualified by Giancarlo Fisichella.
The Tequila Patron SportsCar Showcase gets underway Saturday at 6 p.m. ET with live coverage on FOX Sports 1.Long Beach, Ozz Negri, Scott Pruett, Sports Cars, TUSC