Black Swan Racing’s Jeroen Bleekemolen qualified on the GT Challenge pole for the fourth consecutive race with a lap of 1:24.954 (95.685 mph) in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry that he will drive with team owner Tim Pappas. The pairing won at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Utah before finishing second two weeks ago at Lime Rock Park.
They stand third in the class championship, trailing TRG’s Andy Lally and Henri Richard by 11 points. Class winners receive 20 points this weekend.
“We missed the first race, and the second race we were still fighting it a bit,” said Bleekemolen, a two-time champion of the Porsche Supercup series and LMP2 winner for Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours. “We were on pole at Long Beach but had it taken away but now we’re on it. When I go out, the balance of the car is already there and we only have to make small changes. This is a very nice track, and people said it was going to be one of the very best road courses we have and I agree. We will be overtaken a lot so it stands to be a very busy day tomorrow.”
Bleekemolen was 0.306 seconds quicker than Bryce Miller for ORBIT Racing. The young American is driving with Luke Hines; the Black Swan and ORBIT entries have been neck-and-neck in every session so far this week.
James Sofronas qualified third for GMG Racing in the entry he will share with Bret Curtis. His best lap was a 1:25.729 (94.820 mph), just 0.775 seconds behind Bleekemolen.
“One thing that is nice here is that we can change shocks and springs more than you could do in Supercup in Europe,” Bleekemolen said. “It’s quite different to jump from Supercup to here. You can work much more on the car and that is what we have done here. You can make adjustments and improve and improve.”