Update: Third placed no30 MOMO/NGT Motorsport Porsche GT3 will be starting from the back.
Porsche pilots locked out the first four grid spots in a field of 36 vehicles entered in the GT class. Pole position went to Nick Tandy in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by Konrad Motorsport/Orbit. Daytona marks the first race for the Briton as a Porsche works driver. One of his teammates is Porsche Junior Michael Christensen (Denmark), who contests his first 24 hour race on Saturday.
“Pole position in Daytona shouldn’t be underestimated, even if the race runs over 24 hours,” said Nick Tandy. “Starting from the front allows you to avoid getting caught up in any skirmishes and that’s certainly an advantage. Our car ran perfectly and that gives us a good feeling for the race.”
“It was our strategy to wait a few laps and see what the pace was, and play it from there. We managed to get one clean lap in – which was all we needed. The car is really good on race pace, which is everything. But it’s nice to start the race with Porsche 1-2 at the front. Winning the pole sounds very good to me. Let’s see if we can translate that to ‘Nick Tandy, champion of the Rolex 24.’”
In last year’s winning car with the starting number 44, Andy Lally (USA) set the second quickest qualifying time. Sharing the cockpit of the Magnus Racing 911 GT3 Cup is Porsche works driver Richard Lietz from Austria.
“This is about the fifth year where we were really close and just missed the pole in this class. We’ve got a lot of good guys out here – like Tandy and Edwards – and I knew it was going to be a real good scrap at the front. Pat Long was fourth – you’ve got an array of Porsche factory guys up near the front. I’m really proud of the Magnus guys to do the job that they did to get this car as good and as strong as they did. We did that lap completely by ourselves. I’m stoked about that, because I think a lot of the guys had a little pull out there. That shows that our car is strong. We did a lot of good laps in a row. We’re representing Flex-Box well by starting on the front row, and I’m looking forward to continuing our streak (five consecutive GT podiums).” – Andy Lally
Third in qualifying in the fiercely competitive qualifying session on the Daytona International Speedway, in which the eleven top placed cars are all within just one second, went to Sean Edwards (MOMO/NGT) from Great Britain ahead Porsche factory pilot Patrick Long (USA) competing for the Park Place Motorsports squad.
“We won the race last year. Second on the grid is an excellent starting position to repeat this success,” said Richard Lietz. Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet (France), one of Sean Edwards’ teammates, was also feeling optimistic. “Sean did an excellent job. After this great qualifying result we are all looking forward to the race. Our goal is to finish on the podium.”
Result GT qualifying
1. Nick Tandy (GB), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 1:47.631 minutes
2. Andy Lally (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, + 0.197 seconds
3. Sean Edwards (GB), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, + 0.376
4. Patrick Long (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, + 0.506
5. Alessandro Balzan (I), Ferrari 458, + 0.629
6. Felipe Albuquerque (MEX), Audi R8, + 0.651
7. Marco Seefried (D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, + 0.688
8. Robin Liddell (GB), Camaro GT.R, + 0.699
- Porsche Motorsport