Photo: Courtesy IMSA

Colin Braun, CORE Autosport Lead LMP2 Front Row At Watkins Glen

By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer

In an unexpected twist, LMP2 machinery will lead the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship field to the green flag for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours at Watkins Glen.

CORE Autosport’s Colin Braun picked up where they left off after leading Friday’s second practice session by posting a pole position lap of 1 minute, 32.350 seconds around the 3.4 mile natural terrain road course in his No. 54 ORECA LMP2 machine.

Second on the grid is the United Autosports No. 32 Ligier LMP2 entry with Paul Di Resta posting a lap of 1 minute, 32.356 seconds. Acura Team Penske fills out the second row of the grid with the No. 7 Helio Castroneves/Ricky Taylor entry leading the No. 6 Juan Pablo Montoya/Dane Cameron entry.

Only 15 of the 16 Prototype entries qualified for the race. The No. 77 Mazda Team Joest entry had contact during Saturday morning practice with the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche and flipped, causing enough damage for the team to forego qualifying.

In the GT Le Mans class, Ford have picked up where they left off by sweeping the front row. After sweeping the top two positions in all three practice sessions, the No. 67 Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook scored pole position with a lap of 1 minute, 41.948 seconds over the No. 66 of Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller.

All four rows were swept by manufacturers as the second row is all Porsche, the third row is all Corvette and the fourth row has the BMW M8s occupying it. The gap from first to eighth in class is around 1.6 seconds.

In GT Daytona, Lexus continued their amazing weekend form by locking out two of the first three positions in the GTD grid with the No. 15 RC F GT3 scoring pole with a lap of 1 minute, 44.499 seconds turned by Jack Hawksworth. The Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi R8 GT3 was second with the No. 14 Lexus in third ahead of both Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 entries.

The No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche also did not take part in qualifying. The Sahlen’s Six Hours of Watkins Glen starts at 9:45 a.m. EDT.

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.