Continental Tire Road Race Showcase: Joey Hand is on pole at Road America

Road America saw contestants from all the Tudor United Sports Car classes. The pole winners were Joey Hand in Prototype, James French in Prototype Challenge, Earl Bamber in GT Le Mans and Patrick Lindsey in GT Daytona class.

The GT Daytona class cars went on track first and Dion Von Moltke took the early lead in an Audi R8 LMS Ultra but was soon overtaken by Ben Keating in his Dodge Viper SRT. Von Moltke returned to the lead with around eight minutes to go, but was pushed back by Patrick Lindsey and Ben Keating who returned to the provisional pole with 2:10.282.

With four-and-a-half minutes to go, Ben Keating went off track but returned without any damage to his car. Christina Nielsen was following the top three in the 007 Aston Martin and Patrick Lindsey went to the top with 2:09.370. That was his opportunity to get to pole position and he was followed by Ben Keating, Christina Nielsen, Dion Von Moltke and Bill Sweedler in the top five. Porsches driven by Ian James, Cooper MacNeil and John Potter were following the top five, with Michael Marsal and Ray Mason occupying the last two spots.

The GTLM class was the next with Earl Bamber in the early lead, but he was soon pushed to second by Bill Auberlen and his BMW Z4. Bamber returned to the lead with 2:02.384 and was followed by Giancarlo Fisichella, Tommy Milner and John Edwards.

The corvette C7.R driver Antionio Garcia jumped to second, where he stayed until the end of the session. With a time he previously set, Earl Bamber was on pole, followed by Garcia, Fisichella, Edwards and Milner in top five. Bill Auberlen was on sixth, followed by Wolf Henzler and Patrick Pilet who had an early issue with his car, causing him to retire early on into the session.

James French was the early leader in PC class but his time was topped by Jon Bennett and Mike Guasch. However, the French managed to improve to 2:02.010 and returned to the lead. Chris Miller went up to provisional pole, but was immediately dethroned by Chris Cumming who did 2:01.209 and later improved to 2:00.443 and 1:59.923. James French took the pole in the final seconds with 1:59.658, 0.052s in front of Cumming who managed to improve his time to 1:59.710! Chris Miller was on third in front of Mike Guasch, Jon Bennett, Mirco Schultis and Matt McMurray.

In the Prototype Class, it was Memo Rojas in the DeltaWing who took the early lead, but he was soon overtaken by Michael Valiante and Joey Hand who went onto the provisional pole with 1:56.531, a time he later improved to 1:56.452. Christian Fittipaldi was on second, followed by Valiante, Ricky Taylor, John Pew, Memo Rojas and Eric Curran. Mazda driver Tom Long had to quit the session early and finished last.

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