It was also Tagliani’s first race in a Ferrari – the realization of a life-long dream.
“It’s awesome for an Italian to be able to put on a red suit and drive in a red car,” he said. “I hope to get to do this many, many more times.”
Segal and Papis won the Brickyard Grand Prix’s GT title at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July, while Papis won the GT pole for Detroit Belle Isle in June.
“He’s the real deal,” Segal said of Tagliani. “He’s been on the pole for the Indy 500. You can’t do that if you can’t drive.”
Leh Keen was second in GT, in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 co-driven by Alessandro Balzan, 1:15.262 (113.36 mph), followed by Emil Assentato in the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD co-driven by Anthony Lazzaro.
Tom Long took his fifth pole of the season in the GX class, running 1:21.644 (104.50 mph) in the No. 70 Mazdaspeed/Castrol Edge Mazda 6 co-driven by Sylvain Tremblay.
Buford Captures Sixth Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Pole, Mark Pombo Rules ST
Jade Buford waited until his final lap – and a tow from a competitor – to capture his sixth Grand Sport pole of the season Friday night, running a lap of 1 minute, 20.858 seconds in the No. 55 Multimatic Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage co-driven by Scott Maxwell.
“We hit the setup, but I didn’t think we had enough for the pole,” Buford said. “Winning it came as a surprise, and I’ve got to thank Lawson Aschenbach for that. I was able to catch his draft on that last lap. I don’t think I could have broken 21 (1:21.00) flat on my own.”
Bryan Heitkotter was seeking his second pole in two races co-driving the No. 14 Doran Racing Nissan 370Z, but was bumped near the end of the 15-minute session. Heitkotter will start from the outside of the front row after a lap of 1:20.873 (105.499 mph). Point lead Nick Longhi will start third in the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997 co-driven by Matt Plumb.
Mark Pombo scored his second career Street Tuner pole with a lap of 1:27.702 (97.284 mph), in the No. 30 i-MOTO Mazda Speed 3, edging teammate Derek Jones’ No. 32 Mazda, who was clocked at 1:27.913 (97.050 mph). It was Pombo’s second career pole but first since being injured in a practice accident at Road America in 2012.
Pombo gave credit to teammate Jayson Clunie, driver of the No. 31 Mazda, who qualified fourth behind Chad Gilsinger in the No. 93 HART Honda Civic Si.
“The pole was all Jayson, and he deserves all the credit,” said Pombo, who co-drives with his brother Mat Pombo. “Jayson was fastest in practice and was running up front in qualifying cutting through the air. Derek and I just caught his draft and got our time. He sacrificed himself for us.”