The combination of Canadian driver Kuno Wittmer and the Dodge Viper GTS-R proved to be too much for the competition in GT Le Mans (GTLM) qualifying.
One year after Jonathan Bomarito drove the No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R to the marque’s first pole in more than a decade in an American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón event at the track, Wittmer put the No. 93 car back at the top of the grid for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance (FOX Sports 1, live at 2 p.m. ET). Wittmer turned a best lap of one minute, 15.206 seconds (117.709 mph).
It was the first career pole for the Montreal native at a track near and dear to his heart.
“It’s still giving me some goose bumps,” he said. “If you look back, the first time I ran around this track I was 16 years old. Personally this is a big achievement and it’s a dream come true.”
To earn the pole, Wittmer had to beat out the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R that has won the last three TUDOR Championship races. That car, qualified by Antonio Garcia and co-driven by Jan Magnussen, fell just 0.072 seconds short of the pole with a lap of 1:15.278 (117.596 mph). Rounding out the top three was Wolf Henzler in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR co-driven by Bryan Sellers at 1:15.368 (117.456 mph).
The top five were separated by a mere 0.291 seconds.
“It just shows how tight the competition is in this class and I think definitely tomorrow we’ll see a repeat of that,” said Wittmer. “I believe we have a little bit of an edge here. We need to go into tomorrow with a proper plan. It’s far from being won, but I know our team is very, very strong with strategies and I know we’ll do something really nice tomorrow.”