LAKEVILLE, Conn. — Laurens Vanthoor picked up his first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole, setting a GT Le Mans track record at Lime Rock Park in a 1-2 sweep of qualifying for the Porsche GT Team ahead of this afternoon’s Northeast Grand Prix.
Vanthoor posted a best time of 49.133 seconds (108.000 mph) in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, breaking the previous record of 49.754 seconds (106.6 mph) set last year in qualifying by Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. Vanthoor’s time was just 0.052 seconds quicker than teammate Nick Tandy, who turned in a best lap of 49.185 seconds (107.886 mph) in the No. 911 Porsche.
“Finally!” Vanthoor exclaimed. “Everyone is always laughing at me because I have the record for the most second places in qualifying. I always have to take on a lot of jokes. I do love qualifying a lot. For myself, I find it important personally. I’m so happy one finally worked out. I hope it’s the first of many.”
Connor De Phillippi qualified third in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE at 49.322 seconds (107.586 mph) followed by 2018 Lime Rock winner Dirk Mueller at 49.458 seconds (107.290 mph) in the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT. Garcia completed the top five at 49.690 seconds (106.789 mph) in the No. 3 Corvette.
The entire GTLM field qualified within 0.731 seconds.
Trent Hindman scored his third Motul Pole Award of the season in the GT Daytona class in an incredibly close 15-minute qualifying session. Hindman’s pole-winning time of 51.456 seconds (103.124 mph) was just 0.026 seconds faster than Ben Keating’s second-place time in the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley GT3 machine.
In fact, the top five cars in the session were covered by just 0.119 seconds, and the entire, 12-car field was covered by 0.780 seconds.
“It was a little bit sketchier than I wanted it to be,” Hindman said. “But I’ll take it. Just a big thanks to the Meyer Shank Racing guys. I kind of put them through the ringer in the warm-up there. I was trying to get every last ounce out of this thing right before qualifying.
“We got it out of the warm-up and everything felt really good. So, I was kind of like, the pressure was on, got to get it done. There’s no excuse if we don’t for qualifying there. I’m glad we pulled through.”