Black Falcon takes pole position for the first ever 24H COTA USA
The first 14 hours of the inaugural Championship of the Continents are held from 09.00 till 23.00 hrs on Saturday
Circuit Of The Americas – The Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#3, Ben Keating / Jeroen Bleekemolen / Abdulaziz Al Faisal / Luca Stolz) has claimed pole position for the first ever Hankook 24H COTA USA. Jeroen Bleekemolen lapped the 5.49km circuit in 2m 06.461s, ending the session just 0.05s faster than the Manthey Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R (#13, Steve Smith / Randy Walls / Hari Proczyk / Dennis Olsen). Having spent much of qualifying being repaired in the garage, the Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R (#911, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer) denied Mercedes-AMG a clean sweep by setting the third fastest A6-Pro time for the 2017 24H Series powered by Hankook season closer.
The Hofor-Racing powered by Car Collection Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#1, Michael Kroll / Chantal Kroll / Kenneth Heyer / Christiaan Frankenhout / Jörg Viebahn) will start A6-Am from category pole position, the reigning 24H Series GT Champions setting the 6th fastest lap outright. The Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#10, Harald Schlotter / Aleksander Schjerpen / John-Louis Jasper / Vic Rice / Niels Lagrange) meanwhile set the second fastest lap in-class, just ahead of the V8 Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1 (#18, Luc Braams / Duncan Huisman / Alex van t'Hoff / Rick Abresch / Nicolas Vandierendonck).
Unsurprisingly, as contenders for the inaugural Championship of the Continents, the PROsport Performance Porsche 991 Cup (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster) took 991 pole position, qualifying more than 1.5 second faster than the APO Sport Porsche 991 Cup (#80, Alex Osborne / James May / Paul May). The track-club Team Chronext Porsche 991 Cup (#111, Adam Balon / Marcus Jewell / Liam Griffin / Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke) was third quickest.
The MARC Cars Australia MARC Mazda V8 (#210, Jake Camilleri /Keith Kassulke / Morgan Haber / Hadrian Morrall) led the way in SP2, qualifying just under a second faster than the Mercedes-AMG Testteam Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT R SP-X (#84, Russell Ward / Damien Faulkner / Indy Dontje / Maximilian Götz) and the second MARC Cars Australia MARC Mazda V8 (#214, Malcolm Niall / Clint Harvey / Brett Niall / Robert Thomson).
The Speedworks Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 (#225, John Gilbert / Christian Dick / William Phillips / Tom Ingram) topped the SP3 class ahead of the JR Motorsport BMW E90 (#118, Ward Sluys / Pieter van Soelen / Ted van Vliet / Marco Poland). The Aston Martin Lagonda Aston Martin Vantage GT8 (#232, Andy Palmer / Peter Cate / Paul Hollywood / John Hindhaugh) set a credible third fastest time in-class on the car’s series debut.
The Red Camel-Jordans.nl SEAT Leon TCR (#303, Ivo Breukers / Rik Breukers / Aram Martroussian) will lead the TCR field away tomorrow, just ahead of the all-Dutch NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing SEAT Leon TCR (#125, Gijs Bessem / Harry Hilders / Rob Rappange / Willem Meijer). Reigning 24H Series TCR and Touring Car champions Team Altran Peugeot 308 Racing Cup (#308, Guillaume Roman / Gonzalo Martin de Andres / Thierry Blaise / Marc Guillot) completes the category top three.
The CUP1 top spot went to the Classic BMW M235i Racing Cup (#158, Mike Vess / Jason Hart / Matt Travis / John Capesstro-Dubets / Max Fedler) at its home race. Next up is the Sorg Rennsport BMW M235i Racing Cup (#151, Alexander W. Wetzlich / Simon Tibbett / Benito Tagle / Ray Mason / Quinten Nelson), while the QSR Racingschool BMW M235i Racing Cup (#161, Rodrigue Gillion / Emilie Liljeström / Mckay Snow / Tommy Graberg / John Mauro) will start third in-class.
Further back, the reigning 24H Series A2 champions Team Eva Solo / Jönsson Consulting Peugeot RCZ (#171, Jan Engelbrecht / Thomas Sørensen / Henrik Sørensen / Claus Bertelsen / Søren Jønsson) ahead of the dual THRW Honda Racing entries on the team’s series debut. On home turf, the #183 Honda Civic Si (Douglas Chan / Jeremy Lucas / Scott Nicol / Ryan Eversley) beat the #184 (Calvin Tam / Michael Tsay / Lawrence Hwang / Derek Ferretti) for the second fastest time in-class.
The session got off to a dramatic start with two red flags. The first was flown when the suspension of the QSR Racingschool BMW M235i Racing Cup (#154, Jimmy de Breucker / Tom Boonen / Patrick Zeeuws / Luc Moortgat / Jan Heylen) collapsed. Shortly after that, Brookspeed International Motorsport Porsche Cayman GT4 MR (#41, David Pattison / Freddie Hunt / Joseph Toussaint / Alan Menti) made heavy impact with the barriers, stopping the session for a second time.
The first 14 hours of the race are held from 09.00 till 23.00 hrs on Saturday. Overnight, cars will be kept under parc fermé conditions. On Sunday, the race will be resumed from 08.00 till 18.00 hrs.
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About this article
|Event||24 Hours of Cota USA|
|Location||Circuit of the Americas|
|Drivers||Ben Keating , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Steve Smith , Michael Kroll , Daniel Allemann|
|Teams||Team Manthey , Black Falcon , Car Collection Motorsport , Hofor-Racing , Herberth Motorsport , Leipert Motorsport|