Honda Captures Prototype Pole For Sahlen’s Six Hours, Van Overbeek Leads Record-Breaking Session At Watkins Glen
Saturday, July 2, 2016

Johannes van Overbeek gave Tequila Patrón ESM a good start towards taking a third victory in 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, capturing the TOTAL Pole Award for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in the No. 2 Tequila Patrón Honda Ligier JS P2.

Van Overbeek led the 15-minute session with a track record lap of 1:35.207 (128.5 mph) on the newly repaved 3.4-mile circuit.

With the team concentrating on the four races that make up the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup, van Overbeek and co-drivers Pipo Derani, Scott Sharp and Ed Brown opened the year by winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida. Derani, van Overbeek and Sharp will co-drive in Sunday’s race, which will be televised in its entirety live on FS1, beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

“The crew did the work – the guys put together a great car,” said van Overbeek. “We rolled off the truck fast, and we improved on that in the details every step of the way. I knew we had the possibility of getting the pole and I didn’t want to let the guys down, so I just closed my eyes and held on. After the success at Daytona and Sebring we’re in the hunt for the Patrón Endurance Cup, so we’re hoping to grab some more points to win it.”

Tristan Nunez made a last-lap attempt at the pole but came up short by just 0.167 seconds, running a lap of 1:35.374 (128.3 mph) in the No. 55 Castrol/ModSpace Mazda Prototype co-driven by Jonathan Bomarito and Spencer Pigot to join van Overbeek on the front row.

Ozz Negri will start third in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Curb Records/AERO Honda Ligier with a lap of 1:35.592 (128.0 mph). He will be joined on the second row by Ricky Taylor, who led the Bowtie Brigade with a lap of 1:35.749 (127.8 mph) in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette Daytona Prototype.

The top eight Prototype qualifiers bettered Alex Brundle’s two-year-old record of 1:37.902 (125.023 mph), set in 2014 in a Nissan Morgan.

Van der Zande Takes First Career TOTAL Pole Award For Starworks Motorsport

Renger van der Zande came through in a rare qualifying attempt, running a track record lap of 1:38.407 124.3 mph) to capture his first TOTAL Pole Award in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09.

“It’s nice to be on pole position and to be qualifying again,” said van der Zande, who will co-drive with Alex Popow. “We won here last year, and we won the last race at Detroit as well, so hopefully we can try to repeat that again and again. It’s a big advantage to do this race with just two drivers. Alex is doing a fantastic job, and I can definitely rely on him.”

Robert Alon came up 0.804 seconds short in a bid for a third consecutive pole. He saved his best lap for last in the 15-minute session, running 1:39.211 (123.3 mph) in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Professional Security Consultants/Westfield/Prisma ORECA co-driven by Tom Kimber-Smith and Jose Gutierrez.

James French qualified third with a lap of 1:39.363 (123.1 mph) in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry, followed by Johnny Mowlem, who ran 1:40.028 (122.3 mph) in the No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA.

NOTEBOOK

  • Van Overbeek won his only other WeatherTech Championship pole position at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2014. He now has five poles in major U.S. sports car competition, winning two in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and one in the American Le Mans Series in addition to the two WeatherTech Championship poles.

The Californian is also a former winner at Watkins Glen, placing third overall and capturing the GT class in a Porsche GT3 RS for Rennworks Motorsport (the current Flying Lizard Motorsports) with Seth Neiman and Lonnie Pechnik in the 2003 Sahlen’s Six Hours.

  • The top six PC qualifiers eclipsed Colin Braun’s two-year-old track record of 1:40.562 (121.716 mph), with the top five separated by 1.652 seconds. Among the drivers bettering the mark was Braun’s co-driver Jon Bennett, who was sixth fastest with a lap of 1:40.422 (121.8 mph) in the No. 54 CORE autosport Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09.

The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen airs live on FS1 beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

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