Ford Wins Fifth Continental Tire Challenge TOTAL Pole Award on Thursday
Thursday, September 15, 2016

Scott Maxwell captured his fifth TOTAL Pole Award of the season in IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge qualifying for Friday’s Circuit of The Americas 150. The Canadian ran a lap of 2:23.439 (85.3 mph) in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Shelby GT350R-C co-driven by Billy Johnson, extending his series-leading total to 15 career poles.

Maxwell will be joined on the front row by Danny Burkett, who ran a lap of 2:23.648 (85.2 mph) in the No. 33 CJ Wilson Racing ONE Capital Management/MoneyOilMatters.org Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport co-driven by Marc Miller. Maxwell and Johnson enter the event with a 20-point lead over the Porsche drivers, 260-240, with only two races remaining.

“The track was slippery with the heat, so the key was getting a fast lap early in the session,” said Maxwell. “My first lap today was my quickest. I tried to do another fast lap, but I made a mistake and bailed on it. Sure, it would be great to win tomorrow, but our main task is to get a solid finish. If we can get on the podium, it will be a bonus.”

Tyler Cooke captured his second TOTAL Pole Award of the season in an abbreviated Street Tuner (ST) session, running a lap of 2:31.459 in the No. 84 BimmerWorld Racing OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i. Cooke won the pole at Sebring, while co-driver James Clay won poles at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

“It was a high pressure situation – which is something I love,” said Cooke, who now has three career poles. “We made a few humungous changes following our final practice, and they really worked for qualifying. We were very tight in practice, and that allowed us to rotate in the corners. Our biggest concern is keeping the turbos cool as the race develops – we expect to see a lot strong cars here tomorrow.”

Cooke knocked Sarah Cattaneo to the outside of the front row, after the driver of the No. 44 CRG-I Do Borrow Nissan Altima ran a lap of 2:32.153 (80.4 mph). The session was red-flagged for a stopped car before any of the competitors had a full lap; the 15-minute session resumed in time for drivers to run one lap on the clock.

NOTEBOOK

  • Sarah Cattaneo will be making her first front-row start in five years in Friday’s Continental Tire Challenge race. It was her best qualifying effort since winning her second career pole at Mid-Ohio in 2011. However, she and co-driver Owen Trinkler have two victories this season, winning at Sebring in a Honda Civic Si and at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in a Nissan.
  • Joe Foster was a late entry in the Continental Tire Challenge field, making his first IMSA appearance since the 2014 Petit Le Mans. It will be the first race in the series since 2012 for Foster, who shared the 2008 GS championship with Scott Maxwell for Multimatic Motorsports.
  • Friday’s schedule includes Round 9 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Championship at 1:40 p.m. ET, followed by WeatherTech Championship qualifying at 4:45 p.m. ET.

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