Christopher Haase (No. 29 Audi Sport Team Land R8) confirmed the speed of his car by taking pole position for the inaugural Mazda Raceway California 8 Hours, by lapping the Laguna Seca Circuit in 1m23.961s. He beat Markus Winkelhock (No. 44 Audi Sport Team Magnus R8) by less than two tenths of a second. The top eight cars were separated by less than a second.
For most of the Pole Shootout session it looked like Markus Winkelhock would take pole position for the tomorrow’s Mazda Raceway California 8 Hours, but a couple of minutes before the end of the session the lap time of the Audi Sport Team Magnus driver was beaten by Christopher Haase, current leader in the Intercontinental GT Challenge driver standings. At the wheel of the No. 29 Audi Sport Team Land R8, a car that has been among the frontrunners for the whole weekend, Haase was the only driver to break the 1m24s barrier.
“My car was spot on for one lap. We expected the track to bit a little more slippery because of the heat and adapted the car accordingly,” said Haase. “I expect a very fast race tomorrow. I don’t think there will be many cautions, which means that every driver will have to do very fast stints.”
The second row of the grid will be shared by the No. 58 Porsche Motorsport North America by Wright Motorsport 911 and the No. 11 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8, driven in the Pole Shootout by Patrick Long and Robin Frijns, respectively.
Fastest of the Pro-Am cars was the No. 54 Black Swan Racing Porsche, with Jeroen Bleekemolen at the wheel. The Dutchman drove the car to seventh overall. In GT4 the No. 07 TRG Aston Martin of Brandon Davis was the only car to compete in the Pole Shootout. The TRG crew managed to repair the car just in time, after a suspension problem in the qualifying session this morning. The fraternal duel between the MARC Cars Mazdas in the Invitational Class was won by Australian Jake Camilleri in the No. 193 car.
Christopher Haase (No. 29 Audi Sport Team Land R8): “My car was spot on for one lap. We expected the track to bit a little more slippery because of the heat and adapted the car accordingly. I expect a very fast race tomorrow. I don’t think there will be many cautions, which means that every driver will have to do very fast stints.”