BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Michael Cooper posted the fastest time in Saturday morning’s GT/GTA/GT Cup qualifying session at Barber Motorsports Park and will start on pole for Saturday afternoon’s GT Round 5, at the Grand Prix of Birmingham presented by Porsche, part of the 7th annual Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Martin Fuentes will start on pole in GTA, while Alec Udell will start on pole for GT Cup Round 5.
The 45-minute qualifying session (divided into two 20 minute run groups) was held under sunny, 55 degree temperatures.
The first session included Colin Thompson in the No. 13 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3, Peter Cunningham in the No. 42 Acura/HPD/RealTime Acura TLX-GT, Michael Schein in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 GT-R, Jon Fogarty in the No. 99 GAINSCO Insurance McLaren 650 GT3, Drew Regitz in the No. 19 iRACERCOACHING.com Audi R8 LMS GT3, Martin Fuentes in the No. 07 Hublot, Under Armour Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, Walt Bowlin in the No. 23 Audi R8 GT3, Joseph Toussaint in the No. 90 Autometrics Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R, Frankie Montecalvo in the No. 66 Dime R&D Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3, Sloan Urry in the No. 20 Security National/Avasis Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Alec Udell in the No. 17 Amsource Capital/Panther Pipeline Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Corey Fergus in the No. 00 Byers Porsche US LED Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and Preston Calvert in the No. 77 Calvert Dynamics/Phoenix Performance Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Early on in the session, Thompson posted the fastest time with a 1:24.431 followed by GTA driver Montecalvo with a 1:24.361. In GT Cup, Udell went to the top in class with a 1:26.743.
With 10 minutes remaining in the first run group, Schein jumped to the top in GTA with a 1:24.217.
GTA driver Fuentes would then post the fastest time to jump to the top of the overall charts in the session with a 1:23.779.
Then with under five minutes remaining, Fogarty posted a 1:23.553 to top the charts overall in the first run group.
The second session included Alvaro Parente in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3, Adderly Fong in the No. 88 Bentley Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3, JD Davison in the No. 33 Nissan/GT Academy GT3 GT-R Nissan GT-R GT3, Bryan Heitkotter in the No. 05 Nissan GT Academy GT-R Nissan GT-R GT3, Johnny O’Connell in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3, Michael Cooper in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3, Kyle Marcelli in the No. 2 DeVilbiss,Hawk Performance Audi R8 LMS Ultra, Ryan Eversley in the No. 43 Acura/HPD/Red Line Oil/RealTime Acura TLX-GT, Andrew Palmer in the No. 87 Bentley Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3, Austin Cindric in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3, Patrick Long in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing/World PMO Porsche 911 GT3 R, Andrew Davis in the No. 76 Calvert Dynamics/Phoenix Performance Porsche 911 GT3 R, and Michael Lewis in the No. 41 EFFORT Racing/Curb-Agajanian Nissan GT-R GT3. Early on in the second session, Parente jumped to the top of the overall charts with a 1:23.121 followed by Cooper with a 1:23.124.
When the checkered flew to end to second session and complete the qualifying for GT/GTA Round 6, GT Cup Round 5, Cooper secured the pole in GT, while Fuentes and Udell topped the charts in GTA and GT Cup respectively.
Cooper’s time (1:22.748) set the new PWC GT qualifying track record previously held by Robert Thorne (1:23.618, 2015). Udell’s time (1:26.743) eclipsed the previous PWC GT Cup qualfying track record set in 2015 by Colin Thompson (1:28.223).
For Cooper it’s his first pole of the season and 12th of his PWC career. Fuentes scored his sixth straight GTA pole of the season. For Udell, it’s his first pole of the 2016 season and third career PWC pole.
Results are provisional until posted final. GT/GTA (Round 6) and GT Cup (Round 5) drivers next take to the track the race on Saturday starting at 1:45 pm Central. Watch the race live at motortrendondemand.com and follow live timing and scoring at world-challenge.com.
Michael Cooper Quote:
“I am super excited to get my first pole for Cadillac and to start up front for this afternoon’s race,” exclaimed Cooper. “Hopefully I will have a clean shot at the first few laps. The car was good today. Even though we were quickest in practice yesterday we weren’t completely satisfied. We were looking for some more performance out of the Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe. So we sat down with the engineering team and decided to take some risks, we *Dare Greatly here at Cadillac and it paid off this morning. Last week’s strategy was to pass everybody. Strategy this week is just to GO.”