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May 04, 2014 - 07:18 AM
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Van Overbeek Drives Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b/Honda To Prototype Pole At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Posted by: newsla on May 04, 2014 - 07:13 AM
Sports Cars
Van Overbeek Drives Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b/Honda To Prototype Pole At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca


Two different specs of Prototypes went head-to-head for the pole in TUDOR United SportsCar Championship qualifying Saturday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

 

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Johannes van Overbeek in a P2-spec HPD ARX-03b/Honda and Richard Westbrook in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP swapped the top spot three times over the final few minutes of the 15-minute session. In the end, it was van Overbeek in the No. 2 Tequila Patrón entry who earned the TOTAL Pole Award with a lap of 1 minute, 18.561 seconds (102.555 mph).

It was the first overall pole for van Overbeek, coming at the Oakland native’s home track for Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda.

"I'd much rather win than come in on the pole, but it's a start," he said. "The long fast corners particularly suit this kind of car. We're still not nearly as fast in the straightaways [as the Daytona Prototypes], but we make up for it in other places, so I think that will make for a very interesting race tomorrow.

"It was a little challenging for me because the predictive lap timer didn't work, so I just wanted to push hard but I didn't want to throw it off. But finally the car came in, the tires came in right at the end and I made up all the time coming down the hill."

Westbrook came up 0.227 seconds shy of the pole with a lap of 1:18.661 (102.259 mph).

A pair of P2 Prototypes will share the second row. Van Overbeek’s Extreme Speed Motorsports teammate Ryan Dalziel qualified third with a lap of 1:18.970 (102.024 mph) in the No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b/Honda, followed by Gustavo Yacaman in the No. 42 OAK Racing Nissan/Morgan, 1:19.076 (101.887 mph).

The Prototypes will be joined by the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in Sunday’s two-hour race, beginning at 2:45 p.m. PT (Live, FOX Sports 1, 5:30 p.m. ET).

JUNQUEIRA SCORED SECOND CONSECUTIVE PROTOTYPE CHALLENGE POLE Bruno Junqueira knew he needed a perfect lap in the final minutes of Prototype Challenge (PC) qualifying at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca if he was going to earn his second consecutive TOTAL Pole Award. He did just that, recovering from a spin earlier in the 15-minute session to best Renger van der Zande by 0.394 seconds with a lap of 1 minute, 19.723 seconds (101.060 MPH) in the No. 09 RSR Racing ORECA FLM09.

"The competition was getting closer to me so on the last lap i said ‘That's it, I have to give it 100%," said Junqueira. "It was a perfect lap. I was improving a little bit each lap as the tires were getting warmer. I couldn’t be happier."

Junqueira’s experience at Mazda Raceway dates back to his days in Champ Car where he earned podiums in 2003 and 2004. He also finished second in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón PC class in 2012. Still, an early spin nearly derailed an eventual pole-winning attempt.

"The car had a little bit of understeer mid-corner," he said. "I tried to go too fast on the power and made it over-rotate a bit. It was a silly spin, but with this car it happens. I was able to recover and move on."

Van der Zande was second in PC qualifying in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09 with a lap of 1:20.117 (100.563 mph), while Sean Rayhall qualified the No. 25 8Star Motorsports entry third at 1:20.421 (100.183 mph).

The PC class will be joined by the GT Daytona (GTD) competitors in a two-hour race, beginning at 10:15 a.m. PT (FOX Sports 1, Live, 1 p.m. ET).

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