Kranz recovers for Prototype Challenge Pole
LEXINGTON – When he momentarily deviated from his line at the end of Saturday’s IMSA Prototype Challenge qualifying session at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Moritz Kranz thought any chance of pole position was left in the bin gravel.
The # 21 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 rider surprised himself as he stood up to record the best lap of the session on his last trip to the 13-turn, 2.258-mile natural terrain circuit. In doing so, the German driver secured his third pole position in as many races this year.
Kranz’s fastest lap, 1 minute, 17.372 seconds (105.061 mph), edged Keith Grant in the No. 40 JDC MotorSports Duqueine by 0.04 seconds. Fifteen entries for Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) will take the green flag during Sunday’s one-hour and 45-minute race.
“The first two practice sessions we had little problems because we didn’t have time to test,” said Kranz. “We worked on a setup for qualifying and it was the right direction. Two laps before the end of the session, I did indeed go back and forth in the gravel so I didn’t expect the car to be this quick after the off-road excursion. But the team did a really great job getting the car ready for qualifying and we are now in a good position for the race.
Kranz and co-driver Laurents Hoerr drove to victory after taking pole at Daytona International Speedway in January, then finished fifth from pole at Sebring International Raceway in March. Kranz is the # 21 LMP3 solo driver this weekend.
Point leaders Josh Sarchet and Dakota Dickerson will start third in the # 54 MLT Motorsports Ligier JS P320. In qualifying for the LMP3-2 class for the previous generation car, Lance Willsey was the fastest in the # 24 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P3 with a lap of 1: 21,800 (99,373 mph).
The race begins at 9:40 a.m. ET Sunday and is broadcast live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and IMSA Radio.
Rollan wins Mazda MX-5 Cup weekend opener
Selin Rollan completed a daring outside pass over Sam Paley in Turn 2 at Mid-Ohio to take the lead and win the first race of the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, Double Weekend. This is Rollan’s third victory in seven races.
Starting fourth, Rollan (No.87 Hixon Motor Sports) patiently moved forward before placing the winning shot on Series rookie Paley (No.28 McCumbee McAleer Racing) in the keyhole with 13 minutes left. play in the 45 minute race. Rollan pulled away to win by 1.552 seconds over Paley, who was second for the third time this season.
His Paley teammate Justin Piscitell (No.89 McCumbee McAleer Racing) finished third best of the season. Championship leader Michael Carter (No.08 Carter Racing Enterprises) finished sixth in the 25-car field.
The second MX-5 Cup race of the weekend kicks off at 11:45 a.m. ET on Sunday and will be broadcast live on IMSA.com.