Corvette Sweeps GTD PRO Front Row at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

By Jeff Olson

IMSA Wire Service

The new pavement at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca was a perfect match for the new Corvette, which earned its first pole position with the Corvette Z06 GT3.R model that debuted this season.

Nicky Catsburg won the Motul Pole Award in Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) with his record-setting lap of 1 minute, 19.727 seconds (101.054 mph) in the Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R.

In fact, Catsburg was followed by Antonio Garcia in the team’s sister car, the No. 3 Corvette, at 1:20.038, giving Corvette a sweep in the first IMSA race at WeatherTech Raceway since its offseason repave.

While Corvette was dominating GTD PRO, Danny Formal took charge of GTD with a lap of 1:20.866 in the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 – the first pole position for the team as a full-season GTD program.

In part because of the new surface, pole position was an important target for Catsburg and co-driver Tommy Milner, along with Garcia and his co-driver, Alexander Sims.

“We really put our emphasis on qualifying,” Catsburg said. “We know track position is going to be important here. It’s a low-degradation track now. We put a lot of effort into it, and it worked. The car felt amazing, so it was pretty much just doing some laps and letting the time get toward me. It worked out.”

Marvin Kirchhoefer recorded the third-fastest lap (1:20.244) in GTD PRO in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports McLaren 720S GT3 EVO he shares with Oliver Jarvis.

Formal talked about WTRAndretti’s effort to get the Lamborghini up to speed in a short time frame.

“I’m just so happy with my teammates,” said Formal, who co-drives the No. 45 with Kyle Marcelli. “Everyone has been working so, so hard to get this program from zero to a pole position in three races. It’s pretty incredible.”

The temporarily renumbered No. 557 Turner Motorpsort BMW M4 GT3 co-driven by Patrick Gallagher and Robby Foley landed alongside the WTRAndretti Lambo on the front row in GTD with Gallagher’s lap of 1:20.995. The number celebrates the team’s 557th race with BMW – the most by any team in the world.

The WeatherTech Championship GTD points-leading No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 co-driven by Russell Ward and Philip Ellis will start third in GTD. Ward and Ellis are looking for their third victory in four races this season after claiming GTD honors at both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

NBC’s live network coverage of the two-hour, 40-minute race begins Sunday, May 12 at 3 p.m. ET with live streaming also available on Peacock.