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van Overbeek, ESM claim Laguna TUSC pole

Johannes van Overbeek puts the Extreme Speed HPD-Honda on pole for round four of the Tudor United Sportscar Championship at Laguna Seca.

Johannes van Overbeek put Extreme Speed Motorsports' HPD ARX-03b on pole position for Sunday afternoon's Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Having been fastest in second practice, the sportscar veteran produced a lap of 1min 18.970secs to claim top spot in qualifying for the latest round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and will line up ahead of second and third fastest runners in the Prototype class, ex-pat Brits Richard Westbrook and Ryan Dalziel, who gave chase in the #Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP Chevrolet and sister Extreme Speed entries respectively.

“The long fast corners definitely suit this style of car,” van Overbeek commented, admitting that he didn't think traffic would be too much of a problem racing with just the GTLM cars in Sunday's two-hour race, “We're still not nearly as fast on the straightaway, but we make it up in other places, and I think, with that, it will make a very interesting race tomorrow.”

All four class pole sitters set new qualifying track records, with Bruno Junqueira taking Prototype Challenge pole at the wheel of the #09 RSR Racing ORECA FLM09 Chevrolet. The Brazilian lapped in 1min 19.723secs to sit ahead of Starworks team-mates Micro Schultis and Luis Diaz, who put their similarly-powered ORECAs second and third in class.

Antonio Garcia (Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7 R) has the pole for the GT Le Mans class, turning in a 1min 38.496secs lap.

“The lap was pretty good… right on the limit everywhere,” he smiled, “The Corvette worked pretty good and I just hope to carry on the momentum we have.”

Second and third in class were John Edwards (BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE) and Nick Tandy (Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR), and the American was particularly revved up after his earlier overall victory in the supporting Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race.

In the large GT Daytona class, Spencer Pumpelly (Flying Lizards Audi R8 LMS) was quickest at 1min 25.6951secs, ahead of Leh Keen (Alex Job Porsche 911 GT) and Christopher Haase (Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS), but the group proved very competitive, with a new leader seemingly every lap or so.

The four classes will be split into two separate races on Sunday, with the first - at 1015hrs local time - for the Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona classes, and the second, for Prototypes and GT Le Mans entrants, at 1445hrs local.

by Lynne Huntting

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b
Shane Van Gisbergen (NZL), VonRyan Racing, BES [Credit: Pirelli]
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Tequila Patron ESM Honda HPD ARX-03b, WEC Silverstone [Credit: Tequila Patron ESM]
Tequila Patron ESM Honda HPD ARX-03b [Credit: Tequila Patron ESM]
Tequila Patron ESM HPD ARX-04b
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Tequila Patron ESM HPD ARX-04b
Tequila Patron ESM HPD ARX-04b
Tequila Patron ESM HPD ARX-04b
Tequila Patron ESM Honda HPD ARX-04b
Honda ARX-04b [credit: Extreme Speed Motorsports]
Speed/Brown/Dalziel - Extreme Speed Motorsports
Van Overbeek/Brown
Extreme Speed Motorsport to run HPD ARX-04b - the first closed coupe HPD sports prototype
The iconic Martini colours will return to the US sportscar scene courtesy of a deal with Starworks Motorsport
David Brabham in action for ESM at the 2013 Petit Le Mans [Pic credit:]

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