Holton Scores Second Consecutive Continental Tire Challenge Motul Pole Award In McLaren
Friday, August 17, 2018
In what may have been one of the closest qualifying sessions of the season for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Paul Holton scored his second consecutive Motul Pole Award Friday in qualifying for Saturday’s Biscuitville Grand Prix.
Holton’s lap of 1 minute, 54.175 seconds (103.104 mph) in the No. 76 Compass Racing McLaren GT4 co-driven by Matt Plumb was just 0.017 seconds ahead of Tyler McQuarrie’s No. 39 Carbahn Motorsports Audi R8, who lapped the VIR circuit in 1:54.192 (103.089 mph).
In total, the top eight cars in the GS class were separated by less than half a second. The top seven all broke the previous track record and the top six positions were from six different manufacturers.
“We discovered a coolant leak an hour before qualifying so that’s why we weren’t out for practice three,” said Holton. “We scrambled to get it together, rolled it out 10 minutes before qualifying and stuck it on the pole.” 
Spencer Pumpelly and Dillon Machavern, who enter the weekend trailing points leaders Hugh Plumb and Owen Trinkler, 191-190, qualified third with Pumpelly’s lap of 1:54.329 (102.965 mph) in the No. 28 RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 MR. 
Trinkler, meanwhile, will start behind Pumpelly after qualifying fifth in the No. 46 Team TGM Mercedes-AMG.
Just 0.007 seconds separated the top two in qualifying in the TCR class with Tom O’Gorman scoring his third consecutive Motul Pole Award in the No. 12 eEuroparts Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR. O’Gorman lapped the 3.27-mile, 17-turn course in 1:57.283 (100.372 mph), narrowly edging out the No. 77 Compass Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR of Britt Casey Jr., 1:57.290 (100.366 mph).
“We knew the track was going to change a lot today,” said O’Gorman. “We relied on race setup yesterday and today and just ran our racecar. We didn’t know what to expect, but the first lap was really good. We needed a little more, so we got a little bit more and it was apparently a hundredth enough.”
The points-leading No. 74 Compass Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR of Kuno Wittmer and Rodrigo Sales qualified third with Sales turning a lap of 1:57.939 (99.814 mph). The duo enters the weekend leading the championship, 225-223, over teammates Casey Jr. and co-driver Tom Long.
Nick Galante made it six consecutive Motul Pole Awards for BimmerWorld Racing in the ST class, turning a lap of 2:04.987 (94.185 mph) in the No. 81 BMW 328i co-driven by Devin Jones. That lap was 0.892 seconds ahead of Colin Mullan’s No. 52 MINI JCW, 2:05.879 (93.518 mph). All three manufacturers in the class qualified in the top three with Jason Rabe putting his No. 21 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman in third with a lap of 2:06.049 (93.391 mph).
“Everything is going so well this season and now, more than ever, we are going to buckle down and keep doing what we have been doing to get this season wrapped up,” said Galante. “It’s the last year of ST and we are doing the best we can, but we couldn’t do it without the support from BimmerWorld.”
The Biscuitville Grand Prix goes green Saturday at 2:15 p.m. ET and can be seen live on IMSA.tv and can be heard on IMSA Radio on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com.