Lazare, from Montreal, led the 20-minute qualifying session with a best time of 1 minute, 28.411 seconds in the No. 21 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche in unseasonably cool temperatures at the scenic track in Monterey, California.
“The car is unbelievable,” Lazare said. “Kelly-Moss keeps giving me the perfect package. I just have to keep working at it, and I’m trying not to make mistakes on my good laps and keep hitting the home run. This weather is perfect for the cars, and Porsches love this weather. And honestly, it feels like home to me.”
Lazare, one of the top championship contenders, is looking to rebound after a tire puncture in Round 2 ended his chance of a weekend sweep of Rounds 1 and 2 in March at Sebring International Raceway. The top five drivers in the field at this event qualified within one second of each other, so starting from pole on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit can give him an upper hand.
“Especially on a track like this, where there aren’t too many passing zones, it is a huge advantage to have pole,” Lazare said. “But at the same time, you can’t make those little mistakes or it can turn bad quickly.”
Will Hardeman, from Austin, Texas, qualified second at 1:28.933 in the No. 19 Moorespeed Porsche. Hardeman ran in top three through both practices Thursday before earning his career-best starting position.
Lucas Catania, from Cazenovia, New York, was third at 1:29.005 in the No. 26 NGT Motorsport Porsche, followed by Jeff Mosing, from Austin, Texas, in the No. 01 TOPP Racing Porsche at 1:29.053. Mosing was the top Platinum Masters qualifier.
Andrew Longe, from Naples, Florida, rounded out the top five at 1:29.066 in the No. 47 Wright Motorsports Porsche.
Sebastian Landy, from Great Falls, Virginia, was the top qualifier in the Gold Cup class at 1:30.181 in the No. 49 TPC Racing Porsche. Landy is looking for another podium after a third-place finish in Round 1 at Sebring. There are five Platinum Cup cars between Landy and Gold Cup points leader Michael de Quesada, who qualified second at 1:30.948.
“It’s a great place, and it’s fun to be back and really happy to be representing my new sponsor, Forto Strong Coffee, on pole,” Landy said. “Qualifying was huge today. You have to work for every position, and it’s a hard place to pass. It’s never easy to make it through the field of Platinum cars, so to have that gap is key for us.”
Round 3 starts at 3:40 p.m. (PT) Friday, April 29, with Round 4 at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 30. Both races are 45 minutes each.
Live streaming: Both races at http://www.imsa.com
Live timing: All on-track sessions at scoring.imsa.com
Source. LST Marketing