On Friday (September 30) the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship cars were on track for their final practice and qualifying sessions for Petit Le Mans. The #60 Michael Shank Racing took pole position for Prototype class and GTLM pole went to the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. Pole positions for GTD and Prototype Challenge classes went to the #33 Riley Motorsports and the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, respectively. Hope you like the photos.
The forth practice session for the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship teams started at 10.15 am. For this session went to the inside of Turn 6 on the “spectators side of the fence” in front of the Flag station for shots of the cars speeding down the Turn 5 to 6 straight through the trees, light, and shadows. #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP and the #44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 leading the #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.
Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen, or Marc Miller in the #33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R who would go onto the GTD pole position in the afternoon’s qualifying session.
Was cool how the #5 Action Express Racing, #68 Scuderia Corsa, and #31 Action Express Racing appeared to be speeding down the straight in “formation”.
#5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP and Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, or Filipe Albuquerque.
The #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow, or Bryce Miller.
The #16 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and Corey Lewis, Spencer Pumpelly, or Richard Antinucci.
A BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM.
As the session progressed, I noticed how the shadows and light were cast across the track near the end of the straight. Through ripples of shadows and light with the #911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR and Patrick Pilet or Nick Tandy.
Was cool how the cars would appear to emerge from shadows into the light. The #27 Dream Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and Lawrence DeGeorge, Paolo Ruberti, or Cedric Sbirrazzuoli.
Olivier Pla in the #60 Michael Shank Racing Honda HPD Ligier JS P2 would take pole position for the prototype class later in the day. After the practice session, took the photo van back to the Photo Hut for editing/processing the photos and having an early lunch.
Headed over the Yokohama Bridge to the main paddock for the driver autograph session at 1.00 pm.
#97 Turner Motorsport driver Michael Marsal signing posters.
#96 Turner Motorsport drivers Ashley Freiberg, Bret Curtis, and Jens Klingmann (L to R).
#0 Panoz DeltaWing Racing drivers Katherine Legge, Andy Meyrick, and Sean Rayhall (L to R).
#23 Team Seattle / Alex Job Racing drivers Alex Riberas, Mario Farnbacher, and Ian James (L ro R).
Kuno Wittmer and other drivers from BMW Team RLL.
#33 Riley Motorsports drivers Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, and Sebastien Bourdais (L to R).
Qualifying wasn’t scheduled to start until 3.30 pm, but headed to the paddock around 3.00 pm so could catch the teams preparing for this session. In the garage with #62 Risi Competizione drivers Toni Vilander (top) and Giancarlo Fisichella (bottom) who were practicing driver changes.
#68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE being pushed through the paddock before qualifying.
The qualifying session started at 3.30 pm, with the GTD cars hitting the track first, followed by GTLM, PC, then P classes. Each class had 15 minutes on track. For this session went to the pits for some driver and team candids. Christina Nielsen getting ready for GTD qualifying in the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3.
“Born 2 drive”. Jeroen Bleekemolen getting ready for qualifying in the #33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R.
In the pits with Michael Marsal and the #97 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.
Corvette Racing getting ready for GTLM qualifying.
Along the front straight with the #912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.
BMW Team RLL co-team owner, Bobby Rahal.
GTLM pole would go to Richard Westbrook in the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT.
Pushing the #8 Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09 from pitlane after PC qualifying.
Getting ready for Prototype qualifying with Christian Fittipaldi and the #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.
Dane Cameron and the #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.
Media in the pitlane.
In pit lane with the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP.
After Prototype qualifying finished at 5.00 pm, headed back to the Photo Hut to edit and upload the photos, recharge batteries, and to have a bite to eat. Left the track around 7.00 pm. Was very excited and looking forward to Saturdays Peiti Le Mans.