Photo courtesy of IMSA

IMSA: Hand, Mul score GT poles at VIR

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The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship hosts its second GT-only round of its 2017 season this weekend with the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR (Virginia International Raceway).

Below are quick qualifying reports for the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona fields.

GTLM

Joey Hand took his third GTLM pole of the 2017 season and will lead the field to green in tomorrow’s race, this after BMW Team RLL seemed poised to take the top spot in qualifying. Alexander Sims, in the No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM, led most of the way before Hand, in the No. 67 Ford GT for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, snatched it away with his final run.

Sims managed to qualify second, while teammate John Edwards qualified the No. 24 BMW in third. Giancarlo Fisichella qualified fourth in the Ferrari 488 GTE for Risi Competizione on the team’s return to IMSA after a summer hiatus. Tommy Milner completed the top five in No. 4 Corvette C7.R for Corvette Racing.

The lone incident of qualifying came when Dirk Werner spun off in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR for the Porsche GT Team. However, he returned to the track and the session continued without interruption. Werner will start ninth.

GTD

Jeroen Mul scored the GTD pole for Change Racing in their Lamborghini Huracan GT3, doing so with a new track record for the GTD class after leading every practice prior to qualifying.

Jesse Krohn enjoyed a strong qualifying session in the No. 96 BMW M6 GT3 for Turner Motorsport, even leading the way at times before Mul grabbed pole for good. Krohn will start second, while Andrew Davis made a last-minute effort to grab third on the grid in his Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS GT3.

Jeroen Bleekemolen qualified fourth in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 for Riley Motorsports – Team AMG, while Jack Hawksworth completed the top five in his Lexus RCF GT3 for 3GT Racing.

Bleekemolen has a new teammate this weekend with Trent Hindman filling in for Ben Keating, who is tending to his family and businesses in Texas as Hurricane Harvey hits the U.S.

The 2 hour 40 minute race begins tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Ka-boom! NHRA Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon blows up brand new car body

Photo and video courtesy NHRA
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Former NHRA Funny Car champ Cruz Pedregon was a happy man coming into Friday’s qualifying for this weekend’s Dodge NHRA Mile-High Nationals in Morrison, Colorado (a suburb of Denver).

The reason Pedregon was feeling good was he had a brand new Toyota Camry body atop his Funny Car chassis. It was state of the art, it looked fast and it was prepared to run fast.

And everything really looked good as soon as Pedregon hit the gas in his qualifying run vs. Tim Wilkerson.

Well, for a few seconds, that is.

As the two drivers hurtled down the 1,000-foot drag strip, Pedregon’s brand new body was destroyed in a massive explosion.

Fortunately, Pedregon was uninjured.

Check out the big ka-boom: