IMSA

IMSA: CORE Autosport scores upset pole as Ford, Lexus lead the GT fields at Watkins Glen

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In a season that has been dominated by DPi-spec machinery, it was global LMP2 machinery that went to the fore in qualifying for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

CORE autosport took its first pole in the Prototype class, with Colin Braun laying down a quick lap of 1:32.350 in their No. 54 Oreca 07 Gibson. It was just barely quicker than Paul Di Resta, who qualified the No. 32 United Autosports Ligier JS P217 Gibson at 1:32.356.

All told, five thousandths of a second separated the two, and it marks the first time an LMP2-spec platform has scored a pole in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship since the current-era Prototype regulations were introduced.

Acura Team Penske swept the second row, with Ricky Taylor and Dane Cameron qualifying third and fourth in their Nos. 7 and 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi entries. Simon Trummer put the JDC-Miller Motosports No. 85 Oreca in fifth.

In GT Le Mans, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing swept the front row, with Richard Westbrook taking the the pole in the No 67 Ford GT with a time of 1:41.948 – teammate Joey Hand was right behind him in the sister No. 66 entry.

Corvette Racing then swept the second row, with Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia qualifying third and fourth in their Nos. 4 and 3 Corvette C7.Rs.

Porsche GT Team put the Nos. 912 and 911 Porsche 911 RSRs in fifth and sixth, with BMW Team RLL in seventh and eight with their Nos. 24 and 25 BMW M8 GTEs.

In GT Daytona, Jack Hawksworth took his second pole in three races, putting the No. 15 3GT Racing Lexus RCF GT3 at the top of the board with a lap of 1:44.499.

Hawkworth beat out Christopher Mies, in the No. 29 Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3, by just over one tenth of a second – Mies turned in a 1:44.611.

Kyle Marcelli put the sister No. 14 Lexus in third, giving Lexus two of the top three on the grid, followed by the Nos. 86 (Alvaro Parente) and 93 (Lawson Aschenbach) Acura NSX GT3 for Meyer Shank Racing.

Qualifying results can be found here. Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen kicks off at 9:30 a.m. ET.

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WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

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