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IMSA: Braun breaks own track record to win pole at CTMP

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Colin Braun broke his own track record to win the pole position for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Saturday afternoon, edging out Helio Castroneves’ Acura Team Penske ARX-05 for the top spot by 0.074 seconds.

Braun’s lap time of 1 minute, 5.452 seconds around the 2.459-mile road course was enough to break the previous track record for IMSA prototypes of 1 minute, 6:315 seconds, which Braun set last year. In addition, Braun’s pole was the first pole of the season for CORE Autosport.

Watkins Glen winner Jonathan Bomarito qualified third in the No. 55 Team Joest Mazda RT24-P.

UPDATE: Helio Castroneves will start the race from the pole position in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 after the No. 54 CORE Autosport entry was moved to the rear of the DPi grid. The team forfeited their starting position when they elected to change tires and their starting driver to Jon Bennett.

Masson wins LMP2 pole

The LMP2 class pole honors would easily go to Kyle Masson in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson, who beat the only other class entry of local driver Dalton Kellett in the PR1 Mathiasen Motorsport entry by a half a second. This weekend marks the sports car debut of Kellett, who is a regular in Indy Lights competition.

Krohn takes GTLM class pole 

In GT Le Mans, Jesse Krohn ran a lap of 1 minute, 13.086 seconds to claim the class pole in his BMW M8 GTE for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, beating out RLL teammate Tom Blomqvist by almost a half a second. Ryan Briscoe qualified third in the No. 67 Ford GT for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Foley narrowly edges Keating for GTD pole

Robby Foley won the GT Daytona pole with a lap of 1 minute, 16.172 seconds. in the No. 96 BMW M6 GT3 for Turner Motorsport. Foley narrowly beat Ben Keating’s Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports entry for the top spot by 0.081 seconds. Trent Hindman qualified third in class, with a lap of 1 minute, 16.353 seconds in the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 for Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb-Agajanian.

Click here for full qualifying results

Raceday coverage of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park begins Sunday at 1:00 P.M. E.T. on NBC.

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Michelin appoints new North American motorsports director

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Michelin North America has named Tony Ménard as director of motorsports, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Ménard is succeeding Chris Baker, who has held the role for the past eight years. Baker is scheduled to retire in March of 2020, ending a lengthy career that began with Michelin in 1982.

“Chris has played a vital role in the growth and success of our motorsports program, both for BFGoodrich and Michelin in North America,” said Matthieu Bonardel, global director for Michelin Group’s motorsports business entity. “His passion and understanding for motorsport fueled growth in the organization and established credibility in the market. Chris’s leadership propelled the Group, which experienced tremendous success with race wins, and advanced the way the brands leveraged our motorsports participation to benefit the overall business.”

A native of Le Mans, France, Ménard has served in several positions during his 30-year career with Michelin, most recently serving global business leader for Michelin brand in the passenger-vehicle category. Ménard has worked closely with the North American motorsports team since early July in preparation for the transition.

Baker oversaw the development of the motorsports function for Michelin and BFGoodrich Tires brands as a single business unit in North America. He also directed the expansion of Michelin’s involvement in IMSA sports-car racing as the “Official Tire of IMSA” and BFGoodrich Tires partnership with SCORE International Racing as the “Official Tire of SCORE.”

During Baker’s tenure, BFGoodrich achieved an unprecedented 650 off-road class wins, including five overall victories in the Baja 1000. The brand also demonstrated performance in the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing, Ultra4 King of Hammers, and provided strong support of grass roots racing across North America with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), National Auto Sport Association (NASA), and Super Production Challenge in Canada.

“I am incredibly grateful to Michelin for the opportunities and support throughout my career, and to all the folks that I have worked with and continue to work with,” Baker said. “I want to thank all the teams, partners, officials and fans who have made our relationships so successful and are essential to the brands’ successes. I look forward to witnessing the continued success of our motorsports programs under Tony’s leadership, as well as the contributions of the Michelin Motorsport North America staff and volunteers, who are completely dedicated and invested in representing our brands in competition.”