By Mark Robinson
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – McLaren and Honda owned qualifying Friday for the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240, the four-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race slated for Saturday at Watkins Glen.
In the Grand Sport (GS) class, Kuno Wittmer led a 1-2 McLaren performance, earning the Motul Pole Award in the No. 13 AWA McLaren 570S GT4. Wittmer’s best lap of 1 minute, 54.240 seconds (107.142 mph) was just 0.184 seconds quicker than Michael Cooper in the No. 34 Blackdog Speed Shop McLaren making its series debut. Patrick Gallagher (No. 23 Notlad Racing by RS1 Aston Martin Vantage GT4) was just 0.002 seconds behind Cooper.
Wittmer – who currently leads the GS point standings – collected his second pole of the season, following the season opener at Daytona International Speedway in January. The No. 13 has won two of the first three races this season and hasn’t qualified lower than second.
In the Touring Car (TCR) class, the No. 84 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic FK7 TCR captured its third Motul Pole Award of the season. This time, it was Robert Noaker at the wheel with a lap of 1:56.046 (105.475 mph). Noaker has earned two poles this season and co-driver Brian Henderson one.
Honda swept the top three spots in TCR qualifying. Todd Lamb was second in the No. 94 Atlanta Speedwerks Civic, with Karl Wittmer – Kuno’s brother who is making his Pilot Challenge debut – third in the No. 88 GVMC Racing, LLC Civic.
Saturday’s race streams live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold at 2:35 p.m. ET.