Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Teams Win IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Pole ...

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Teams Win IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Pole ...

04.08.2019: and Earn IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Podium Finish Saturday at IMSA Road Race Showcase at Road America Ben Keating and Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Win First Mercedes-AMG GT3 Pole of 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Season at Road America


...and Earn IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Podium Finish Saturday at IMSA Road Race Showcase at Road America
 


Ben Keating and Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Win First Mercedes-AMG GT3 Pole of 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Season at Road America

 
 
 

Ben Keating and Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports gave the Mercedes-AMG GT3 its first pole position of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season Saturday with a new track record in qualifying for tomorrow’s IMSA Road Race Showcase at Road America.



The pole was the first for Keating in six years of IMSA GT Daytona (GTD) competition and the first in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship since Tristan Vautier won the first pole for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in North America at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March of 2017.



Keating’s record time of 2:05.250 (116.349 mph) came on his third flying lap of the scheduled 15-minute GTD qualifying session, which was cut short with five minutes to go when lightning was seen in the vicinity of the 4.048-mile Road America circuit.
 


Keating, who co-drives with longtime teammate Jeroen Bleekemolen, will lead the GTD field to the green flag at the start of Sunday’s featured two-hour and 40-minute race at 1:35 p.m. CDT.
 


The IMSA Road Race Showcase will be televised in same-day coverage on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) at 6 p.m. EDT Sunday. Live streaming of the race will be available on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com beginning at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
 
 
 
Keating’s IMSA WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 pole capped an all-front-row qualifying day Saturday for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams.
 


In Saturday morning’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) qualifying session, Owen Trinkler put the No. 46 Mercedes-AMG GT4 on the outside front row starting position for today’s two-hour race.
 


The Michelin Pilot race was started and run in primarily rainy conditions, but that didn’t stop Trinkler from taking the lead when the green flag dropped. A spin later on lap one put Trinkler and closing-driver Hugh Plumb in recovery mode for the majority of the race, but another Mercedes-AMG Motorsport customer team stepped up to get the Mercedes-AMG GT4 on the podium for the second consecutive event.
 


After a strong opening stint by co-driver Jeff Mosing, Eric Foss raced through some of the heaviest downpours of the day to finish third in the No. 56 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4.
 
 
 
The third place showing was the second-straight podium result for Mosing and Foss after finishing in the same position two weeks ago at Lime Rock Park.



Saturday’s result unofficially extended Mercedes-AMG’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Manufacturer Championship points lead to four points, 211 – 207, over the second-place manufacturer.
 


A second Mercedes-AMG GT3 competes in tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech Championship race. The No. 74 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of co-drivers Gar Robinson and Lawson Aschenbach starting from the inside of row eight after qualifying in the 15th and final starting position.
 


Race day Sunday begins with a 20-minute IMSA WeatherTech Championship warmup at 8:30 a.m. CDT, the final on-track opportunity for competitors before that afternoon’s IMSA Road Race Showcase goes green at 1:35 p.m. CDT.
 



Ben Keating, Driver – No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3
: “I'm excited to have our first pole ever in six years running in IMSA. If you got to choose where you start from, you want to start from the pole. Mercedes-AMG has a bunch of guests here. I love this track. It's a place that really rewards a great setup and rewards a confident driver. I was able to be on the gas and be full throttle in places that I've never been able to be full throttle before. I was able to carry more speed in places than I ever have before. It's fun to be fast around here. Even though Road America is the longest track that we go to in IMSA, it's a downforce track. You make up your lap time here by having a ton of downforce in the car. Our Mercedes-AMG GT3 is really, really strong on high speed corners. You spend enough time in high speed corners where the downforce really matters here. That's what makes the Mercedes-AMG GT3 shine at Road America.”
 
 
 

Eric Foss, Driver – No. 56 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4:
“The Mercedes-AMG GT4 has always handled amazingly well. We showed good lap times in the practice sessions, and the rain we had in the race was really a blessing. The Murillo guys always do such a phenomenal job of prepping the car and we had a perfectly balanced Mercedes-AMG GT4. That meant when the conditions got slippery out there, we were able to use all the systems Mercedes-AMG gives us with the traction control and ABS.

The Michelin wet tires were really, really good. Jeff drove for a long time in drying conditions. He had a stellar stint and went from 18th to fifth at one point. The fact that he brings me in here and lets me be a part of this team and this program is really a blessing for me. The guys at Murillo Racing never quit. They always persevere and gave us such a great car to race. It was flawless.”
 
 
 
Adam Saal - photo Mercedes

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/mercedes-amg-customer-teams-imsa-pole-road-america---195247.html

04.08.2019 / MaP

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