IMSA WeatherTech Championship

Krohn’s BMW M8 GTE is Untouchable in Atlanta

Snow Puts Lamborghini Huracan GT3 on GTD Pole

November 12, 2021
By John Oreovicz and Holly Cain
IMSA Wire Service

BRASELTON, GA – If the 24th annual Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta is the last hurrah for the BMW M8 GTE, Jesse Krohn gave the Munich missile a fast final ride.

Krohn drove the No. 24 BMW Team RLL to the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class pole position for the 10-hour endurance race that wraps up the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. And he did it with style.

The 31-year-old Finn was in a class by himself in GTLM qualifying, turning a lap timed at 1 minute, 15.226 seconds (121.553 mph), more than half a second up on Matt Campbell in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19. Krohn and his team were so confident the time would stand up that they parked the BMW with several minutes remaining in the 15-minute session.

“I knew it was going to be the last qualifying with this car, and this beast with low fuel and new tires is just a pleasure to drive,” Krohn said. “I was trying to enjoy every moment, and I went out there just thinking, ‘Just have fun and see where we end up.’

“Clearly, it wasn’t too bad.”

Krohn believes the cool conditions forecast for the race could benefit the BMWs, which are the largest and heaviest cars in GTLM class. BMW is seeking its 13th GTLM class win since the class was introduced in 2014.

“Obviously qualifying doesn’t mean the most for a 10-hour race, but we’re still happy to be here and we think we have a good race car,” he said. “We hope it’s going to be just as quick, but obviously it’s a long race and there are more cars here than probably ever. It’s going to be about keeping out of trouble.

“The cool weather helps on tire deg(radation), and it helps the balance,” he added. “I think it’s a good weekend to go racing.”

Antonio Garcia drove the No. 3 Corvette Racing C8.R to third on the GTLM grid with a 1:15.930 lap. Joined this weekend by Nicky Catsburg, Garcia and his full-season Corvette teammate Jordan Taylor will clinch the GTLM championship by simply starting Saturday’s race.

The second WeatherTech Racing Porsche, the No. 97, in the hands of Fred Makowiecki qualified fourth, followed by Nick Tandy in the No. 4 Corvette. The No. 25 BMW suffered a mechanical problem and did not post a time.

Snow, No. 1 Lamborghini Team Turns Up Heat in GTD Title Race with Pole Position

Madison Snow earned the Motul Pole Award in GT Daytona (GTD) qualifying in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3, increasing the drama for the class championship for Sunday’s Motul Petit Le Mans season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

It was a dramatic lap in every sense with Snow edging Benja Hites in the No. 42 NTe Sport Audi R8 LMS GT3 by a slight 0.001 seconds for the lead position, with a lap of 1:19.272 (115.349 mph). Robby Foley was third quickest in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.

The Paul Miller Racing team – with drivers Snow, Bryan Sellers and Corey Lewis – arrived at Michelin Raceway trailing the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R by 50 points for the season title.

Zacharie Robichon qualified the No. 9 Porsche eighth in the GTD session to determine the grid order, but the car moved up a spot when the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 didn’t meet minimum ride height in post-qualifying technical inspection and was moved to the back of the GTD grid.

Jack Hawksworth was fastest in the No. 14 Lexus in the points qualifying session that followed, until the penalty was assessed. Initially second in points qualifying, Sellers was advanced. Laurens Vanthoor slotted the No. 9 fifth in the points session, meaning the No. 1 Lamborghini gained nine points on the No. 9 and cut the deficit to 41 going into the race.

“I think (the starting position) makes us very happy going into the race, but being such a long race, if I could have got third or fourth or fifth in qualifying, I would have said it doesn’t make a difference,” Snow said. “We’re going into a 10-hour race, it’s going to be a long race. But we definitely have a good car and that’s what it shows. A comfortable car.

“I just go out there and have fun,” Snow added. “You look at the points and everything and, I mean, you always want to do the best that you can so we always want to go out and win the race. So, we’ll do what we can and try to finish ahead of the (No.) 9 car.”

With slightly different race conditions expected for Saturday – highs are forecast in the low 50s compared to Friday’s high 60s – Snow said he was encouraged by not only the qualifying sessions but also practice on Thursday. It’s Snow’s sixth career pole position and third of the season.

“Tomorrow’s going to be quite a bit different with the temperatures being a lot lower, but we have a good car, we have a comfortable car for the race, so looking forward to that,’’ Snow added. “You always feel good when you’re qualifying up in the front, so should make for a good fun race.’’

Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans airs live beginning at noon ET on NBC, moving to NBCSN at 3 p.m. Complete coverage is also available on IMSA Radio.

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