Montecalvo Goes Fastest in GT Daytona
July 2, 2022
By Jeff Olson and Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – The plaid Porsche from Canada was nearly perfect on its home track in GTD PRO qualifying for the Chevrolet Grand Prix.
Mathieu Jaminet recorded a lap of 1 minute, 15.468 seconds (117.300 mph) Saturday to secure the Motul Pole Award for the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team based less than an hour away from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in suburban Toronto.
“That’s the best present I can give to the boys,” Jaminet said of the Pfaff crew. “They’ve been working hard the last two days to make it happen and improve the car. Even after (practice), we weren’t really sure what we had. But they put together a really good setup to make it better.”
Jaminet will start 13th overall in Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute race. He’ll co-drive the fan-favorite Porsche with Matt Campbell after Jaminet’s pole-winning effort added another 35 points to their class-leading total.
It’s the first time the WeatherTech Championship has raced at CTMP since 2019 and the first Jaminet and Campbell time will race at the track, so they used videos of past performances to acquaint themselves with the 10-turn, 2.459-mile layout.
“This was pretty much it for our preparation,” said Jaminet, who was able to test recently at CTMP. “We also watched the last IMSA race there on TV. We’ll see tomorrow. We’ve already seen in practice (that) traffic is difficult with the (prototypes). Let’s see how it plays out, for sure we’ll have to be careful in traffic.”
Alex Riberas posted the second-fastest lap in GTD PRO – 1:15.890 (116.647 mph) – in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 he co-drives with Ross Gunn. John Edwards moved up to third late in the 15-minute session with a lap of 1:15.899 (116.633 mph) in the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL BMW M4 GT3 he shares with Connor De Phillippi.
Montecalvo’s Love Grows for CTMP Following GTD Pole Run
Frankie Montecalvo has a long-term love affair with Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. No wonder. He’s finished on the podium in each of his three previous IMSA races at the track, though he has yet to stand on the top step.
Montecalvo put himself and co-driver Aaron Telitz in prime position to get that elusive CTMP win by rolling to the Motul Pole Award in GT Daytona (GTD) qualifying. Driving the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, Montecalvo sped around the 2.459-mile circuit in 1:15.633 (117.044 mph), enough to earn the top starting spot in class while also being second fastest among all GT cars.
“This is a track that I really love,” Montecalvo said after collecting his third career pole position. “It was my first podium in pro racing. To come here and put the car up front with the team is great.”
Montecalvo finished third in the Prototype Challenge class in his CTMP debut in 2010 and followed it the next year with a second-place result in the same class. He didn’t return to the track until 2019, when he and Townsend Bell placed third in GTD in a Vasser Sullivan Lexus. CTMP clearly suits his style.
“I just love the high-speed corners and it’s just really flowing,” Montecalvo said. “Everything is timing here – (you’re) very light on the brakes and just trying to carry as much speed as possible.
“It’s just a fast, flowing track. A lot of risk but when you get the corner right, it’s a lot of reward. It’s probably my favorite North American track.”
On Sunday, he’ll seek his first win at the track, first win with co-driver Aaron Telitz and second WeatherTech Championship career victory.
“We have a phenomenal car and a great team behind us,” Montecalvo said. “We’ve just been a little unlucky at some of the events. Hopefully, we’ll have some luck on our side. We have the pace.”
Roman De Angelis qualified second in GTD with a lap of 1:15.975 (116.517 mph) in the No. 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Madison Snow took third in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 (1:16.004/116.472 mph).
Sunday’s GTD race counts toward the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup and not for the overall season championship. Snow, Sellers and the No. 1 BMW lead the Sprint Cup standings, now by 138 points over Bill Auberlen, Robby Foley and the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW. Montecalvo and the No. 12 Lexus are in third, 183 points from the lead.
Sunday’s race airs live at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.