Jeff Westphal stormed to the top of the charts in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD qualifying on Friday at Road Atlanta. While a late lap by another competitor took away the pole, Scuderia Corsa earned a front-row start for Saturday’s Petit Le Mans as the team looks to return to its winning ways in the endurance classic.
Westphal will be joined in the 10-hour race by Cooper MacNeil and Alessandro Balzan in the No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo. He turned a track-record lap of 1:19.464-seconds, and then opted to park the Ferrari after five laps. Acura driver Shinya Michimi went 0.173-seconds faster late in the session to capture the pole.
“The WeatherTech Ferrari felt really nice out there in qualifying,” Westphal said. “We weren’t totally happy with the balance of the car right away in practice yesterday. Cooper, Ale and I worked hard with the Scuderia Corsa team all day yesterday making improvements every session. It was the best it has felt in qualifying so far. Knowing what Petit has to throw at you with 10-hours of racing, inclement weather a possibility and the temperature drop at night is something we need to look at. So far, I’m really happy with the team’s progress.”
Ferrari will be looking to continue its streak in the endurance test. Risi Competizione captured GTLM honors in 2016 and 2019, while MacNeil was part of Scuderia Corsa’s GTD-winning lineup in 2018.
Saturday’s schedule begins with a 20-minute warm-up at 9:10 a.m. (all times ET) Petit Le Mans is set to start at 12:40 p.m. This will be the seventh points race of the GTD campaign, while serving at the third stop for the Endurance Cup.