KCMG’s Nissan tops incredibly tight #Cal8H qualifying session

29 March 2019


Seven of this year’s eight full-season manufacturers will contest the California 8 Hours Pole Shootout at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca later today following a qualifying session in which just 0.2s covered the top-10 entries.

KCMG’s #18 Nissan shared by Edoardo Liberati, Alex Imperatori and Oliver Jarvis produced the fastest average time across this morning’s three 15-minute sessions, while Porsche’s Mathieu Jaminet set a new Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli qualifying lap record of 1m23.220s to help Park Place Motorsports also book their place in the Shootout.

It was Imperatori’s lap – less than a tenth shy of Jaminet’s ultimate benchmark – that saw KCMG vault to the top in the second session. The team’s 1m23.759s average was 0.038s faster than Audi Sport Team WRT’s trio of Dries Vanthoor, Frederic Vervisch and Christopher Haase, while HubAuto Corsa’s Ferrari was only 0.023s further back in third.

Walkenhorst Motorsport’s BMW and Wright Motorsports’ Porsche were also both within a tenth of KCMG’s pace-setting average, and marginally faster than Park Place Motorsports who completed the top-six.

Only one of Mercedes-AMG’s four entries will feature in the Pole Shootout after the GruppeM Racing example shared by Raffaele Marciello, Maxi Buhk and Maxi Goetz wound up seventh. They finished ahead of BMW Team Schnitzer’s M6, the second KCMG Nissan and Honda Team Motul’s NSX GT3 Evo, which snuck in to the Pole Shootout by just 0.005s at GruppeM’s expense.

2018 winners, Audi Sport Team Land, were a surprise casualty in 13th, while neither of M-Sport’s Bentley progressed. That was in part due to the #107 Continental GT3 retiring early with an engine issue.

The top-10 Pole Shootout starts at 15:40 PDT (-7 GMT). Watch it live right here on the #IntGTC website.