Performance Tech Motorsports is celebrating James French’s ninth career TOTAL Pole Award win, the team’s fifth in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship action.
French wheeled the No. 38 Prototype Challenge to a fourth consecutive pole start with a 1:11.471 lap time at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The only race venue Performance Tech did not secure the pole was at Sebring International Raceway. There are no hard feelings in the miss since the team went on to win all six races.
French has yet to grow weary over his pole efforts. He relishes each lap in qualifying, though he finished the session 1.722 seconds above the competition.
“We treat it as a chance to go out and learn while turning clean laps,” French said. “In the actual practice sessions, you only get so much clean track time. I probably had one lap Pato, maybe got two. To have 10 or 12 consecutive laps to get a feel for what the car has, is enjoyable.
“Beyond that, it’s another session really. We just try to get the setup for the car right and see what we can put together for the race. Today it felt comfortable, so I think we’ll have a good setup for the race.”
While French enjoys clean laps, Team Principal Brent O’Neil enjoys watching his driver and car dominate.
“It gets better every time we get on the pole and for James also,” O’Neill said. “He works hard to be on pole each time. We’re probably going to change it up a little for Road America and let Pato qualify because I think James wants to finish the race there. Pato will do a great job, and it’ll be a fun switch for James. I think winning the pole is important; it’s good for team morale and good for James.”
The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix takes place tomorrow Sunday, July 9 at 12:05 p.m. ET. The 2-hour and 40-minute race broadcast will air live on FOX Sports 1. Fans can follow the action with IMSA Radio, scoring.imsa.com or on Twitter with @IMSAlive.