Oliver Gavin will start from the GT Le Mans pole for his first time since last year’s WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca race following a post-qualifying technical infraction for both BMW M8 GTEs in advance of Sunday’s IMSA Road Race Showcase.
IMSA found that both BMW Team RLL entries did not comply with the mandated minimum ride height and has moved the Nos. 25 and 24 cars from the first and third to seventh and eighth on the GTLM starting grid.
Tom Blomqvist broke the Road America circuit record for GTE cars by more than two seconds when he earned the class pole by just 0.004 seconds over Gavin, who qualified the No. 4 Corvette C7.R to the outside of the front row. After the penalty, Gavin will begin the two-hour, 40-minute contest a few feet further to the right than originally planned as the new pole sitter.
“Leading from the front — that’s the best place to start, so I will definitely take that,” said Gavin. “I’m very pleased for the guys. It has been a tough year particularly for the 4 car, but this is a great little reward for all those guys, all their hard work.”
The No. 24 BMW, initially qualified to the third position, will start eighth. Both cars from the German brand being sent to the back promotes the No. 67 Ford GT to the second position after Ryan Briscoe ended up fourth in the Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared machine with his two fastest laps invalidated due to a track limits violation. Dirk Mueller qualified the other Ford and will start third. The No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, qualified sixth by Laurens Vanthoor, will also roll off from the second row.
The Road America race, scheduled to go green at 1:35 p.m. EDT Sunday, will be the first for Gavin’s co-driver Tommy Milner since he injured his hand at the start of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Live coverage of the IMSA Road Race Showcase will be on NBCSports.com.