Klaus Graf put the Muscle Milk Lola-Aston Martin on pole for the second time this year in American Le Mans Series qualifying at Road America.
Graf's 1m51.828s lap put him a second clear of the field for a while, until a superb effort by series rookie Steven Kane got the best of the Dyson Lola-Mazdas to within 0.364sec of pole. Chris Dyson's sister was third, 0.5sec off pole in the end.
"We were so close last year, 2 corners from the end," Graf said recalling last year's race. "We weren't supposed to be that close. We had a really good strategy. This race is a bit different with the 4 hours, so a bit of a different strategy. We have to go flat out for 2:45s but this we might have to back off just a bit."
Another fiercely close GT class battle saw BMW on pole again, but Dirk Muller was only 0.005 seconds ahead of Jan Magnussen's Corvette. The second BMW was back in fourth, behind the Risi Ferrari.
"He knew I was qualifying but he was the one who set up the car, and it was really, really good," Mueller said of co-driver Joey Hand. "I hope we can continue our success tomorrow. We've had a lot of luck and good performance (here) over the last few years."
Flying Lizard's No. 45 car was again top Porsche in fifth, while Bruno Junqueira showed very encouraging form in the RSR Jaguar by qualifying 1.3sec off class pole in eighth.
The margins were tight in the one-make classes too. Butch Leitzinger took LMPC pole for PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports by just 0.095sec over CORE Autosport's Gunnar Jeanette, with Kyle Marcelli (Performance Tech) and Eric Lux (Genoa) also within 0.138sec of pole. In GTC Sean Edwards (NGT) narrowly edged out Black Swan's Jeroen Bleekemolen and TRG's Spencer Pumpelly.