A superb lap from Guy Smith gave Dyson Racing's Lola-Mazda its first outright pole in American Le Mans Series qualifying at Laguna Seca.
David Brabham had looked set to start first again in the Highcroft HPD car as he dominated the early stages of prototype qualifying for Saturday's six-hour race, but then Smith's late 1m12.338s earned Dyson the top spot by 0.671sec at the track whose engine partner Mazda is the title sponsor. Smith will share the pole-sitting car with Chris Dyson and Andy Meyrick in tomorrow's race, which will be a six-hour event for the first time.
Klaus Graf was third in the CytoSport Porsche, while Paul Drayson took on qualifying duties in his team's Lola-Judd, which suffered gearbox problems in practice, and was back in sixth behind the Intersport and Autocon cars.
Ferrari will start first and second in the GT class. Jaime Melo put Risi up front early on and stayed there, and was backed up by Johannes van Overbeek taking second for the new Extreme Speed team.
The Corvettes were next up ahead of the Rahal Letterman BMWs, while the best of the Porsches – Jorg Bergmeister's Flying Lizards car – was back in eighth behind the second Extreme Speed Ferrari.
LMPC saw a tight battle between Level 5's Christophe Bouchut, Green Earth Gunnar's Gunnar Jeanette and PR1's Johnny Mowlem, in which the latter finally edged out Jeanette by a tenth of a second.
Jeroen Bleekemolen (Black Swan Racing) took a clear GTC pole, 0.6sec ahead of Butch Leitzinger in the top Alex Job Racing car.