Tyler Maxson kicks off season in style with TCR pole at Daytona

Bryan Herta Autosport’s Tyler Maxson kicked off the 2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge by claiming pole position in qualifying at Daytona, the Hyundai Elantra driver lapping over a second faster than his nearest rival.

Maxson, 17, mastered a drying track in the qualifying session to put in a pole lap of 2 minutes 1.832 seconds, over three seconds off the lap record set in dry conditions.

Click here to view the full qualifying result.

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The Bryan Herta Autosport team opted to gamble on slick tyres for qualifying, even though the track remained wet in parts, with the gamble paying off and giving Maxson only his second-ever pole position in the series on only the second time when he was the qualifying driver.

Maxson’s effort was made all the more impressive as his car, which he will share with Mason Filippi and is still yet to sport its final livery, only arrived after the ROAR Daytona test last week.

“We didn’t get this car in time to prepare,” said Maxson. “We are running a different car than in the Roar and these guys did a fabulous job, just getting the car together and making it as fast as it is. I didn’t think we’d have the outright pace for it but got the pole.

“We thought it would dry out enough and it was. The course was a little damp still and it was a little tricky, but the Hyundai Elantra TCR handled amazing.”

Muss, who will share his Hyundai Elantra with Ryan Norman in Friday’s four-hour race, made it a Bryan Herta 1-2 at the top of the times.

Roy Block put his KW Motorsports Alfa Romeo Giulietta in third with a lap which was just over three seconds off Maxson’s time, giving the Argentine his best qualifying result since Sebring in 2020.

2021 winner Chris Miller was the best of the Audi drivers in fourth, the Unitronic JDC-Miller MotorSports driver two tenths of a second slower than Block, ahead of fellow RS3 racer Gavin Ernstone’s Road Shagger Racing Audi in fifth.

Harry Gottsacker was sixth in his Bryan Herta Hyundai Elantra, ahead of team-mate Mark Wilkins in seventh. Wilkins will share his Elantra with series rookie Robert Wickens in Friday’s race.

Eric Rockwell was eighth, ahead of the leading Honda of Victor Gonzalez’s self-run Civic in ninth and the HART Honda of Chad Gilsinger in tenth.

The first race of the 2022 Michelin Pilot Challenge is scheduled to get underway at 13:35 EST on Friday (18:35 GMT, 19:35 CET).

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