This is the second race on as many continents in as many weeks for the Aston Martin squad. The team led GT early in the FIA World Endurance Championship round at Spa last weekend only to bow out because of a gearbox issue. That made Friday's performance that much more impressive.
"The guys put (the car) on the plane and had to change things out when we got here, but we also have the hardest working team on the pit lane," Turner said. "We're on a steep learning curve with the car. We're just preparing for Le Mans and trying to get the car to be competitive."
Bruno Junqueira won his second Prototype Challenge pole of the season at one of his favorite tracks. The Brazilian set a lap of 1:17.867 (103.469 mph) in RSR Racing's ORECA FLM09 that he drives with Tomy Drissi and Roberto Gonzalez.
"Junky" has a deep level of appreciation for Mazda Raceway as evidenced by two runner-up finishes in his Champ Car career.
"The RSR team is doing a good job in our first year with the car," Junqueira said. "We had some problems yesterday but they fixed it. Today in the last 30 minutes of the practice session, the car was really good. We didn't touch much of the car for qualifying. It was just well-prepared."
Junqueira was 0.225 seconds clear of CORE autosport newcomer Tom Kimber-Smith, who is making his first start at Mazda Raceway; he partners with class championship leader Alex Popow. Memo Gidley was third for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing at 1:18.114 (103.142 mph).
Junqueira set the fastest race lap in the most recent ALMS round at Long Beach and gave the RSR team a much-needed lift early in its rookie PC season.
"We had the speed in the first six hours of Sebring and the fastest race lap of Long Beach. I hope by starting on the pole for this six-hour race will keep the morale up for the team," Junqueira said. "I am enjoying this so much. Last year was my first year doing sports cars, but we didn't have the fastest and most competitive car. Now having a car that is competitive is really fun. I didn't pay attention much to the PC cars last year and now we have eight cars that are 0.9 seconds from each other."
Damien Faulkner took the GT Challenge pole for Green Hornet Racing - his first of the year and second of his ALMS career. The Irishman set a best lap of 1:27.495 (92.083 mph) in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup he shares this weekend with Peter LeSaffre and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen. A winner in the last round at Long Beach with LeSaffre, Faulkner was 0.175 seconds quicker than TRG's Nick Tandy.