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USCC: Canadian Michael Valiante to start the 24H of Daytona on outside pole

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Michael Valiante, of New Westminster, BC, holds a first-row ticket for one very famous event happening soon.

The 34-year-old Canadian's teammate behind the wheel of the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP, Richard Westbrook, clocked the second fastest lap overall, Thursday night while qualifying ahead of this weekend's 24 Hours of Daytona.

USCC Corvette
Photo: IMSA

The drop of the green flag, scheduled for 2:10 pm on Saturday, marks the beginning of an new era, this being the first event since the two biggest North American sports car racing series merged during the winter to become the United SportsCar Championship (USCC).

And Valiante, who also shares the wheel this weekend with one reigning DTM champion named Mike Rockenfeller, is amongst the favourites to win the famous twice around the clock race.

His countryman Kuno Wittmer is also amongst the favourites, but in the GTLM class. His teammate Jonathan Bomarito qualified their Dodge Viper GTS-R in third.

USCC Corvette
Photo: IMSA

Driving rival Porsche 911 GT America, the Dumoulin brothers Jean-François and Louis-Philippe are 14th and 15th respectively on the GTD grid.

Fellow Canadian Kyle Marcelli will start eighth in the PC class, and 24th overall. He drives one of Starworks Motorsport Oreca-Chevrolet.