Petit Le Mans: Acura Team Penske, Corvette, MSR take poles

Acura Team Penske’s ARX-05s locked out the front row for tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Motul Petit Le Mans as Dane Cameron edged teammate Ricky Taylor by less than 0.1sec.

Petit Le Mans: Acura Team Penske, Corvette, MSR take poles

Harry Tincknell was the first driver to duck under the 69sec barrier around the 2.54-mile Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta course, with an impressive 68.636sec in the #55 Mazda RT24-P, but Cameron trimmed that to 68.593s and his Acura Team Penske teammate Ricky Taylor shaved a few hundredths more to go P1 with a 68.506.

Tincknell then pitted, his challenge for pole over with five minutes still remaining while lying third, but Cameron kept working and went 0.094sec faster than Taylor with a 68.412sec, to claim pole with a new track record for DPi cars.

Felipe Nasr’s eventually slotted the Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R just ahead of Tincknell to claim third, while Ryan Briscoe placed the Wayne Taylor Racing Caddy in fifth ahead of the second Mazda of Tristan Nunez.

With his final flyer, Sebastien Bourdais moved ahead of JDC-Miller MotorSports teammate Gabriel Aubry to claim seventh, the entire class covered by just 0.817sec.

In LMP2 Patrick Kelly’s PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry was fastest, 1.6sec ahead of Rob Hodes in the Inter Europol Competition car, making its IMSA debut. John Farano was third in the Tower Motorsports by Starworks machine.

Antonio Garcia set a searing record-breaking pace on his final flying lap to land the GT Le Mans championship-leading #3 Corvette C8.R on class pole. His startling 1min15.163sec lap left him over a quarter second faster than Connor De Phillippi in the #25 BMW M8.

“I think it was my best qualifying lap," said Garcia. "I had never gotten pole here; I have been second many times by thousandths or hundredths of a second!

"The Corvette C8.R was perfect… I would say the first two laps were really good, not good enough for pole because a couple of guys got me there. I didn’t know if I could go faster but obviously I really wanted it. That was a really, really good lap. Sometimes I have a couple of mistakes, but I think today I put together a whole lap.”

The second of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan-run BMWs was third thanks to John Edwards’ efforts, while Laurens Vanthoor was half a second off the pace in the faster of the two Porsche 911 RSRs.

Tommy Milner was 0.7sec slower than Garcia but managed to outpace the second Porsche of Nick Tandy.

In GT Daytona, Jeff Westphal set a 1min19.464sec in five laps and then pitted the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 with six minutes of the 15 still remaining. Almost immediately, however, Shinya Michimi in the #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX beat him to top spot by 0.173sec, to score MSR’s first pole position of the season.

Frankie Montecalvo fell 0.1sec short and slotted into third in the #12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F.

Madison Snow was fastest of the Lamborghini Huracan drivers, taking fourth for Paul Miller Racing, ahead of Robby Foley’s Turner Motorsports BMW M6.

Misha Goikhberg was only 0.375sec slower than pacesetting MSR Acura temporary teammate Michimi, but that still left him down in sixth, just ahead of local driver Andrew Davis of Team Hardpoint’s Audi R8 and Zacharie Robichon’s Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911.

Two of the GTD title contenders have been left down on the fifth row – the second Lexus that Michael de Quesada shares with Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz, and the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R which was qualified by Ryan Hardwick.

Qualifying results:

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Time Gap
1 6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
United States Dane Cameron
France Simon Pagenaud
DPi Acura DPi 1'08.412  
2 7 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Ricky Taylor
United States Alexander Rossi
DPi Acura DPi 1'08.506 0.094
3 31 Brazil Felipe Nasr
Brazil Pipo Derani
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'08.612 0.200
4 55 United States Jonathan Bomarito
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
DPi Mazda DPi 1'08.636 0.224
5 10 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Australia Ryan Briscoe
New Zealand Scott Dixon
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'08.850 0.438
6 77 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Tristan Nunez
France Olivier Pla
DPi Mazda DPi 1'08.925 0.513
7 5 France Sébastien Bourdais
France Tristan Vautier
France Loic Duval
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'09.040 0.628
8 85 United States Chris Miller
Brazil Matheus Leist
France Gabriel Aubry
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'09.229 0.817
9 52 United States Patrick Kelly
Switzerland Simon Trummer
United States Scott Huffaker
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'11.590 3.178
10 51 United States Austin McCusker
Poland Jakub Smiechowski
United States Rob Hodes
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'13.161 4.749
11 8 Canada John Farano
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'14.082 5.670
12 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
GTLM Corvette C8.R 1'15.163 6.751
13 25 Canada Bruno Spengler
United States Connor de Phillippi
United States Colton Herta
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'15.434 7.022
14 24 Finland Jesse Krohn
United States John Edwards
Brazil Augusto Farfus
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'15.615 7.203
15 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
France Mathieu Jaminet
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'15.657 7.245
16 4 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Switzerland Marcel Fassler
GTLM Corvette C8.R 1'15.856 7.444
17 911 United Kingdom Nick Tandy
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Australia Matt Campbell
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'15.858 7.446
18 86 Germany Mario Farnbacher
United States Matt McMurry
Japan Shinya Michimi
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'19.291 10.879
19 63 United States Cooper MacNeil
Italy Alessandro Balzan
United States Jeff Westphal
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 1'19.464 11.052
20 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Townsend Bell
United States Kyle Kirkwood
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'19.563 11.151
21 48 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
United States Corey Lewis
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'19.567 11.155
22 96 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
United States Dillon Machavern
GTD BMW M6 GT3 1'19.657 11.245
23 57 Portugal Alvaro Parente
Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
United States Trent Hindman
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'19.666 11.254
24 30 United States Rob Ferriol
Germany Markus Winkelhock
United States Andrew Davis
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 1'19.722 11.310
25 9 Norway Dennis Olsen
Canada Zacharie Robichon
Germany Lars Kern
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'19.774 11.362
26 14 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United States Aaron Telitz
United States Michael de Quesada
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'19.908 11.496
27 16 United States Ryan Hardwick
United States Patrick Long
Belgium Jan Heylen
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'20.399 11.987
28 23 United Kingdom Ian James
Canada Roman De Angelis
United Kingdom Darren Turner
GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1'20.434 12.022
29 44 United States Andy Lally
United States John Potter
United States Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'20.453 12.041
30 74 United States Gar Robinson
United States Lawson Aschenbach
United States Ben Keating
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 1'20.622 12.210
31 38 James McGuire
United Kingdom Matthew Bell
United States Colin Braun
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 0.000  
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