Petit Le Mans IMSA: Blomqvist, MSR claim pole for Acura

Tom Blomqvist and Meyer Shank Racing’s Acura ARX-05 scored the final pole position of IMSA’s DPi era for this weekend's Petit Le Mans season finale, almost a quarter second ahead of Earl Bamber’s Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.

Petit Le Mans IMSA: Blomqvist, MSR claim pole for Acura
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Kamui Kobayashi ducked under 70sec first with a 69.685sec lap in Action Express Racing’s second Ally Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, before championship leader Ricky Taylor moved to the top with a 68.999sec effort in the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura.

Blomqvist responded in the MSR Acura with a 68.734, 0.232sec faster than Taylor’s next effort of 68.966sec, and Blomqvist trimmed this to 68.683sec, then 68.555sec.

Taylor then hurt his efforts with an off at Turn 5, and would pit while lying third. The second driver who had usurped him was Bamber in the #02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, albeit 0.233sec behind Blomqvist who pitted.

The two AXR cars of Kobayashi and Derani pitted early, while the Ganassi Cadillacs of Bamber and Sebastien Bourdais kept pounding around to the end. Neither could improve, however, so will line up second and fifth, with Taylor and Tristan Vautier’s JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac between them.

Blomqvist’s pole ensured that Acura has beaten Cadillac to the Manufacturers’ championship, and also means that whichever Acura driver pairing finishes ahead in tomorrow’s 10-hour race, out of MSR and WTR, has won the drivers’ championship.

In LMP2, Steven Thomas produced a fantastic lap to claim pole for PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports but Dennis Andersen of High Class Racing was a mere 0.082sec away.

The second PR1/M car of Ben Keating was a further three-tenths down, and just ahead of John Farano of Tower Motorsports.

Despite there being just eight LMP3 cars, they got the track to themselves, and the battle swiftly became a duel between Malthe Jakobsen of Sean Creech Motorsport and Kay van Berlo of Riley Motorsports.

Their battle got interrupted by two simultaneous incidents which brought out the red flag. Dan Goldburg spun the Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier at Turn 6, and Anthony Mantella dropped the AWA Duqueine at Turn 7.

When action resumed, van Berlo clipped over three-tenths from his fastest time to jump 0.06sec ahead of Jakobsen, then stretched that advantage to 0.204sec. Jakobsen would eventually come up just 0.108sec short.

This fight left their rivals gasping in comparison, Jarett Andretti finishing up third, 1.5sec off the ultimate pace but almost 0.8sec ahead of Orey Fidani of AWA.

With GTD Pro and GTD cars on track simultaneously – 22 cars in 2.254 miles – the track was busy from the start, and it was defending Petit Le Mans polesitter Madison Snow in the Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 who first snuck under the 80sec barrier with a 1min19.501sec.

He was initially chased by Roman De Angelis in the Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage and Jaden Conwright’s NTE/SSR Lamborghini Huracan.

Snow then lowered his time to 79.211sec and then the GTD Pro drivers started to shine. Alex Riberas moved to the top in the all-pro HoR Aston with 79.043sec, and Jack Hawksworth snatched second in the Vasser Sullivan Racing Lexus RC F.

Riberas then pitted the #23 Vantage, eager to preserve the set of tires on which he’ll have to start the 10-hour race tomorrow. The downside of such prudence was that he saw his time beaten by Hawksworth, first by a mere 0.033sec, then by two-tenths, as Hawksworth became the only driver to breach the 79sec barrier, taking GTD Pro pole with a 78.835sec.

James Calado’s Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 turned a 69.266sec lap – third fastest in GTD Pro, fourth overall – before pitting, with Jesse Krohn fourth in class in the Rahal Letterman Lanigan BMW M4, ahead of Antonio Garcia’s Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.

Snow trimmed a further tenth from his time to confirm GTD pole – 0.16sec ahead of Krohn’s works BMW, and 0.388sec quicker than nearest GTD competitor, Robert Megennis in the Carbahn with Peregrine Racing Lamborghini Huracan. In fact it was a strong session for Lamborghini, Megennis qualifying 0.016sec faster than Conwright’s similar car.

De Angelis wound up fourth in class, ninth in GT, 0.014sec ahead of Richard Heistand in the pro-am VSR Lexus.

Petit Le Mans - qualifying results:

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Time Gap
1 60 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
Brazil Helio Castroneves
DPi Acura DPi 1'08.555  
2 02 New Zealand Earl Bamber
United Kingdom Alex Lynn
United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'08.788 0.233
3 10 United States Ricky Taylor
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
DPi Acura DPi 1'08.802 0.247
4 5 France Tristan Vautier
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
France Loic Duval
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'08.853 0.298
5 01 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
France Sébastien Bourdais
New Zealand Scott Dixon
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'08.905 0.350
6 48 Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
United States Jimmie Johnson
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'08.984 0.429
7 31 France Olivier Pla
Brazil Pipo Derani
United Kingdom Mike Conway
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'09.075 0.520
8 11 United States Steven Thomas
United States Josh Pierson
United States Tristan Nunez
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'11.939 3.384
9 20 Denmark Dennis Andersen
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'12.021 3.466
10 52 United States Ben Keating
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
United States Scott Huffaker
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'12.328 3.773
11 8 Canada John Farano
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Portugal Rui Andrade
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'12.360 3.805
12 81 Sweden Henrik Hedman
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
Colombia Sebastian Montoya
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'13.570 5.015
13 18 United States Dwight Merriman
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
Christian Rasmussen
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'13.896 5.341
14 74 United States Gar Robinson
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Netherlands Kay van Berlo
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'15.517 6.962
15 33 Portugal Joao Barbosa
Malthe Jakobsen
Nicolas Pino
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'15.625 7.070
16 36 United States Jarett Andretti
Colombia Gabby Chaves
Josh Burdon
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'17.030 8.475
17 13 Canada Orey Fidani
United Kingdom Matthew Bell
Germany Lars Kern
LMP3 Duqueine D08 1'17.809 9.254
18 54 United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
United States George Kurtz
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'17.813 9.258
19 30 United States Ari Balogh
Canada Garett Grist
Nolan Siegel
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'18.417 9.862
20 38 Daniel Goldburg
Australia Cameron Shields
Tyler Maxson
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'18.693 10.138
21 14 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
United States Kyle Kirkwood
GTD PRO Lexus RC F GT3 1'18.835 10.280
22 23 United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Spain Alex Riberas
United Kingdom Tom Gamble
GTD PRO Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1'19.043 10.488
23 1 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
Sweden Erik Johansson
GTD BMW M4 GT3 1'19.118 10.563
24 25 United States Connor de Phillippi
United States John Edwards
Finland Jesse Krohn
GTD PRO BMW M4 GT3 1'19.279 10.724
25 62 Brazil Daniel Serra
Italy Davide Rigon
United Kingdom James Calado
GTD PRO Ferrari 488 GT3 1'19.352 10.797
26 76 Canada Anthony Mantella
Canada Kyle Marcelli
Josh Sarchet
LMP3 Duqueine D08 1'19.357 10.802
27 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
GTD PRO Corvette C8.R GTD 1'19.444 10.889
28 39 United States Robert Megennis
United States Corey Lewis
United States Jeff Westphal
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'19.506 10.951
29 42 United States Jaden Conwright
Marco Holzer
United States Don Yount
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'19.522 10.967
30 27 Canada Roman De Angelis
Belgium Maxime Martin
United Kingdom Ian James
GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1'19.546 10.991
31 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Aaron Telitz
United States Richard Heistand
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'19.560 11.005
32 79 Germany Maximilian Buhk
Canada Mikael Grenier
Maximillian Goetz
GTD PRO Mercedes AMG GT3 1'19.620 11.065
33 32 United States Mike Skeen
United Kingdom Stevan McAleer
Germany Dirk Muller
GTD Mercedes AMG GT3 1'19.823 11.268
34 9 Australia Matt Campbell
France Mathieu Jaminet
Brazil Felipe Nasr
GTD PRO Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'19.942 11.387
35 57 United States Russell Ward
Switzerland Philip Ellis
Germany Marvin Dienst
GTD Mercedes AMG GT3 1'19.977 11.422
36 21 France Simon Mann
Argentina Luis Perez Companc
Finland Toni Vilander
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 1'20.022 11.467
37 16 United States Ryan Hardwick
Canada Zacharie Robichon
Belgium Jan Heylen
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'20.025 11.470
38 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Ulysse De
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 1'20.041 11.486
39 70 United States Brendan Iribe
South Africa Jordan Lee Pepper
United Kingdom Sebastian Priaulx
GTD McLaren 720S GT3 1'20.390 11.835
40 44 United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
United States Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1'21.431 12.876
41 99 United States Rob Ferriol
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
United States Nicholas Boulle
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'21.470 12.915
42 66 Kyffin Simpson
United States Till Bechtolsheimer
Germany Mario Farnbacher
GTD Acura NSX GT3    
43 96 United States Robby Foley
United States Bill Auberlen
Michael Dinan
GTD BMW M4 GT3    
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