Petit Le Mans: Derani takes pole in thrilling qualifying session

Pipo Derani will start his final race for ESM Nissan from pole position after staving off a double-pronged Mazda attack in Petit Le Mans qualifying.

Petit Le Mans: Derani takes pole in thrilling qualifying session
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Derani laid down a 1min10.437sec lap of the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta course, which not only eclipsed teammate Norman Nato by 0.338sec, but also kept him 0.124sec and 0.163sec clear of the Mazda RT24-Ps of Oliver Jarvis and Jonathan Bomarito.

The latter survived a brief off-course excursion in the opening minutes and some ragged moments while the tires were at their prime but came up four hundredths short of his teammate.

Said Derani: "In any race, it’s important to start up front, but this one has a special feeling, especially for myself. This is my last race with the team, and ESM’s last race with Tequila Patron.

"It’s very emotional for the entire team, and it shows how hard we’ve been working the last three years.

"When I joined the team, we had lots of highs. What better way to finish an era than to start on pole?! We still have the race tomorrow, but I’m happy and grateful for the car they’ve given me to get on pole position."

The Acura Team Penske ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor was 0.343sec off the ultimate pace but that was enough to beat the best of the Cadillacs, Filipe Albuquerque’s #5 Action Express Racing entry, for fifth behind the second ESM Nissan.

Lead P2 car was Simon Trummer’s JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca, which beat Juan Pablo Montoya in the second Acura by a handful of hundreths.

Felipe Nasr claimed ninth in the second AXR Caddy with Colin Braun rounding out the top 10 with the CORE autosport Oreca, 0.634sec from P1.

GT Le Mans

On the back of two straight GTLM victories, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-run BMW M8 remained on top during qualifying, with John Edwards grabbing pole with 1min17.006sec to snatch pole from Antonio Garcia’s championship-leading Corvette C7.R by just 0.024sec.

Earl Bamber was a couple of tenths slower in the faster of the two Porsche 911 RSRs ahead of Richard Westbrook in the best of the Ford GTs, while Patrick Pilet will line up fifth, alongside the second Ford of Joey Hand.

Connor De Phillippi was seventh in the second BMW, ahead of Tommy Milner’s best in the #4 Corvette, and Toni Vilander in the returning Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE.

GT Daytona

Daniel Serra put the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 on top and set a new GTD track record, a 1min19.695sec, a target at which Jack Hawksworth of 3GT Racing fell 0.037sec short, with Sheldon van der Linde’s Land Motorsport Audi R8 0.049sec adrift.

Mario Farnbacher was fastest of the two Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSXs, grabbing fourth ahead of title contenders Bryan Sellers (Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan) and Katherine Legge, whose NSX was qualified by usual co-driver Alvaro Parente.

Matteo Cressoni took seventh in the second Scuderia Corsa 488 ahead of Dominik Baumann in the second Lexus.

Ben Keating pulled his Riley Mercedes AMG GT off track mid-session, while Wright Motorsports didn’t even participate in the session in order to start the race on a fresh set of Continentals.

Qualifying results:

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 22 Germany Timo Bernhard
Brazil Pipo Derani
United States Johannes van Overbeek
P Nissan DPi 7 1'10.437     129.818
2 77 Brazil Lucas di Grassi
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Tristan Nunez
P Mazda DPi 11 1'10.561 0.124 0.124 129.590
3 55 United States Spencer Pigot
United States Jonathan Bomarito
United Kingdom Marino Franchitti
P Mazda DPi 10 1'10.600 0.163 0.039 129.518
4 2 United States Scott Sharp
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
France Norman Nato
P Nissan DPi 8 1'10.775 0.338 0.175 129.198
5 7 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Graham Rahal
United States Ricky Taylor
P Acura DPi 8 1'10.780 0.343 0.005 129.189
6 5 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
France Tristan Vautier
P Cadillac DPi 11 1'10.892 0.455 0.112 128.985
7 85 Switzerland Simon Trummer
United States Robert Alon
Canada Devlin DeFrancesco
P ORECA LMP2 9 1'10.912 0.475 0.020 128.949
8 6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
France Simon Pagenaud
United States Dane Cameron
P Acura DPi 6 1'10.947 0.510 0.035 128.885
9 31 United States Eric Curran
Colombia Gabby Chaves
Brazil Felipe Nasr
P Cadillac DPi 10 1'10.981 0.544 0.034 128.823
10 54 France Romain Dumas
United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
P ORECA LMP2 11 1'11.071 0.634 0.090 128.660
11 99 Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
United States Chris Miller
South Africa Stephen Simpson
P ORECA LMP2 11 1'11.151 0.714 0.080 128.515
12 10 United States Jordan Taylor
United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
P Cadillac DPi 8 1'11.468 1.031 0.317 127.945
13 52 Mexico Jose Gutierrez
Colombia Sebastian Saavedra
United States Will Owen
P ORECA LMP2 11 1'11.708 1.271 0.240 127.517
14 38 United States James French
United States Nicholas Boulle
Kyle Masson
P ORECA LMP2 11 1'11.859 1.422 0.151 127.249
15 24 United States John Edwards 
Finland Jesse Krohn
Australia Chaz Mostert
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 6 1'17.006 6.569 5.147 118.744
16 3 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Switzerland Marcel Fassler
Spain Antonio Garcia
GTLM Corvette C7.R 9 1'17.030 6.593 0.024 118.707
17 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
France Mathieu Jaminet
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 9 1'17.209 6.772 0.179 118.432
18 67 Australia Ryan Briscoe
New Zealand Scott Dixon
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
GTLM Ford GT 6 1'17.220 6.783 0.011 118.415
19 911 United Kingdom Nick Tandy
France Patrick Pilet
France Frédéric Makowiecki
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 8 1'17.369 6.932 0.149 118.187
20 66 France Sébastien Bourdais
United States Joey Hand
Germany Dirk Muller
GTLM Ford GT 6 1'17.383 6.946 0.014 118.165
21 25 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Connor de Phillippi
United Kingdom Alexander Sims
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 6 1'17.428 6.991 0.045 118.097
22 4 Switzerland Marcel Fassler
United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
GTLM Corvette C7.R 10 1'17.451 7.014 0.023 118.062
23 62 Finland Toni Vilander
Italy Andrea Bertolini
Spain Miguel Molina
GTLM Ferrari 488 GTE 11 1'17.774 7.337 0.323 117.571
24 63 Brazil Daniel Serra
United States Cooper MacNeil
United States Gunnar Jeannette
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 6 1'19.695 9.258 1.921 114.737
25 15 Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United States Sean Rayhall
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 5 1'19.732 9.295 0.037 114.684
26 29 Canada Daniel Morad
Germany Christopher Mies
South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 8 1'19.744 9.307 0.012 114.667
27 93 United States Justin Marks
United States Lawson Aschenbach
Germany Mario Farnbacher
GTD Acura NSX GT3 7 1'19.877 9.440 0.133 114.476
28 48 United States Corey Lewis
United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 6 1'20.079 9.642 0.202 114.187
29 86 Portugal Alvaro Parente
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
United States Trent Hindman
GTD Acura NSX GT3 8 1'20.095 9.658 0.016 114.164
30 64 Italy Matteo Cressoni
United States Townsend Bell
United States Frankie Montecalvo
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 6 1'20.297 9.860 0.202 113.877
31 14 Canada Kyle Marcelli
Austria Dominik Baumann
Switzerland Philipp Frommenwiler
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 8 1'20.366 9.929 0.069 113.779
32 33 Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
United States Ben Keating
Germany Luca Stolz
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 5 1'20.587 10.150 0.221 113.467
33 71 Germany Maximilian Buhk
JC Perez
Felipe Fraga
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 10 1'21.580 11.143 0.993 112.086
34 96 United States Don Yount
Finland Markus Palttala
United States Dillon Machavern
GTD BMW M6 GT3 6 1'21.650 11.213 0.070 111.990
35 44 United States Andy Lally
United States Andrew Davis
United States John Potter
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 10 1'21.895 11.458 0.245 111.655
36 73 Germany Wolf Henzler
United States Tim Pappas
United States Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 11 1'22.610 12.173 0.715 110.689
37 58 United States Patrick Long
Denmark Christina Nielsen
Germany Robert Renauer
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R
Petit Le Mans: Jarvis puts Mazda on top in FP4, Corvettes lead GTLM
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Petit Le Mans: Race gets underway, drama for Derani

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