IMSA Road Atlanta: Acura, Porsche, Lexus take poles

Helio Castroneves in the Acura Team Penske ARX-05 car grabbed pole for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s six-hour race at Road Atlanta, while Nick Tandy nailed GTLM pole for Porsche and Frankie Montecalvo returned the AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus team to the front of GT Daytona class.

IMSA Road Atlanta: Acura, Porsche, Lexus take poles


Castroneves laid down a brilliant lap to steal pole from the hitherto dominant car of the weekend, lapping the 2.54-mile road course in 68.674sec, a mere 0.056sec faster than ex-F1 driver Felipe Nasr in the Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.

The Acuras, which had not looked so strong in practice had clearly saved their best ’til last, for Dane Cameron was just another 0.037sec behind in third, ahead of the two Mazda RT24-Ps.

Given the tightness of the class, it was no surprise that some mistakes were made, Nasr taking a wild run off at Turn 1, and just escaping scraping a wall, Tincknell driving like Keke Rosberg using all the track, curb and more to try and improve his time.

Sebastien Bourdais clocked sixth fastest for JDC-Miller Motorsports, beating Renger van der Zande’s Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, and Matheus Leist in the second JDC Caddy.

Patrick Kelly ensured PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports will start ahead of Era Motorsport in the two-car LMP2 battle, Dwight Merriman surviving a spin in the latter machine.

GT Le Mans

Tandy took pole in an astonishingly close battle for supremacy, in which five of the six cars were covered by one tenth, and the sixth was less than a further tenth away.

Tandy’s #911 Porsche 911 RSR lapped the course in 1min16.167sec, 0.014sec ahead of Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette C8.R who in turn had a mere 0.045sec edge over the sister car piloted by Tommy Milner.

Laurens Vanthoor scored fourth in the #912 Porsche ahead of the two BMW M8s of Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.

GT Daytona

Montecalvo took pole for AIM Vasser Sullivan, his Lexus RC F GT3 lapping 0.15sec faster than Madison Snow’s Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and Jan Heylen in the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

The Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3s of Shinya Michimi and Misha Goikhberg clocked fourth and sixth, sandwiching Steijn Schothorst in the Grasser Racing Lamborghini.

Robby Foley was seventh in the Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 that won the class last time out at VIR, with Jeff Westphal’s WeatherTech Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 in eighth.

Michael de Quesada had a trip off the track in the second Lexus and couldn’t shift the cut grass from his grille and front air dam, so elected to pit and settle for ninth. That still left him ahead of Gar Robinson in the Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3.

GRT Magnus elected not to go out for qualifying and instead save a set of tires for tomorrow.

Saturday's six-hour Grand Prix at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta runs from 11.35am to 5.35pm local (Eastern) time.

Qualifying results:

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Time Gap
1 7 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Ricky Taylor
DPi Acura DPi 1'08.674  
2 31 Brazil Felipe Nasr
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Brazil Pipo Derani
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'08.730 0.056
3 6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
United States Dane Cameron
DPi Acura DPi 1'08.767 0.093
4 77 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Tristan Nunez
France Olivier Pla
DPi Mazda DPi 1'08.916 0.242
5 55 United States Jonathan Bomarito
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
DPi Mazda DPi 1'08.948 0.274
6 5 Portugal Joao Barbosa
France Sébastien Bourdais
France Tristan Vautier
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'09.067 0.393
7 10 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Australia Ryan Briscoe
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'09.079 0.405
8 85 Brazil Matheus Leist
South Africa Stephen Simpson
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'09.683 1.009
9 52 United States Patrick Kelly
Switzerland Simon Trummer
Scott Huffaker
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'12.209 3.535
10 18 United States Dwight Merriman
United Kingdom Kyle Tilley
United States Colin Braun
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'15.490 6.816
11 911 United Kingdom Nick Tandy
France Frédéric Makowiecki
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'16.167 7.493
12 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
GTLM Corvette C8.R 1'16.181 7.507
13 4 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
GTLM Corvette C8.R 1'16.212 7.538
14 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'16.245 7.571
15 25 Canada Bruno Spengler
United States Connor de Phillippi
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'16.253 7.579
16 24 Finland Jesse Krohn
United States John Edwards
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'16.359 7.685
17 12 United States Townsend Bell
United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Aaron Telitz
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'19.757 11.083
18 48 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
United States Corey Lewis
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'19.907 11.233
19 16 United States Ryan Hardwick
United States Patrick Long
Belgium Jan Heylen
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'19.920 11.246
20 86 Germany Mario Farnbacher
United States Matt McMurry
Japan Shinya Michimi
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'20.009 11.335
21 11 United States Richard Heistand
Netherlands Steijn Schothorst
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'20.125 11.451
22 57 Portugal Alvaro Parente
Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
United States Trent Hindman
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'20.364 11.690
23 96 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
United States Dillon Machavern
GTD BMW M6 GT3 1'20.469 11.795
24 63 United States Cooper MacNeil
Finland Toni Vilander
United States Jeff Westphal
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 1'20.606 11.932
25 14 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United States Michael de Quesada
Canada Daniel Morad
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'20.615 11.941
26 74 United States Gar Robinson
United States Lawson Aschenbach
United States Ben Keating
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 1'20.649 11.975
27 23 United Kingdom Ian James
Canada Roman De Angelis
GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1'20.828 12.154
28 44 United States Andy Lally
United States John Potter
United States Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3    
IMSA Road Atlanta: Nasr keeps Action Express on top in FP2
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