Watkins Glen IMSA: Blomqvist takes pole in Meyer Shank Acura

The seventh round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Sahlen’s 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, will see Tom Blomqvist’s Meyer Shank Racing Acura lead the similar Wayne Taylor Racing car of Filipe Albuquerque to the green flag tomorrow.

Watkins Glen IMSA: Blomqvist takes pole in Meyer Shank Acura
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Filipe Albuquerque set the initial benchmark in the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 with a 1min30.029sec, and then beat himself with a 1min29.744sec. Earl Bamber with 7mins to go slotted the #02 Ganassi into second but half a second from Albuquerque but was hindered on his next lap as he appeared uncertain what Olivier Pla in the Action Express Racing Caddy ahead of him might do.

Tom Blomqvist, Kamui Kobayashi and Sebastien Bourdais left it until almost halfway through the 15min segment to hit the track, but Blomqvist delivered immediately with a 1min29.698sec lap to shade Albuquerque by 0.046sec, and the WTR driver promptly pitted. Blomqvist’s second effort was held up by a meandering LMP2 car, but next time by he delivered a 1min29.580sec to extend his advantage over Albuquerque by 0.164sec. Job done, he pitted.

The Cadillacs were left gasping in comparison although Bourdais hammered in a 1min30.048sec to edge a couple of tenths ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Earl Bamber.

Pla was 0.920sec off top spot in the Action Express Racing Whelen Engineering Cadillac, but still half a second clear of Tristan Vautier in the JDC Miller MotorSports. Kamui Kobayashi ran just three unrepresentative times in the AXR part-time car.

PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports teammates Ben Keating and Steven Thomas had a terrific battle for preeminence in LMP2, the pair ending in that order but only 0.001sec apart. Their constant striving for the perfect lap lifted them more than 1.5sec clear of High Class Racing’s Dennis Andersen, with Frits van Eerd delivering fourth for Racing Team Nederland.

Jarett Andretti was the first of the LMP3 drivers into the 1min40.915sec with the Andretti Autosport Ligier, but he was soon displaced by Josh Sarchet in the MLT Motorsports car and Nico Varrone of FastMD Racing. Indeed, the latter’s Duqueine then vaulted to the top by over half a second on its second flyer.

Then Andretti lost his chance to usurp Varrone and get onto the front row in class, when the car writhed out of his control while exiting the final turn and, with a bent left-rear, hobbled into the Turn 1 runoff which caused a red flag. That caused him to lose his two best times and for the LMP3 qualifying session to end with Varrone ahead of Sarchet, and Jon Bennett claiming third in the CORE autosport Ligier.

Just 21 of the 23 GT cars hit the track in qualifying, thanks to Hardpoint and Gradient teams having to rebuild their Porsche and Acura respectively following their shunt in FP2 this morning.

Stevan McAleer in the GTD Team Korthoff Mercedes AMG Mercedes GT3 was the first driver into the 1m45s with a 1min45.893sec lap, but he was outpaced by 0.4sec by Robby Foley’s Turner Motorsports BMW M4, and the pair were split by the GTD Pro cars of Ross Gunn (Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage) and Davide Rigon (Risi Competizione Ferrari 488).

Then Ben Barnicoat sprang to the top with a 1min45.220sec in the #14 GTD Pro Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F before Rigon’s next effort was a 1min45.195.

McAleer nudged ahead of Foley in GTD with four minutes to go.

But Connor De Phillippi in the works BMW M4 of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing on his first flyer delivered a sensational 1min44.755sec to head GTD Pro, just 0.048sec ahead of Gunn’s Aston Martin. De Phillippi decided he could do no better, and hoped no one else could, and pitted. Gunn, too, had no more bullets and pulled in.

Behind them, McAleer’s final effort moved him to the head of GTD, ahead of Rigon’s Ferrari and Barnicoat’s Lexus, and thus scored his first ever IMSA pole.

The second Lexus of underrated Am driver Richard Heistand was next up, second in GTD, a mere 0.009sec ahead of Foley’s BMW, which in turn outpaced the fastest Porsche 911 GT3 R, the Pfaff Motorsports GTD Pro entry steered by Mathieu Jaminet.

Cla Driver Class Chassis Time Gap km/h
1 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
DPi Acura DPi 1'29.580   136.637
2 United States Ricky Taylor
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
DPi Acura DPi 1'29.744 0.164 136.387
3 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
France Sébastien Bourdais
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'30.048 0.468 135.927
4 New Zealand Earl Bamber
United Kingdom Alex Lynn
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'30.242 0.662 135.635
5 France Olivier Pla
Brazil Pipo Derani
United Kingdom Mike Conway
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'30.500 0.920 135.248
6 France Tristan Vautier
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
France Loic Duval
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'31.059 1.479 134.418
7 United States Ben Keating
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
United States Scott Huffaker
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'33.930 4.350 130.309
8 United States Steven Thomas
United States Josh Pierson
United States Jonathan Bomarito
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'33.931 4.351 130.308
9 Denmark Dennis Andersen
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'35.448 5.868 128.237
10 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
United States Dylan Murry
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'35.778 6.198 127.795
11 Canada John Farano
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Portugal Rui Andrade
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'35.838 6.258 127.715
12 Sweden Henrik Hedman
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
Colombia Sebastian Montoya
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'36.120 6.540 127.340
13 United States Dwight Merriman
United Kingdom Kyle Tilley
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'37.658 8.078 125.335
14 Nico Varrone
United States Max Hanratty
Canada James Vance
LMP3 Duqueine D08 1'40.028 10.448 122.365
15 United States Dakota Dickerson
Josh Sarchet
Tyler Maxson
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'40.590 11.010 121.682
16 United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
United States George Kurtz
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'41.288 11.708 120.843
17 United States Jarett Andretti
Josh Burdon
Colombia Gabby Chaves
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'41.360 11.780 120.757
18 Daniel Goldburg
Sweden Rasmus Lindh
Australia Cameron Shields
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'41.471 11.891 120.625
19 United States Gar Robinson
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Netherlands Kay van Berlo
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'41.481 11.901 120.613
20 Canada Anthony Mantella
United Kingdom Matthew Bell
United Kingdom Wayne Boyd
LMP3 Duqueine D08 1'42.296 12.716 119.652
21 United States Ari Balogh
Canada Garett Grist
Nolan Siegel
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'42.392 12.812 119.540
22 Canada Orey Fidani
Canada Kyle Marcelli
Germany Lars Kern
LMP3 Duqueine D08 1'42.886 13.306 118.966
23 Ugo De
Danny Formal
United States Dillon Machavern
LMP3 Duqueine D08 1'43.193 13.613 118.612
24 United States Connor de Phillippi
United States John Edwards
Brazil Augusto Farfus
GTD PRO BMW M4 GT3 1'44.755 15.175 116.844
25 United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Spain Alex Riberas
GTD PRO Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1'44.803 15.223 116.790
26 United States Mike Skeen
United Kingdom Stevan McAleer
Germany Dirk Muller
GTD Mercedes AMG GT3 1'45.077 15.497 116.486
27 Brazil Daniel Serra
Italy Davide Rigon
GTD PRO Ferrari 488 GT3 1'45.169 15.589 116.384
28 United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
United States Kyle Kirkwood
GTD PRO Lexus RC F GT3 1'45.215 15.635 116.333
29 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Aaron Telitz
United States Richard Heistand
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'45.417 15.837 116.110
30 United States Robby Foley
United States Bill Auberlen
Michael Dinan
GTD BMW M4 GT3 1'45.426 15.846 116.100
31 Australia Matt Campbell
France Mathieu Jaminet
GTD PRO Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'45.548 15.968 115.966
32 United States Russell Ward
Switzerland Philip Ellis
Germany Marvin Dienst
GTD Mercedes AMG GT3 1'45.631 16.051 115.875
33 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
Sweden Erik Johansson
GTD BMW M4 GT3 1'45.634 16.054 115.871
34 United States Jaden Conwright
Marco Holzer
United States Don Yount
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'45.756 16.176 115.738
35 United States Ryan Hardwick
Canada Zacharie Robichon
Belgium Jan Heylen
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'45.762 16.182 115.731
36 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Antonio Fuoco
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 1'45.916 16.336 115.563
37 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
GTD PRO Corvette C8.R GTD 1'46.259 16.679 115.190
38 United States Robert Megennis
United States Corey Lewis
United States Jeff Westphal
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'46.264 16.684 115.184
39 Canada Roman De Angelis
Belgium Maxime Martin
United Kingdom Ian James
GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1'46.309 16.729 115.136
40 United States Cooper MacNeil
Germany Maro Engel
Canada Mikael Grenier
GTD PRO Mercedes AMG GT3 1'46.699 17.119 114.715
41 United States Brendan Iribe
United Kingdom Ollie Millroy
South Africa Jordan Lee Pepper
GTD McLaren 720S GT3 1'46.821 17.241 114.584
42 Jon Miller
United States Paul Holton
United States Patrick Gallagher
GTD McLaren 720S GT3 1'46.936 17.356 114.460
43 United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
United States Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1'47.466 17.886 113.896
44 France Simon Mann
Argentina Luis Perez Companc
Finland Toni Vilander
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 1'47.497 17.917 113.863
45 Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
United States Jimmie Johnson
DPi Cadillac DPi 2'17.096 47.516 89.280
46 Portugal Joao Barbosa
Malthe Jakobsen
United States Lance Willsey
LMP3 Ligier JS P320      
47 Kyffin Simpson
United States Till Bechtolsheimer
Germany Mario Farnbacher
GTD Acura NSX GT3      
48 United States Rob Ferriol
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
United Kingdom Stefan Wilson
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R      
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