Identical to kismet, the 2 Acura ARX-06s will begin from the entrance row tomorrow for tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship Acura Grand Prix of Lengthy Seaside. Filipe Albuquerque put Wayne Taylor Racing’s #10 Konica Minolta Acura on pole, whereas Tom Blomqvist certified second within the #60 Meyer Shank Racing Curb-Agajanian Acura.
GTP qualifying had been delayed for over ten minutes whereas marshals and rescue crews cleaned up after an accident on the finish of the earlier GTD qualifying session. The tremendous eight hybrid prototypes took to the observe, however even for themselves had some bother discovering an empty spot on the observe early on.
After eight minutes of qualifying, it grew to become clear that the Acuras would be capable to again up their nice kind in follow 1 and a pair of. Albuquerque took the provisional pole, then was overtaken by Blomqvist seconds later.
On their subsequent lap, Albuquerque took again the provisional pole with a lap of 1’10.428. Blomqvist had set a time of 1’10.489 that will have put him a couple of hundredths off, however the Anglo-Swedish driver had his lap time disallowed for intruding over the pit exit line to his proper.
Whereas Blomqvist’s problem for the second pole of the season fell away, Albuquerque continued to choose up the tempo. He bettered his benchmark time of 1’10.371 for one of the best time of the day after which, with lower than two minutes left on the clock, the Portuguese pace service provider put it out of attain with a blazing time of 1’09.909 – sufficient to take a seat himself and three-time Lengthy Seaside winner Ricky Taylor on the pole for tomorrow’s 100-minute dash race.
Albuquerque stated after qualifying: “The final two years now we have all the time suffered right here, however the statistics within the first two races this yr confirmed that we’re actually aggressive. However I’ve to say that I didn’t anticipate to be so aggressive in comparison with the competitors, particularly the Cadillac. (The Cadillac) does not have a turbo engine, so placing the facility down is a robust level for that automotive. However they’re clearly fighting one thing.”
“On the finish of the day, it is about ticking all of the bins on a fancy automotive that everybody remains to be studying about,” he added. “I feel the communication between Honda Efficiency Improvement and the groups is incredible and easy. We did our homework and it paid off. I am tremendous joyful about it.”
It is Albuquerque’s fourth profession IMSA pole and his first on the streets of Lengthy Seaside. The 35 factors for pole place additionally transfer the Wayne Taylor Racing duo again into the lead of the GTP championship desk.
Blomqvist and Colin Braun will begin second, hoping to dig out of the large factors deficit they face after their post-Daytona penalties.
Better of the remaining was Sbastien Bourdais within the #01 Cadillac Racing V-Sequence.R, in third place. Bourdais and Renger van der Zande will attempt to win this race for the second yr in a row.
In fourth place was the #25 BMW M Group RLL V8 Hybrid of Nick Yelloly (with Connor de Philippi) and the #24 BMW of Augusto Farfus (with Philipp Eng) was fifth quickest, displaying that the BMWs are certainly beginning to flip the nook after a troubled begin to their season!
Sixth quickest was Nick Tandy within the #6 Porsche Penske Motorsports 963 (with Mathieu Jaminet), seventh was Alexander Sims within the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac (with Pipo Derani). and the #7 Porsche of Felipe Nasr (with Matt Campbell) completed eighth. 1,682 seconds lined the eight GTP automobiles in qualifying.
The #27 Coronary heart of Racing Group Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Marco Srensen took pole place in GTD with a brand new observe document. He’ll share the surface of the GTD entrance row with GTD Professional pole winner Jack Hawksworth within the #14 VasserSullivan Lexus RC F GT3.
Early on, the 18 GTD automobiles themselves tried to discover a snug place on the observe. In that battle for observe place on the outlap, the #1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 of Madison Snow clipped the #70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 Evo of Brendan Iribe, sending Iribe spinning at flip 5.
Iribe wished to proceed after contact with Snow, however later spun on his personal in the identical nook. In his efforts to attempt to flip away from the concrete barrier, he had shut calls with the #92 Kellymoss with the Riley Porsche 911 GT3 R (Jeroen Bleekemolen) and the #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD (Antonio Garcia). Snow additionally had a textbook lockup in flip one after he hit the brakes late off East Shoreline Boulevard.
Ross Gunn within the #23 Coronary heart of Racing Group Aston Martin was the primary to leap to provisional pole in GTD Professional earlier than Hawksworth jumped forward with a 1’18.490. On their subsequent flying laps, Gunn responded with a 1’18.113, then Hawksworth adopted up with a time of 1’17.885, simply 9 milliseconds off his prime time from Observe 2.
Forward of Iribe’s stranded McLaren, Srensen jumped to the highest of the board with a 1’17.811 to set an outright GTD observe document. Hawksworth improved to 1’17.817, six milliseconds off the outright GTD pole place.
With 90 seconds remaining, Ashton Harrison within the #93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 was pushing, however then clipped the within wall on the prime of flip eight and the slight contact despatched her into the left aspect barrier alongside Seaside Method. Just some seconds later PJ Hyett within the #80 AO Racing Porsche made the identical mistake however at a a lot larger pace – Hyett caught sufficient of the within wall and was spit into the concrete boundaries – arduous sufficient to maneuver them on influence.
Pinned in opposition to the wall, Harrison’s automotive burst into flames. However she was capable of escape unhurt by means of the passenger aspect door. Hyett, too, was capable of climb out by means of his passenger door with out severe damage.
AO Racing have already declared that their automotive can’t be repaired in time to start out tomorrow’s race, a bitter disgrace for Hyett and for Seb Priaulx, who was quick by means of at the moment’s follow session. In the meantime, Racers Edge Motorsports should scramble to get their #93 Acura repaired for the race if attainable.
Thus the session ended with Srensen and Hawksworth taking their respective pole positions. It’s the first pole of the season for each the #27 Coronary heart of Racing Group Aston Martin of Srensen and Roman de Angelis and the #14 VasserSullivan Lexus of Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat.
GTD pole winner – and Lengthy Seaside newcomer – Srensen commented, “To be trustworthy, because it’s my first time right here in Lengthy Seaside, I am a bit of stunned we obtained this. I actually take pleasure in road circuits. They get adrenaline will get going once more within the system and it feels so good to get the rod.”
“Actually proud of it,” stated Hawksworth, the GTD Professional pole winner. “The boys have completed an incredible job in the previous few days. We struggled a bit on this observe earlier, however the automobiles have been on observe ever since we obtained right here.”
Gunn and Alex Riberas’ #23 Aston Martin completed with the second-fastest time in GTD Professional, adopted by the #9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche of Patrick Pilet (with Klaus Bachler) in third, and the #3 Corvette of Garcia and Jordan Taylor in fourth.
In GTD, the second quickest ‘non-pro’ automotive was the #12 VasserSullvan Lexus of Frankie Montecalvo, whereas Snow recovered from his earlier incidents to be third quickest in school. Mike Skeen was fourth quickest within the #32 Group Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3, adopted by the #78 Forte Racing Lamborghini Huracn GT3 EVO2 of Misha Goikhberg and the #57 Winward Racing Mercedes of Russell Ward.
QUALIFYING RESULTS >>
The third spherical of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship is scheduled to start at 2:05 PM PDT (native time) following the conclusion of IndyCar Sequence qualifying that afternoon.
Pictures courtesy of IMSA