Daytona IMSA: Castroneves’ Acura beats Mazdas to pole

Helio Castroneves turned the best lap of Daytona to earn Acura Team Penske pole for this evening’s IMSA WeatherTech 240 in a fantastically close battle for top honors between the Acura ARX-05s and Mazda RT24-Ps.

Daytona IMSA: Castroneves’ Acura beats Mazdas to pole

A mere 0.142sec covered the top four cars, and Castroneves put just 0.032sec between himself and the best of the Mazda RT24-Ps driven by Oliver Jarvis, with Jonathan Bomarito’s Mazda a further 0.032sec behind, and 0.078sec ahead of defending IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champion Juan Pablo Montoya.

Despite getting little practice this morning due to a flat tire for Renger Van der Zande at 190mph, Wayne Taylor Racing ended up with the fastest Cadillac DPi-V.R thanks to Ryan Briscoe’s best effort. The former IndyCar ace was perhaps surprisingly only 0.671sec off top spot, but was 0.183sec ahead of Gabby Chaves, who is sharing the Action Express Racing Caddy with Pipo Derani, in place of the Covid-19-afflicted Felipe Nasr.

The JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillacs of Joao Barbosa and Chris Miller were seventh and eighth.

Oliver Gavin and Jordan Taylor produced a 1-2 for Corvette Racing’s two-race-old C8.R in GT Le Mans. Gavin was an impressive 0.272sec clear of his teammate who in turn was one-tenth faster than the third place car.

That car was the RLL-run BMW M8 GTE of Jesse Krohn who was just 0.001sec faster than Laurens Vanthoor in the faster of the two Porsche 911 RSRs. Nick Tandy might have gone still faster but ran long in Turn 1 on his final flyer in the #911 Porsche, and will line up sixth, alongside the second BMW of Bruno Spengler.

Corey Fergus took a brilliant GT Daytona-class pole for Compass Racing in the dramatic McLaren 720S GT3, beating Aaron Telitz’s Lexus RC F GT3 by 0.137sec.

Third fastest was the ever-trusty Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Robby Foley, who just edged the second Lexus of Frankie Montecalvo and the WeatherTech Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Cooper MacNeil.

The two Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3s of Matt McMurry and Misha Goikhberg will line up sixth and seventh.

This evening's 2hr40min race begins at 6.10pm local (Eastern) time.

Qualifying results:

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Time Gap
1 7 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Ricky Taylor
DPi Acura DPi 1'34.390
2 77 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Tristan Nunez
DPi Mazda DPi 1'34.422 0.032
3 55 United States Jonathan Bomarito
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
DPi Mazda DPi 1'34.454 0.064
4 6 United States Dane Cameron
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
DPi Acura DPi 1'34.532 0.142
5 10 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Australia Ryan Briscoe
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'35.061 0.671
6 31 Colombia Gabby Chaves
Brazil Pipo Derani
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'35.244 0.854
7 5 Portugal Joao Barbosa
France Sébastien Bourdais
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'35.737 1.347
8 85 United States Chris Miller
France Tristan Vautier
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'35.945 1.555
9 4 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
GTLM Corvette C8.R 1'42.251 7.861
10 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
GTLM Corvette C8.R 1'42.523 8.133
11 24 Finland Jesse Krohn
United States John Edwards
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'42.628 8.238
12 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'42.629 8.239
13 25 Canada Bruno Spengler
United States Connor de Phillippi
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'42.674 8.284
14 911 United Kingdom Nick Tandy
France Frédéric Makowiecki
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'42.754 8.364
15 76 United States Corey Fergus
United States Paul Holton
GTD McLaren 720S GT3 1'47.015 12.625
16 14 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United States Aaron Telitz
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'47.152 12.762
17 96 United States Robby Foley
United States Bill Auberlen
GTD BMW M6 GT3 1'47.468 13.078
18 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Townsend Bell
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'47.502 13.112
19 63 United States Cooper MacNeil
Finland Toni Vilander
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 1'47.595 13.205
20 86 Germany Mario Farnbacher
United States Matt McMurry
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'47.779 13.389
21 57 Portugal Alvaro Parente
Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'47.799 13.409
22 16 United States Ryan Hardwick
United States Patrick Long
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'47.839 13.449
23 74 United States Gar Robinson
United States Lawson Aschenbach
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 1'47.998 13.608
24 44 United States Andy Lally
United States John Potter
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'48.772 14.382
25 22 United States Till Bechtolsheimer
United States Marc Miller
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'48.795 14.405
26 30 United States Rob Ferriol
United States Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 1'49.193 14.803
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