IMSA Sebring: AXR Cadillac, Corvette, Lexus take poles

Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani landed pole position for the Cadillac Grand Prix at Sebring, as Patrick Kelly took LMP2 pole for PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, Jordan Taylor led a Corvette 1-2 in GTLM, and Frankie Montecalvo led a Lexus 1-2 in GTD.

IMSA Sebring: AXR Cadillac, Corvette, Lexus take poles

Derani lapped the 17-turn 3.74-mile Sebring course in 1min46.733sec to grab pole for the third round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Juan Pablo Montoya ensured it wasn’t a Cadillac DPi-V.R lockout of Row 1, but his Acura Team Penske ARX-05 fell 0.216sec short of P1, albeit 0.16sec faster than Renger van der Zande in the Wayne Taylor Racing Caddy.

Tristan Nunez was by far the faster of the two Mazda drivers – according to IMSA Radio’s Shea Adam, Jonathan Bomarito discovered a radically different setup for the #55 RT24-P that was definitely not the right way to go – but even the #77 was 0.467sec from top spot.

Sebastien Bourdais and Stephen Simpson were fifth and seventh for JDC-Miller Motorsports, split by Helio Castroneves in the second Acura.

In LMP2, Kelly’s PR1/Mathiasen Motorsport ORECA took top spot by over half a second from Henrik Hedman in the DragonSpeed entry.

Taylor set a new GT Le Mans class record to deliver the second straight pole for the Corvette Racing team, the #3 C8.R lapping Sebring in 1min55.634sec to eclipse his Daytona pole-winning teammate Oliver Gavin by 0.381sec.

Porsche’s Frederic Makowiecki fell less than a tenth short of splitting the ’Vettes but could be satisfied with outpacing teammate Laurens Vanthoor by 0.3sec.

Jesse Krohn was in the faster of the two Rahal Letterman Lanigan-run BMW M8s, almost three-tenths faster than Bruno Spengler, but almost one second slower than the pole-winning C8.R.

The GT Daytona scrap was very much a two-car battle between the Daytona race dominators, the Lexus RC F GT3s of AIM Vasser Sullivan. And it was Montecalvo in the #12 car who earned his first-ever IMSA pole, edging Aaron Telitz by 0.067sec.

Cooper MacNeil in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 edged Robby Foley’s Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 by 0.029sec, but was still nearly 0.9sec behind the Lexus pair.

Corey Fergus was fifth fastest in the Compass Racing McLaren 720S GT3, beating Gar Robinson’s best effort in the Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3. Seventh-placed Ryan Hardwick’s Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R was a further 0.35sec behind.

Qualifying results:

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Time Gap
1 31 Brazil Felipe Nasr
Brazil Pipo Derani
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'46.733
2 6 United States Dane Cameron
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
DPi Acura DPi 1'46.949 0.216
3 10 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Australia Ryan Briscoe
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'47.110 0.377
4 77 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Tristan Nunez
DPi Mazda DPi 1'47.200 0.467
5 5 Portugal Joao Barbosa
France Sébastien Bourdais
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'47.276 0.543
6 7 Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Ricky Taylor
DPi Acura DPi 1'47.425 0.692
7 85 South Africa Stephen Simpson
France Tristan Vautier
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'47.824 1.091
8 55 United States Jonathan Bomarito
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
DPi Mazda DPi 1'47.856 1.123
9 52 Patrick Kelly
United States Spencer Pigot
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'51.526 4.793
10 81 Sweden Henrik Hedman
United States Gustavo Menezes
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'52.085 5.352
11 38 Canada Cameron Cassels
United States Kyle Masson
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'52.681 5.948
12 8 Canada John Farano
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'54.938 8.205
13 18 United States Dwight Merriman
United States Kyle Tilley
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'55.012 8.279
14 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
GTLM Corvette C8.R 1'55.634 8.901
15 4 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
GTLM Corvette C8.R 1'56.015 9.282
16 911 United Kingdom Nick Tandy
France Frédéric Makowiecki
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'56.079 9.346
17 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'56.398 9.665
18 24 Finland Jesse Krohn
United States John Edwards
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'56.620 9.887
19 25 Canada Bruno Spengler
United States Connor de Phillippi
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'56.909 10.176
20 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Townsend Bell
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 2'01.190 14.457
21 14 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United States Aaron Telitz
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 2'01.257 14.524
22 63 United States Cooper MacNeil
Finland Toni Vilander
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 2'02.069 15.336
23 96 United States Robby Foley
United States Bill Auberlen
GTD BMW M6 GT3 2'02.098 15.365
24 76 United States Corey Fergus
United States Paul Holton
GTD McLaren 720S GT3 2'02.203 15.470
25 74 United States Gar Robinson
United States Lawson Aschenbach
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 2'02.371 15.638
26 16 United States Ryan Hardwick
United States Patrick Long
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 2'02.729 15.996
27 22 United States Till Bechtolsheimer
United States Marc Miller
GTD Acura NSX GT3 2'03.227 16.494
28 30 United States Rob Ferriol
United States Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 2'04.343 17.610
29 44 United States Andy Lally
United States John Potter
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2'04.424 17.691
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