VIR IMSA: Vanthoor beats Magnussen to pole by 0.078s

Porsche’s Laurens Vanthoor will start the GT-only round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Virginia International Raceway from pole position after topping qualifying by 0.078s ahead of Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen.

VIR IMSA: Vanthoor beats Magnussen to pole by 0.078s

The track was dry with damp patches for the start of the GTLM session, with all cars on slick tires.

Ford’s Joey Hand was in the top spot before Vanthoor grabbed it back with 1m40.630s. Magnussen grabbed second with a last-gasp flyer, just missing out on pole by 0.078s while Vanthoor had already bailed out into the pits, with Ryan Briscoe’s Ford GT an identical margin back in third.

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“The first couple of laps you’re figuring out where the track is dry and when to use the tires, so it’s a little bit like poker,” said Vanthoor. “They told me I was safe [in P1], I said, ‘Are you sure? I’ve got another tenth in me’, but they made the call to pit.”

Hand slipped to fourth, ahead of Oliver Gavin in the second Corvette. In the second Porsche, Nick Tandy went off and hit the tires at Oak Hill Bend. He will start down in sixth, ahead of the BMW M8 GTEs of John Edwards and Connor de Phillippi.

#9 PFAFF Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, GTD: Scott Hargrove, Zacharie Robichon

#9 PFAFF Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, GTD: Scott Hargrove, Zacharie Robichon

Photo by: Scott R LePage / LAT Images

GT Daytona qualifying began in much more slippery conditions, with the majority of teams opting for slicks. The #14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus of Richard Heistand went off on its out lap, proving how treacherous the track surface was for those on slicks.

With the conditions improving throughout, position changes came thick and fast throughout the session. Just before the clock ticked down to zero, Zacharie Robichon was at the top of the times in his Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

As the checkered flag flew, Frankie Montecalvo then grabbed the top spot in #12 AVS Lexus – but Robichon took class pole back with his final flying lap, a 1m45.826s, as he was the last of the frontrunners on track and took full benefit of the evolving track.

“Credit to the team for making the right call, so we got an extra lap on everyone else,” said the Canadian. “It was exciting, the car was moving around a lot. Just like driving back home on the ice!”

His fastest time was 0.324s quicker than Montecalvo, with the sister Lexus of Heistand qualifying third after its early off.

Trent Hindman and Alice Powell, making her series debut, were fourth and fifth fastest respectively in their Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3s.

Session results:

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Time Gap
1 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 1'40.630
2 3 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Spain Antonio Garcia
GTLM Corvette C7.R 1'40.708 0.078
3 67 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
GTLM Ford GT 1'40.786 0.156
4 66 United States Joey Hand
Germany Dirk Muller
GTLM Ford GT 1'40.956 0.326
5 4 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
GTLM Corvette C7.R 1'41.578 0.948
6 911 France Patrick Pilet
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 1'41.615 0.985
7 24 Finland Jesse Krohn
United States John Edwards
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'41.703 1.073
8 25 United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
United States Connor de Phillippi
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'41.772 1.142
9 9 Canada Scott Hargrove
Canada Zacharie Robichon
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'45.826 5.196
10 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Townsend Bell
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'46.150 5.520
11 14 United States Richard Heistand
United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'46.524 5.894
12 86 Germany Mario Farnbacher
United States Trent Hindman
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'46.697 6.067
13 57 United Kingdom Katherine Legge
United Kingdom Alice Powell
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'48.159 7.529
14 96 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
GTD BMW M6 GT3 1'48.398 7.768
15 33 United States Ben Keating
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 1'48.476 7.846
16 44 United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'48.567 7.937
17 48 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Corey Lewis
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'51.132 10.502
18 63 United States Cooper MacNeil
Finland Toni Vilander
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 1'53.823 13.193
19 76 United States Paul Holton
United States Matt Plumb
GTD McLaren 720S GT3 1'54.213 13.583
20 74 United States Gar Robinson
United States Lawson Aschenbach
GTD Mercedes-AMG 1'56.054 15.424
21 73 United States Patrick Lindsey
United States Patrick Long
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'56.158 15.528
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VIR IMSA: Vanthoor beats Tandy in all-Porsche FP3 duel

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