Blomqvist, MSR Acura begin new GTP period on pole for Rolex 24
In a “methods examine” observe simply previous to the start of qualifying for the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona, Felipe Nasr within the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsports 963 turned the quickest GTP time of the weekend, a 1m34.926s. When it got here to what turned out to be a fairly dramatic qualifying session, nevertheless, Tom Blomqvist and Meyer Shank Racing did what they’ve finished all weekend, setting the quick lap of the session and claiming a historic first pole for the brand new period of Grand Touring Prototype within the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. His 1m34.031s lap within the No. 60 Acura ARX-06, a median of 136.295mph across the 3.56-mile Daytona Worldwide Speedway highway course, was 0.003s faster than final 12 months’s DPi pole, dispelling the concept the GTP vehicles can be considerably slower – at Daytona anyway.
Nick Tandy, who had been third fast within the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsports 936, crashed heading into the Le Mans Chicane – probably helped by a gusty tailwind foreshadowed in LMP2 qualifying – inflicting a crimson flag and establishing a dramatic single-lap try for a number of vehicles. After a few laps, MSR had put new tires on the No. 60 – allowed this 12 months as a result of a rule change – and Blomqvist hadn’t had time to get a flyer. Sebastien Bourdais within the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-LMDh had additionally simply gone out and didn’t have a consultant lap.
On the level of Tandy’s crash, Ricky Taylor was the quick qualifier within the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura, having set the quickest time of the weekend to date and reducing it on subsequent laps. When qualifying resumed, there was simply sufficient time for the drivers to get in a single final flyer, establishing a dramatic end. First Nasr went quicker than Taylor with a 1m34.114s lap, however with the clock having expired and the checker waving, Blomqvist got here via with a time 0.083s quicker to say the pole.
“That crimson flag got here principally earlier than I had finished any correct operating,” Blomqvist mentioned. “So I’m very grateful that I used to be capable of at the very least get one lap at it. It was in all probability one of the crucial, I’d say, troublesome classes I’ve finished as a result of my tires weren’t precisely totally prepared and I didn’t have a lot of a superb actual reference to go off. I form of needed to wing it a bit bit. It helps that I’ve had such a incredible automotive underneath me and every thing’s been going so nicely, and it’s enabled me to clearly have a variety of confidence.”
Taylor’s 1m34.198s time was good for third. Bourdais made one of the best of his single lap to place the CGR Cadillac on the skin of the second row. Cadillacs will fill the row behind, Alex Lynn within the No. 02 CGR automotive in fifth and Pipo Derani within the No. 31 Motion Specific Racing Cadillac in sixth. The 2 BMW M Staff RLL M Hybrid V8s will make up the fourth row, Philipp Eng within the No. 24 edging out Nick Yelloly within the No. 25. The highest eight have been lined by 0.815s, Tandy out of that vary after shedding his finest two occasions as a result of bringing out a crimson flag.
No. 52: PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports, ORECA LMP2 07, LMP2 polesitter: Ben Keating, Paul-Loup Chatin, Alex Quinn, Nicolas Lapierre. Richard Dole/Lumen
LMP2 qualifying was interrupted about 10 minutes into the session when defending LMP2 champ John Farano crashed the No. 8 Tower Motorsports ORECA within the Le Mans Chicane. At that time, Ben Keating had finished one of the best work, sitting on high of the sphere by greater than a second, later saying the wind blowing tougher and in the wrong way than it had all weekend made the Chicane trickier. Keating turned a 1m40.541s (127.470mph) lap within the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA for the LMP2 pole, his tenth in IMSA competitors.
“I felt like this was one of many extra difficult qualifying classes,” Keating defined. “I believe each automotive I’ve ever pushed right here is at all times on the sting within the Bus Cease, however all weekend we’ve had a slight headwind going into the Bus Cease. Yesterday we had about 7- or 8mph headwind going via there and that makes an enormous distinction on the downforce and making the transition there. At present we had a tailwind. A 28mph distinction was an enormous distinction in our automotive and it was actually actually difficult on the market in the present day. I used to be not stunned to see a automotive go off there. I’m not stunned to see a GTP automotive go off there as a result of it was fairly dramatic for us.
“But when we had a tailwind on the Bus Cease it additionally meant we had a headwind happening the entrance straightaway. I received our good tow all the best way round from my buddy Stephen Thomas, and that made about 0.5s price of distinction. I really feel prefer it actually paid to know the climate in the present day.”
Francis Heriau certified second within the No. 35 TDS Racing ORECA at 1m41.751s, simply beating the sister No. 11 automotive with Steven Thomas on the wheel by 0.062s. Francois Perrodo certified fourth within the No. 88 AF Corse entry.
No. 33: Sean Creech Motorsport, Ligier JS P320, LMP3 polesitter: Lance Willsey, Joao Barbosa, Nico Pino, Danny Soufi. Jake Galstad/Lumen
Nico Pino beat Dakota Dickerson to the LMP3 pole for Sean Creech Motorsports, qualifying the No. 33 Ligier at 1m43.197s (124.190mph). It was his first pole in automotive racing. Dickerson was 0.110s again to place the No. 36 Andretti Autosport Ligier in second. Cameron Shields (No. 38 Efficiency Tech Motorsports Ligier) and Guilherme de Oliveira (No. 43 MRS-GT Ligier) have been third and fourth.
No. 57: Winward Racing, Mercedes AMG GT3, GTD polesitter: Philip Ellis, Motul Pole Award. Michael Levitt/Lumen
For the primary time, there was no restriction on who might qualify in GTD, and that performed considerably into the qualifying outcomes for the category. The place up to now the qualifying driver needed to be the “Am” driver, a Silver or Bronze in line with the FIA driver rankings, any driver might qualify in GTD. Not solely did that imply that Gold and Platinum manufacturing unit aces have been qualifying in GTD, but additionally combined up the GTD and GTD PRO grid rather more than was seen at most races final 12 months.
The highest three vehicles have been all GTD machines, and all Mercedes-AMG, led by Philip Ellis for Winward Racing. Ellis posted a 1m46.093s lap within the No. 57 Mercedes-AMG, good for a 120.8mph common. Fabian Schiller put the last-minute-entry No. 75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG on the entrance row alongside Ellis, 0.219s off Ellis’s time. Mikael Grenier was third at 1m46.705s within the No. 32 Staff Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG.
“I believe, particularly the final half of the final season, we have been actually, actually robust and the plan was principally to maintain that momentum going into this 12 months,” Stated Ellis. “And, after all, the workforce did an awesome work within the offseason. We labored quite a bit on the automotive and within the winter, and it exhibits. I believe all of the Mercedes did an awesome job.”
The 2 Acura NSX GT3 Evo22s accomplished the GTD high 5. Kyle Marcelli was fourth and can begin the No. 93 Racers Edge with WTR NSX, a Michelin Endurance Cup-only entry, outdoors the third row of the GT vehicles. Mario Farnbacher put the No. 66 Gradient Racing Acura on the skin of the fourth row.
No. 79: WeatherTech Racing, Mercedes AMG GT3, GTD PRO polesitter: Cooper MacNeil, Daniel Juncadella, Jules Gounon, Maro Engel. Jake Galstad/Lumen
Maro Engel added to the Mercedes-AMG sweep of GTD by placing the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG on the GTD PRO pole. Engel’s 1m46.784 (120.018mph) lap places him on the skin of the second row and gave Mercedes-AMG a lock on the primary two GT rows. In an fascinating twist, the 2 GT polesitters have received the Rolex 24 collectively, successful GTD for Winward in 2021.
“We undoubtedly have a tremendous automotive that’s for positive,” Engel declared. “The Mercedes AMG is a automotive that’s nicely tailored to all types of racing we do in GT racing. So lengthy distance racing, 24 hour racing, in addition to the dash rounds, and it’s it’s at all times a automotive that’s confidence inspiring, so I undoubtedly must thank Mercedes AMG for that. But in addition, equally, I believe all 4 of the groups did a did a extremely good job in the present day. I believe it’s clear once you have a look at the outcomes sheets that you recognize, we have been advised to push. I’m unsure if that’s the case throughout the grid. I’m positive there’s just a few opponents that may instantly discover some tempo subsequent week. However general, it was it was a powerful name from the workforce and you’ve got some room to enhance for us. For me personally, I like qualifying, and clearly that was sufficient for ballot, in order that’s nice.”
Ross Gunn certified second in GTD PRO within the No. 23 Coronary heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage, solely 0.041s off Engel, and can begin on the within of the third row. Ben Barnicoat was third, with GTD fourth-place qualifier Marcelli in between him and Gunn, turning a 1m46.923s lap within the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3. The following three driver in GTD PRO have been one other 4 vehicles again, Antonio Garcia within the No. 3 Corvette one of the best of the bunch, twelfth general within the GT vehicles. Owen Trinkler within the No. 64 TGM/TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage and Andrea Caldarelli within the No. 63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracán Evo2 will make up the seventh GT row, thirteenth and 14th general.
The brand new GT3 vehicles continued to wrestle, with one of the best Porsche 911 GT3 being Jan Heylen in twenty first among the many 33 GT vehicles. The Ferrari 296 GT3 runners didn’t fare a lot better, Antonio Fuoco the very best Ferrari qualifier within the No. 47 Cetilar Racing Ferrari with ninth in GTD and fifteenth GT general.
Groups have just a few days off earlier than observe begins once more on Thursday, with the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona scheduled to go inexperienced at 1:40 p.m. ET on Saturday.