IMSA Daytona: 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.

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 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, beating Aaron Telitz’s Lexus RC F by 0.137sec.

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

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

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

17 Helio Castroneves
Ricky Taylor
Acura DPi1’34.390 135.777
277 Oliver Jarvis
Tristan Nunez
Mazda DPi1’34.4220.032135.731
355 Jonathan Bomarito
Harry Tincknell
Mazda DPi1’34.4540.032135.685
46 Dane Cameron
Juan Pablo Montoya
Acura DPi1’34.5320.078135.573
510 Renger van der Zande
Ryan Briscoe
Cadillac DPi1’35.0610.529134.819
631 Gabby Chaves
Pipo Derani
Cadillac DPi1’35.2440.183134.560
75 Joao Barbosa
Sébastien Bourdais
Cadillac DPi1’35.7370.493133.867
885 Chris Miller
Tristan Vautier
Cadillac DPi1’35.9450.208133.577
94 Oliver Gavin
Tommy Milner
Corvette C8.R1’42.2516.306125.339
103 Antonio Garcia
Jordan Taylor
Corvette C8.R1’42.5230.272125.006
1124 Jesse Krohn
John Edwards
BMW M8 GTE1’42.6280.105124.878
12912 Earl Bamber
Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR – 191’42.6290.001124.877
1325 Bruno Spengler
Connor de Phillippi
BMW M8 GTE1’42.6740.045124.822
14911 Nick Tandy
Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR – 191’42.7540.080124.725
1576 Corey Fergus
Paul Holton
McLaren 720S GT31’47.0154.261119.759
1614 Jack Hawksworth
Aaron Telitz
Lexus RC F GT31’47.1520.137119.606
1796 Robby Foley
Bill Auberlen
BMW M6 GT31’47.4680.316119.254
1812 Frankie Montecalvo
Townsend Bell
Lexus RC F GT31’47.5020.034119.216
1963 Cooper MacNeil
Toni Vilander
Ferrari 488 GT31’47.5950.093119.113
2086 Mario Farnbacher
Matt McMurry
Acura NSX GT31’47.7790.184118.910
2157 Alvaro Parente
Mikhail Goikhberg
Acura NSX GT31’47.7990.020118.888
2216 Ryan Hardwick
Patrick Long
Porsche 911 GT3 R1’47.8390.040118.844
2374 Gar Robinson
Lawson Aschenbach
Mercedes-AMG GT31’47.9980.159118.669
2444 Andy Lally
John Potter
Lamborghini Huracan GT31’48.7720.774117.824
2522 Till Bechtolsheimer
Marc Miller
Acura NSX GT31’48.7950.023117.800
2630 Rob Ferriol
Spencer Pumpelly
Audi R8 LMS GT31’49.1930.398117.370

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