July 26, 2021

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:

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