July 24, 2021

Mazda inherits pole after AXR Cadillac is penalized

Oliver Jarvis set a time of 1min34.442sec (135.702mph) around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway’s road course, which was 0.131sec slower than Felipe Nasr’s best in the AXR #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R.

However, Nasr’s superb effort was for naught, as his car failed post-qualifying technical inspection for being underweight.

That allows the JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac to the outside of the front row, following Tristan Vautier’s flyer which was just 0.043sec slower than the Mazda.

“I just found out we’ve been promoted to pole,” Jarvis said during the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship night practice session. “I’d rather do it on the track but that pole at Daytona is always special. … Any pole is special but this one in particular. I love this track, such an amazing race.

“You always want to start out front and try and stay out of trouble,” Jarvis said, “which is working for our program now.

“I think we’ve got a good racecar as well, so we’re hopeful for tomorrow. … I think we’ll be strong tomorrow but never underestimate the competition.”

The No. 31 Whelen Cadillac, meanwhile, slips to sixth on the DPi grid.

Not only is Rolex 24 starting position up for grabs on Sunday. Under the new WeatherTech Championship scoring format, qualifying points will also be earned. The winner of each class nets 35 points, second place 32 and incrementally downward after that.

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