Wayne Taylor Racing’s Philippe Albuquerque wins pole at 108.231 mph for Sunday’s Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 11). The lap is a new IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship track record.
“[Getting the pole] Really means a lot,” Albuquerque said after the session. “How’s the championship, and how competitive, I mean, the track conditions are important, and I think everyone’s level in terms of strategy is so accurate and having such a good timing that it’s really hard to get ahead of that. So that said. With, coming here, knowing that this is a track that is suited for our car, qualifying on pole is very important because we know the next race is not for us. So we need to take advantage of the opportunity when we can.”
Albuquerque finished just two hundredths of a second faster than Meyer Shank Racing with Dan Cameron of Curb-Agajanian. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kevin Magnussen will be third in the Cadillac’s fastest race.
Harry Tinknell of Mazda Motorsports finished fourth in his Mazda RT24-P. However, upon post-qualification inspection, the No. 55 Mazda was found to have too much camber. As a result, the car was moved to the back of the orbit. As a result of Tinknell’s penalty, Pipo Derani of Action Express Racing would finish fourth, followed by Tristan Vautier of JDC-Miller Motorsports.
In LMP2, Ben Keating of PR1 Mathiassen Motorsports was not being touched. He almost immediately went to the top of the class and stayed there. Keating won the LMP2 pole with a top speed of 104.326 mph. Keating’s lap was over two and a half seconds faster than Dwight Merriman of Era Motorsport. Steven Thomas of Win Autosport was third, followed by John Farano.
In the GT Le Mans, the Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs swapped quick times several times during its 15-minute session. Ultimately, Jordan Taylor won the GTLM pole with a top speed of 99.282 mph, a new track record for the class. Taylor was a little over a tenth of a second faster than teammate Tommy Milner. Cooper McNeil of WeatherTech Racing will start in third place in his Porsche.
Several drivers swapped top spots in GT Daytona qualifying. However, when the season ended, Trent Hindman of Wright Motorsports won pole with a top speed of 95.341 mph. Hindman’s lap was six-hundredths of a second faster than that of Turner Motorsport’s Robbie Foley. Roman DeAngelis of The Heart of Racing will start in third place in his Aston Martin, followed by Madison Snow of Paul Miller Racing. CarBahn Motorsports along with Peregrine Racing’s Richard Heistand will launch their Audi in fifth.
The points part of GT Daytona qualifying is where things got a little awkward. The Heart of Racing’s Ross Gunn swapped the top spot several times with Vassar Sullivan’s Jack Hawksworth before setting a track record lap at 96.137 mph to claim 35 qualifying points.
Gunn was very pleased with his form, but he made a critical mistake here. He exited his Aston Martin Vantage GT3 before the checkered flag flew to end the season. This is a punishment. As a result, all his qualifying time was taken away. It hurts as Gunn and DeAngelis entered Laguna Seca, only 18 points from the GT Daytona points lead.
As a result of the penalty, the points fell to Lawrence Vanthur of PFAFF Motorsports at 96.061 mph for the best time of the season, 35 points. Bill Oberlen was in second place, then Brian Sellers, Hawksworth and Patrick Long.
The Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship is all set to go green at 4:10 p.m. ET. The race will be telecast live on NBCSN from 4 pm on Sunday.
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