Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Acura beats Cadillac to pole position in GTP by 0.038 seconds

Acura's Louis Deletraz will start from pole position for the sixth round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, The Six Hours of The Glen.

Deletraz will start from pole position in the highest GTP class, ahead of the Cadillacs of Renger van der Zande and Jack Aitken after fast 15-minute qualifying sessions.

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PJ Hyett took the LMP2 pole for AO Racing, while Ferrari's Daniel Serra won the GTD Pro class and Parker Thompson took the pro-am pole for Lexus.

IMSA provides a 56-car field at the three.4-mile Watkins Glen road course, which has hosted the U.S. Grand Prix for 20 years, nestled within the rolling hills near the Finger Lakes in upstate New York.

Felipe Nasr, who crashed out of Le Mans last weekend, set the early GTP pace within the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 with a lap of 1:33.265s despite a fantastic moment on the penultimate corner, then reduced the pace to 1:32.753s for a less crazy outing.

Van der Zande's Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-Series.R briefly took first place before Deletraz passed him by 0.038s in his No. 40 Wayne Taylor Racing saddle of an Andretti Acura ARX-06 with a time of 1 :32,209 pp.

“It was an amazing feeling to run on low fuel,” Deletraz said. “The automotive was fast today, very fast. I felt good so I used to be in a position to push hard immediately, get grip and take pole position, which is sweet.

“We know that Sunday is very important; yes, the points might be tomorrow. The weather looks like he'll play a couple of games with us tomorrow.

Jack Aitken was third, three-tenths off the pace, within the No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express. After a powerful session, Phil Hanson will start within the No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 from fourth position, ahead of the works automotive of Mathieu Jaminet.

Nasr will start from sixth place, ahead of Ricky Taylor (No. 10 Acura), Philipp Eng's No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8, which set the pace in today's morning practice, Andrea Caldarelli within the only Lamborghini SC63 and Gianmaria Bruni's Proton Porsche.

#99 AO Racing ORECA LMP2-Gibson: PJ Hyett, Paul-Loup Chatin, Matt Brabham

#99 AO Racing ORECA LMP2-Gibson: PJ Hyett, Paul-Loup Chatin, Matt Brabham

Photo: Jake Galstad / Motorsport images

Hyett boss of LMP2 in 'Spike'

In LMP2, PJ Hyett set a blistering pace from the beginning of the session in AO Racing's purple dragon livery, clocking a 1:35.925s, 0.682s ahead of Daniel Goldburg's No. 22 United Autosports. “It was a special lap that I will remember for a long time,” Hyett said.

Steven Thomas (TDS Racing) was third ahead of Nick Boulle in Inter Europol after the PR1 entry of Mathiasen and, after his struggles in last weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ben Keating in United's number 2 automotive.

Ferrari and Lexus take the GTD poles

The mixed GTD session began with Jack Hawksworth clocking a 1:44.535s in Vasser Sullivan's Lexus RC F within the Pro class. Ross Gunn took control within the #23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage, beating Hawksworth by 0.148s on the brand new GT track 1m44.387s.

Serra overtook P1 in his Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 with a time of 1:44.227 seconds, ahead of Gunn by 0.184 seconds. “To be honest, it was a pretty good lap,” said the Brazilian. “The big turns here are good for the 296.”

Alexander Sims moved into second place within the No. 3 Corvette Racing Z06 GT3.R with a time of 1:44.317, and Nicky Catsburg's No. 4 sister automotive finished fifth behind Gunn and Hawksworth. Sims finished the session on three wheels after losing his left rear tire on the ultimate lap.

#12 VasserSullivan Lexus RC F GT3: Frankie Montecalvo, Parker Thompson, Aaron Telitz

#12 VasserSullivan Lexus RC F GT3: Frankie Montecalvo, Parker Thompson, Aaron Telitz

Photo: Jake Galstad / Motorsport images

Thompson led the pro-am class in Vasser Sullivan's No. 14 Lexus, which allowed him to complete sixth overall within the GT division.

Stormy weather is forecast to reach during Sunday's six-hour race, which starts at 11 a.m. local time.

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