Acura beats Porsche to pole for 2023 Daytona 24 Hours

The IMSA SportsCar Championship’s new GTP era has begun with a thrilling battle between Acura and Porsche being resolved in the favour of Tom Blomqvist’s Meyer Shank Racing Acura.

Due to poor weather and only two of the new GTP cars taking to the track in Saturday’s two-hour evening session, the class was granted an extra 15 minutes preparation before qualifying.

Sebastien Bourdais and Alex Lynn were installed in the #01 and #02 Chip Ganassi Racing-run Cadillac V-LMDh entries; Nick Tandy and Felipe Nasr took charge of the Team Penske-run Porsche 963s; Philipp Eng was wheeling one of the BMW M Hybrid V8s run by Rahal Letterman Lanigan; Pipo Derani was driving the Action Express Racing Cadillac; Ricky Taylor drove the Acura ARX-06 of Wayne Taylor Racing, while the similar car of Meyer Shank Racing was driven by Blomqvist.

The #25 BMW missed the session because the car was still in the IMSA tech line.

Tandy set the early pace with a 1m35.530s, then lowered the mark to 1m35.349s, then 1m35.228s.

Then Blomqvist and Nasr set identical times to each other, before the next time by Blomqvist was on top with a 1m35.081s for MSR Acura.

That wasn’t the final roll of the dice though, because Nasr went faster with an impressive 1m34.926s around the 3.56-mile Daytona course.

Some 75 minutes later, after the lower classes had qualified, the GTP cars were back on track for their 20- minute qualifying session. The two Acuras were first out and Taylor delivered a 1m34.783s on his third lap and 1m34.295s on his fourth.

Blomqvist then pitted for fresh tyres, while Taylor let his tyres cool before going for another fast one – an impressive 1m34.198s.

Nick Yelloly in the #25 BMW got within 0.9s, but he was pushed down to fifth, by Nasr, Tandy and team-mate Eng.

Tandy's attempt for pole ended in disappointment with a crash

Tandy's attempt for pole ended in disappointment with a crash

Photo by: Perrywinkle Johnson / Motorsport Images

Tandy had set the fastest two sectors of all on his next lap, but braking for the Bus Stop chicane – where LMP2 drivers had reported a severe tail wind – Tandy lost control on turn-in and struck the tyre wall.

That brought out the red flag and cost the #6 car its two fastest times.

That left the cars with just one chance of a flying lap, with Nasr delivering an excellent 1m34.114s to beat Taylor - only to see his time shaded by a 1m34.031s from Blomqvist’s MSR Acura.

Bourdais had sat idle for the majority of the session, but emerged from the pits in determined mood to land a 1m34.262s and fourth on the grid alongside Taylor, and within a quarter-second of the pole.

Team-mate Lynn will start from fifth alongside Derani of AXR, while the BMWs of Eng and Yelloly were a respectable seventh and eighth, within one second of pole.

Ben Keating of PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports found enough clear air to slam in a 1m40.541s to go fastest in the LMP2 class, while Nico Pino in the Sean Creech Motorsport car took top honours in LMP3.

New for this year, GTD teams were allowed to run their Platinum and Gold drivers to run qualifying. With 33 cars in total – nine GTD Pro, and 24 GTD – the track was extremely busy.

Philip Ellis of Winward Racing delivered a 1m46.267s to make it a Mercedes 1-2-3 in GTD, with WeatherTech Racing's Maro Engel top of the GTD Pro class. 

Daytona 24 Hours qualifying results

Cla Driver Class Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist United States Colin Braun Brazil Helio Castroneves France Simon Pagenaud GTP 8 1'34.031  
2 Australia Matt Campbell Brazil Felipe Nasr Denmark Michael Christensen GTP 6 1'34.114 0.083
3 United States Ricky Taylor Portugal Filipe Albuquerque Switzerland Louis Deletraz New Zealand Brendon Hartley GTP 7 1'34.198 0.167
4 France Sébastien Bourdais Netherlands Renger van der Zande New Zealand Scott Dixon GTP 4 1'34.262 0.231
5 New Zealand Earl Bamber United Kingdom Alex Lynn United Kingdom Richard Westbrook GTP 3 1'34.389 0.358
6 Brazil Pipo Derani United Kingdom Alexander Sims United Kingdom Jack Aitken GTP 6 1'34.608 0.577
7 Austria Philipp Eng Brazil Augusto Farfus Germany Marco Wittmann United States Colton Herta GTP 6 1'34.723 0.692
8 United States Connor de Phillippi United Kingdom Nick Yelloly South Africa Sheldon Van Der Linde United States Colton Herta GTP 7 1'34.846 0.815
9 United States Ben Keating France Paul-Loup Chatin Alex Quinn France Nicolas Lapierre LMP2 6 1'40.541 6.510
10 France François Heriau Netherlands Giedo van der Garde United States Josh Pierson Netherlands Job Van Uitert LMP2 6 1'41.751 7.720
11 Thomas Steven Denmark Mikkel Jensen Scott Huffaker Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout LMP2 6 1'41.813 7.782
12 France François Perrodo France Matthieu Vaxiviere France Julien Canal Denmark Nicklas Nielsen LMP2 5 1'41.942 7.911
13 United States George Kurtz United Kingdom Ben Hanley United States Matt McMurry Mexico Esteban Gutierrez LMP2 6 1'41.951 7.920
14 United States Eric Lux Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Austin Cindric Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi LMP2 6 1'42.111 8.080
15 Denmark Dennis Andersen United Arab Emirates Ed Jones Denmark Anders Fjordbach Italy Raffaele Marciello LMP2 5 1'42.277 8.246
16 United States Lance Willsey Portugal Joao Barbosa Nicolas Pino Danny Soufi LMP3 9 1'43.197 9.166
17 United States Jarett Andretti Colombia Gabby Chaves United States Dakota Dickerson Sweden Rasmus Lindh LMP3 8 1'43.307 9.276
18 John DeAngelis Christopher Allen Australia Cameron Shields Connor Bloum LMP3 8 1'43.351 9.320
19 Sebastian Alvarez Singapore Danial Frost Alex Vogel Guilherme de LMP3 8 1'43.557 9.526
20 United States Gar Robinson Brazil Felipe Fraga Netherlands Glenn van Berlo Josh Burdon LMP3 9 1'43.840 9.809
21 United States Till Bechtolsheimer Netherlands Tijmen van der Helm United States Luca Mars United States Mason Filippi LMP3 7 1'43.883 9.852
22 Dwight Merriman United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel Christian Rasmussen United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis LMP2 5 1'43.965 9.934
23 Japan Yu Kanamaru Canada James Vance Canada Antonio Serravalle United States Nicholas Boulle LMP3 8 1'44.237 10.206
24 Canada Orey Fidani United Kingdom Matthew Bell Germany Lars Kern Germany Moritz Kranz LMP3 9 1'45.822 11.791
25 United States Russell Ward Switzerland Philip Ellis Netherlands Indy Dontje Austria Lucas Auer GTD 7 1'46.093 12.062
26 Canada Anthony Mantella United Kingdom Wayne Boyd Nico Varrone United States Thomas Merrill LMP3 8 1'46.187 12.156
27 Germany Fabian Schiller Zimbabwe Axcil Jefferies GTD 7 1'46.312 12.281
28 United States Mike Skeen Canada Mikael Grenier United States Kenton Koch Maximillian Goetz GTD 7 1'46.705 12.674
29 United States Cooper MacNeil Spain Daniel Juncadella France Jules Gounon Germany Maro Engel GTD PRO 8 1'46.784 12.753
30 United Kingdom Ross Gunn Spain Alex Riberas David Pittard GTD PRO 8 1'46.825 12.794
31 Ashton Harrison Danny Formal Canada Kyle Marcelli Australia Ryan Briscoe GTD 8 1'46.867 12.836
32 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat United Kingdom Mike Conway GTD PRO 8 1'46.923 12.892
33 Sheena Monk United Kingdom Katherine Legge Germany Mario Farnbacher United States Marc Miller GTD 8 1'46.960 12.929
34 Brendan Iribe Switzerland Frederik Schandorff United Kingdom Ollie Millroy Germany Marvin Kirchhofer GTD 7 1'46.979 12.948
35 Canada Roman De Angelis Denmark Marco Sorensen United Kingdom Ian James United Kingdom Darren Turner GTD 7 1'47.088 13.057
36 United States Aaron Telitz United States Frankie Montecalvo United States Kyle Kirkwood Parker Thompson GTD 7 1'47.361 13.330
37 Spain Antonio Garcia United States Jordan Taylor United States Tommy Milner GTD PRO 7 1'48.077 14.046
38 United States Ted Giovanis United States Hugh Plumb United States Matt Plumb United States Owen Trinkler GTD PRO 8 1'48.081 14.050
39 Italy Andrea Caldarelli Italy Mirko Bortolotti South Africa Jordan Lee Pepper France Romain Grosjean GTD PRO 8 1'48.233 14.202
40 Italy Roberto Lacorte Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto Italy Antonio Fuoco Italy Alessandro Balzan GTD 6 1'48.309 14.278
41 Italy Raffaele Giammaria Frank Perera Italy Claudio Schiavoni Switzerland Rolf Ineichen GTD 8 1'48.432 14.401
42 United States Bill Auberlen Chandler Hull Canada Bruno Spengler United States John Edwards GTD PRO 6 1'48.505 14.474
43 United States Bryan Sellers United States Madison Snow United States Corey Lewis Belgium Maxime Martin GTD 5 1'48.526 14.495
44 United States Patrick Gallagher United States Robby Foley Michael Dinan Germany Jens Klingmann GTD 6 1'48.756 14.725
45 United States John Potter United States Andy Lally United States Spencer Pumpelly Denmark Nicki Thiim GTD 8 1'48.820 14.789
46 United States Ryan Hardwick Belgium Jan Heylen Canada Zacharie Robichon Norway Dennis Olsen GTD 7 1'48.942 14.911
47 Austria Klaus Bachler France Patrick Pilet Belgium Laurens Vanthoor GTD PRO 7 1'48.977 14.946
48 Switzerland Rahel Frey Belgium Sarah Bovy Denmark Michelle Gatting Doriane Pin GTD 7 1'48.991 14.960
49 Canada Mikhail Goikhberg Italy Loris Spinelli Chile Benjamin Hites Italy Marco Mapelli GTD 7 1'49.075 15.044
50 Mann Simon Argentina Luis Perez Companc Spain Miguel Molina Italy Francesco Castellacci GTD 8 1'49.265 15.234
51 United States Alan Brynjolfsson United States Trent Hindman Max Root France Kevin Estre GTD 8 1'49.358 15.327
52 David Brule United States Alec Udell United States Andrew Davis Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen GTD 7 1'49.373 15.342
53 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi United Kingdom James Calado Brazil Daniel Serra Italy Davide Rigon GTD PRO 7 1'49.495 15.464
54 Alan Metni Netherlands Kay van Berlo Australia Jaxon Evans France Julien Andlauer GTD 8 1'49.507 15.476
55 PJ Hyett Seb Priaulx United States Gunnar Jeannette United Kingdom Harry Tincknell GTD 8 1'49.644 15.613
56 Canada John Farano New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Josef Newgarden Kyffin Simpson LMP2 4 1'49.679 15.648
57 Onofrio Triarsi Charles Scardina Italy Alessio Rovera Italy Andrea Bertolini GTD 8 1'49.763 15.732
58 United States Mark Kvamme United States Trenton Estep Denmark Jan Magnussen United States Jason Hart GTD 7 1'50.628 16.597
59 United States Don Yount United States Jaden Conwright Kerong Li Italy Alessio Deledda GTD 8 1'50.873 16.842
60 United States Fred Poordad Italy Francesco Pizzi Australia James Allen Giammaria Bruni LMP2 4 1'50.969 16.938
61 France Mathieu Jaminet United Kingdom Nick Tandy United States Dane Cameron GTP 3    
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