Daytona 24 Hours: Aleshin on pole for SMP, GT Porsches fastest

Russian entrant SMP Racing's Nissan-powered BR Engineering BR01 claimed pole for this weekend's Daytona 24 Hours in the hands of Mikhail Aleshin

Daytona 24 Hours: Aleshin on pole for SMP, GT Porsches fastest

The IndyCar driver set the fastest time during the 15-minute Prototype session but ended up slower than seven GT Le Mans cars and one Prototype Challenge entry because the rain intensified over the course of the four class qualifying periods.

GTLM cars start along with GT Daytona entries in the second block of cars under IMSA SportsCar Championship rules, but PC machinery can outqualify Prototypes.

Because the race director declared that the conditions warranted, according to the rulebook, "flexibility in tyre type" the grid for the race start on Saturday afternoon will line up in class order rather than actual times.

That means Aleshin's 2m05.973s lap claimed the pole by more than half a second from Pipo Derani in the Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier-Honda JSP2.

Aleshin set the time despite limited experience of the spec Continental wet tyre.

"I did some laps in the wet in practice, but not in conditions as bad as those," he said.

"There was a lot of standing water and I almost hit the wall twice on my fastest lap."

Oswaldo Negri Jr was third fastest in the Michael Shank Racing Ligier-Honda, while the quickest Daytona Prototype was the Wayne Taylor Racing Dallara-Chevrolet Corvette DP in the hands of Ricky Taylor.

PC driver Johnny Mowlem would have been awarded the overall pole had the mixed conditions clause not been invoked.

The Briton set a time of 2m05.708s in his BAR1 Motorsports ORECA-Chevrolet FLM09, which compared with a 2m07.413s set by second-placed Stephen Simpson in the JDC-Miller entry.

The two factory CORE-run GTLM Porsche 911 RSRs recorded the fastest times in qualifying before the conditions worsened.

Nick Tandy set a 2m01.408s, which put him nearly a second up on team-mate Frederick Makowiecki's 2m02.364s

John Edwards was just over a tenth behind in third in the best of the Rahal BMW M6 GTLMs, while Alessandro Pier Guidi was nearly a second further back in fourth in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE.

Pole in the GT Daytona class went to Norbert Siedler in the Park Place Motorsports 991-shape Porsche 911 GT3-R.

He recorded two laps good enough for pole, his best of 2m05.798s putting him over half a second up on Marc Basseng's 2m06.357s aboard the best of the Konrad Lamborghini Huracan GT3s.

STARTING GRID:

Pos Class Driver Team Car Time
1 P M.Mediani, N.Minassian, M.Aleshin, K.Ladygin SMP Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 2m05.793s
2 P S.Sharp, E.Brown, J.van Overbeek, P.Derani Tequila Patron ESM Ligier/HPD 2m06.304s
3 P J.Pew, O.Negri, A.Allmendinger, O.Pla Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ligier/HPD 2m07.432s
4 P R.Taylor, J.Taylor, M.Angelelli, R.Barrichello Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 2m07.966s
5 P L.Stroll, A.Wurz, B.Hartley, A.Priaulx Chip Ganassi Racing Riley/Ford 2m08.639s
6 P D.Cameron, E.Curran, S.Pagenaud, J.Adam Action Express Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 2m10.016s
7 P S.Dixon, T.Kanaan, J.McMurray, K.Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Riley/Ford 2m10.094s
8 P R.Dalziel, M.Goossens, R.H.-Reay Visit Florida Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 2m10.610s
9 P B.Defoor, D.Schroeder, D.Hinton, T.Gruber, J.Pace Highway to Help Riley/BMW 2m13.116s
10 P J.Miller, T.Long, B.Devlin Mazda Motorsports Lola/Mazda 2m13.380s
11 P C.Fittipaldi, J.Barbosa, F.Albuquerque, S.Pruett Action Express Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 2m15.707s
12 P J.Bomarito, T.Nunez, S.Pigot Mazda Motorsports Lola/Mazda 2m16.429s
13 P K.Legge, S.Rayhall, A.Meyrick, A.Wirth Panoz DeltaWing Racing DeltaWing/Elan -
14 PC T.Drissi, M.Drumwright, J.Mowlem, R.Vera, B.Gaughan BAR1 Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 2m05.708s
15 PC C.Miller, M.Goikhberg, S.Simpson, K.Koch JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 2m07.413s
16 PC A.Merzon, R.Eversley, D.Yount, R.Lewis, J.Falb BAR1 Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 2m07.485s
17 PC J.French, J.Norman, J.Norman, B.Gdovic, K.Marcelli Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 2m11.110s
18 PC A.Popow, R.van der Zande, C.Cumming, J.Hawksworth Starworks Motorsport ORECA/Chevrolet 2m19.760s
19 PC M.Kvamme, S.Johnston, M.Engel, F.Rosenqvist Starworks Motorsport ORECA/Chevrolet 2m28.250s
20 PC R.Alon, T.K.-Smith, J.Gutierrez, N.Boulle PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet -
21 PC J.Bennett, C.Braun, M.Wilkins, M.Plowman CORE Autosport ORECA/Chevrolet -
22 GTLM P.Pilet, N.Tandy, K.Estre Porsche North America Porsche 2m01.408s
23 GTLM E.Bamber, F.Makowiecki, M.Christensen Porsche North America Porsche 2m02.364s
24 GTLM L.Luhr, J.M.Edwards, K.Wittmer, G.Rahal BMW Team RLL BMW 2m02.497s
25 GTLM A.P.Guidi, A.Premat, D.Serra, M.Rojas Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 2m03.309s
26 GTLM G.Fisichella, T.Vilander, D.Rigon, O.Beretta Risi Competizione Ferrari 2m03.386s
27 GTLM B.Auberlen, D.Werner, A.Farfus, B.Spengler BMW Team RLL BMW 2m03.974s
28 GTLM O.Gavin, T.Milner, M.Fassler Corvette Racing Chevrolet 2m03.974s
29 GTLM A.Garcia, J.Magnussen, M.Rockenfeller Corvette Racing Chevrolet 2m05.979s
30 GTLM J.Hand, D.Muller, S.Bourdais Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford 2m06.758s
31 GTLM R.Briscoe, R.Westbrook, S.Mucke Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford 2m08.440s
32 GTLM V.Shaytar, A.Bertolini, G.Bruni, J.Calado SMP Racing Ferrari -
33 GTD P.Lindsey, M.McMurry, J.Bergmeister, N.Siedler Park Place Motorsports Porsche 2m05.798s
34 GTD R.Ineichen, L.Willsey, F.Konrad, F.Babini, M.Basseng Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini 2m06.357s
35 GTD D.MacNeil, C.MacNeil, L.Keen, S.Gisbergen, G.Jeannette Alex Job Racing Porsche 2m06.556s
36 GTD B.Keating, G.Robinson, J.Mosing, E.Foss, D.Faulkner Riley Motorsports Dodge 2m07.392s
37 GTD K.Abbelen, P.Huisman, F.Stippler, S.Schmitz, S.Muller Frikadelli Racing Team Porsche 2m07.751s
38 GTD B.Keating, J.Bleekemolen, D.Farnbacher, M.Miller Riley Motorsports Dodge 2m07.759s
39 GTD P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda, R.Stanaway Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 2m07.982s
40 GTD I.James, M.Farnbacher, A.Riberas, W.Henzler Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 2m07.985s
41 GTD T.Bell, B.Sweedler, E.Piscopo, R.Antinucci O'Gara Motorsports Lamborghini 2m08.906s
42 GTD J.Potter, A.Lally, M.Seefried, R.Rast Magnus Racing Audi 2m09.117s
43 GTD C.Nielsen, A.Balzan, J.Segal, R.Renauer Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 2m09.398s
44 GTD S.Creel, A.Perez, R.P.de Lara, J.Davison, L.Viljoen TRG-AMR Aston Martin 2m09.466s
45 GTD M.Marsal, M.Palttala, M.Martin, J.Krohn Turner Motorsport BMW 2m10.307s
46 GTD P.Mann, R.Giammaria, M.Cressoni, M.Cioci Spirit of Race Ferrari 2m11.298s
47 GTD R.Liddell, A.Davis, L.Aschenbach, M.Bell Stevenson Motorsports Audi 2m11.445s
48 GTD M.Bortolotti, B.Miller, B.Sellers, M.Snow Paul Miller Racing Audi 2m13.398s
49 GTD N.Jonsson, P.Kaffer, C.Haase, T.Krohn Flying Lizard Motorsports Lamborghini 2m16.384s
50 GTD E.Busnelli, J.Michaelian, J.Toussaint, L.Willsey Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini 2m18.716s
51 GTD T.Pappas, N.Catsburg, P.Long, A.Pilgrim Black Swan Racing Porsche 2m20.513s
52 GTD K.Habul, B.Said, D.von Moltke, T.Vautier Stevenson Motorsports Audi -
53 GTD S.Pumpelly, C.Lewis, J.Marks, K.Grala Change Racing Lamborghini -
54 GTD B.Curtis, J.Klingmann, A.Freiberg, M.Wittmann Turner Motorsport BMW -


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