Derani claims Petit Le Mans pole, IMSA title rivals struggle

Nissan ESM's Pipo Derani took pole for the IMSA SportsCar Championship round at Road Atlanta, while title contenders Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran, and Colin Braun and Jon Bennett struggled

Derani claims Petit Le Mans pole, IMSA title rivals struggle

Derani topped qualifying for the 10-hour Petit Le Mans race with a best laptime of 1m10.437s, lowering the lap record and beating final practice pacesetter Oliver Jarvis by 0.124-seconds.

Double overall Le Mans winner Timo Bernhard and Johannes van Overbeek share the polesitting car, with Tristian Nunez and Audi factory driver Lucas di Grassi joining Jarvis aboard the Mazda Team Joest car.

Jonathan Bomarito, who was forced to pull off to the side of the track and restart his Mazda just minutes into the session, recovered to set the third fastest time ahead of IMSA debutant Norman Nato in the second Nissan car.

Rounding out the top five was Ryan Taylor, who beat Filipe Albuquerque, GP2 veteran Simon Trummer and the Penske Acura driver Juan Pablo Montoya.

Nasr, who leads the standings with co-driver Curran, could only manage ninth place, ending up over half a second slower than pacesetter Derani.

Braun and Bennett - four points adrift of Nasr/Curran heading into the weekend - will start the race from 10th position.

John Edwards continued BMW's strong recent form, topping the GT Le Mans category with a lap of 1m17.006s, just 0.024s faster than championship leader Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette.

Earl Bamber was third quickest in the Porsche 911 RSR, finishing ahead of Ford GT driver Richard Westbrook, who with his co-driver Ryan Briscoe, currently sits just nine points adrift of the class leaders.

Daniel Serra, a 2017 Le Mans GTE Pro class winner, put his Ferrari 488 GT3 on GT Daytona pole with a 1m19.695s, which was less than 0.04s faster than ex-IndyCar driver Jack Hawksworth.

Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini driver Bryan Sellers qualified fifth, one place ahead of Alvaro Parente, who shares an Acura NSX with Sellers' main championship rival Katherine Legge.

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