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Qualifying report
IMSA Laguna Seca

IMSA Laguna Seca: Campbell leads Porsche 1-2 in 963's first GTP pole

Porsche’s Matt Campbell took pole position for Sunday’s fourth round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship at Laguna Seca.

#7 Porsche Penske Motorsports, Porsche 963, GTP: Matt Campbell, Felipe Nasr

Fresh off Porsche Penske Motorsport’s maiden GTP victory in Long Beach, the 963 took its first pole position following the Weissach marque's return to top-level prototype competition.

Campbell lapped the 2.238-mile Californian road course under a cloudless sky in 1m14.774s. His #7 963 set the initial benchmark with a lap of 1m14.950s, 0.057s ahead of Pipo Derani’s Action Express Cadillac V-Series.R.

Campbell then lowered the bar to 1m14.774s, with Long Beach winner Mathieu Jaminet getting to within 0.09s of the sister car to ensure the Porsche 1-2.

Colin Braun took third in the Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06 with 1m14.979s, before a ragged next lap took him on the rough ride over the kerbs at The Corkscrew.

Derani slipped to fourth, ahead of Ricky Taylor’s Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura, and the Chip Ganassi-run Caddy of Sebastien Bourdais. The BMW M Hybrids will start seventh and eighth, with Connor De Phillippi ahead of Philipp Eng.

Tijmen van der Helm rounded out the GTP class in JDC-Miller MotorSport’s new customer 963 that he shares with Mike Rockenfeller, which was 2.2s off the pace.

Crowdstrike’s George Kurtz set LMP2 pole of 1m19.262s on his very last lap to pip regular category dominator Ben Keating (PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports) by 0.061s in the eight-car LMP2 entry – although Keating had a faster time deleted for exceeding track limits.

Keating was four tenths quicker than Steven Thomas’s TDS car, the latter escaping a huge slide at The Corkscrew. Thomas starts third, ahead of the second TDS machine of Francois Heriau.

#9 Pfaff Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 R (992), GTD PRO: Klaus Bachler, Patrick Pilet

#9 Pfaff Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 R (992), GTD PRO: Klaus Bachler, Patrick Pilet

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Porsche scores 1-2 in GTD classes

Porsche topped both the GTD Pro and the pro-am GTD classes, which locked out the front row of the GT entry overall.

Daniel Juncadella (WeatherTech Mercedes) set the bar initially at 1m25.017s, before the Heart of Racing Aston Martins of Alex Riberas and Roman De Angelis both beat him with 1m24.776s and 1m24.647s respectively.

They were first split by Jack Hawksworth in the #14 Pro class Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F on 1m24.727s, before Klaus Bachler took over at the top with 1m24.529s in the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, and Alec Udell leapt to second – just 0.01s slower – in the pro-am #92 Kellymoss with Riley 911.

On his first taste of Laguna, Bachler just clung on to overall GT pole, ahead of Udell, De Angelis, Riberas, Juncadella and Hawksworth.

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