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IMSA Sebring: Derani edges Montoya for pole, Corvette sets GTLM track record

Action Express Racing's Pipo Derani landed pole position for the IMSA SportsCar championship's Sebring Grand Prix, beating the Team Penske Acura of defending series champion Juan Pablo Montoya

Circuit specialist Derani, a three-time winner of the Sebring 12 Hours, lapped the 3.74-mile circuit in 1m46.733s to score his and Cadillac's first pole of the season.

Derani, who once again has regular co-driver Felipe Nasr alongside after the 2018 series champion was forced to miss the last round at Daytona with COVID-19, was 0.216s ahead of Montoya to ensure that a different manufacturer has taken pole for each of the first three rounds of the season.

Mazda's Oliver Jarvis took pole for the Daytona 24 Hours in January, while the Acura of Helio Castroneves topped the timesheets for the series' resumption at the same track earlier this month.

Behind Montoya, Daytona 24 Hour winner Renger Van der Zande was third in the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac he shares with Ryan Briscoe, with Jarvis's team-mate Nunez fourth in the Multimatic Mazda.

Sebastien Bourdais and Stephen Simpson were fifth and seventh in the two JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillacs, split by Castroneves' second Acura, while the second Mazda of Daytona 240 winner Jonathan Bomarito went down a set-up blind alley and will start from the back of the eight-car DPi field.

In LMP2, Patrick Kelly's PR1/Mathiasen Motorsport ORECA took top spot by over half a second from Henrik Hedman's identical DragonSpeed entry.

Kelly is sharing with IndyCar racer Spencer Pigot this weekend due to travel problems for Swiss co-driver Simon Trummer, who is instead contesting the European Le Mans Series race at Paul Ricard, while Hedman is paired with World Endurance Championship racer Gustavo Menezes as his regular partner Ben Hanley is also competing in the ELMS.

Jordan Taylor set a new GTLM class record to deliver the second straight pole for the Corvette Racing team, which scored its first victory with the new C8.R in the last round at Daytona.

Taylor, who shares with Antonio Garcia, clocked a 1m55.634s to eclipse his Daytona pole-winning team-mate Oliver Gavin by 0.381s.

Porsche's Fred Makowiecki fell less than a tenth short of splitting the Corvettes but still outpaced team-mate Laurens Vanthoor by 0.3s.

Jesse Krohn was in the quicker of the two Rahal Letterman Lanigan-run BMW M8s, almost three-tenths faster than team-mate Bruno Spengler, but over a second slower than Taylor.

The GT Daytona scrap came down to a two-car battle between the Lexus RC Fs of AIM Vasser Sullivan.

Frankie Montecalvo edged Aaron Telitz by 0.067s, the pair almost a full second ahead of third-placed Cooper MacNeil's Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 and the Turner Motorsports BMW M6 of Robby Foley.

Qualifying Result

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 DPi F.Nasr, P.Derani Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac 1m46.733s
2 DPi D.Cameron, J.P.Montoya Acura Team Penske Acura 0.216s
3 DPi R.van der Zande, R.Briscoe Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Cadillac 0.377s
4 DPi O.Jarvis, T.Nunez Mazda Team Joest Mazda 0.467s
5 DPi J.Barbosa, S.Bourdais JDC-Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac 0.543s
6 DPi H.Castroneves, R.Taylor Acura Team Penske Acura 0.692s
7 DPi S.Simpson, T.Vautier JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac 1.091s
8 DPi J.Bomarito, H.Tincknell Mazda Team Joest Mazda 1.123s
9 LMP2 P.Kelly, S.Pigot PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA/Gibson 4.793s
10 LMP2 H.Hedman, G.Menezes DragonSpeed ORECA/Gibson 5.352s
11 LMP2 C.Cassels, K.Masson Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA/Gibson 5.948s
12 LMP2 J.Farano, R.Dalziel Tower Motorsport by Starworks ORECA/Gibson 8.205s
13 LMP2 D.Merriman, K.Tilley Era Motorsports ORECA/Gibson 8.279s
14 GTLM A.Garcia, J.Taylor Corvette Racing Chevrolet 8.901s
15 GTLM O.Gavin, T.Milner Corvette Racing Chevrolet 9.282s
16 GTLM N.Tandy, F.Makowiecki Porsche GT Team Porsche 9.346s
17 GTLM E.Bamber, L.Vanthoor Porsche GT Team Porsche 9.665s
18 GTLM J.Krohn, J.M.Edwards BMW Team RLL BMW 9.887s
19 GTLM B.Spengler, C.De Phillippi BMW Team RLL BMW 10.176s
20 GTD F.Montecalvo, T.Bell AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus 14.457s
21 GTD J.Hawksworth, A.Telitz AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus 14.524s
22 GTD C.MacNeil, T.Vilander Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 15.336s
23 GTD R.Foley, B.Auberlen Turner Motorsport BMW 15.365s
24 GTD C.Fergus, P.Holton Compass Racing McLaren 15.470s
25 GTD G.Robinson, L.Aschenbach Riley Motorsports Mercedes 15.638s
26 GTD R.Hardwick, P.Long Wright Motorsports Porsche 15.996s
27 GTD T.Bechtolsheimer, M.Miller Gradient Racing Acura 16.494s
28 GTD R.Ferriol, S.Pumpelly Team Hardpoint Audi 17.610s
29 GTD A.Lally, J.Potter GRT Magnus Racing Team Lamborghini 17.691s

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