IMSA Watkins Glen: Taylor snatches pole from Cameron in Acura 1-2

Ricky Taylor secured pole for the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen in the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05, beating the Meyer Shank Racing entry.

IMSA Watkins Glen: Taylor snatches pole from Cameron in Acura 1-2

The Acuras were a cut above its rivals, and it was Taylor who delivered a 1m30.022s lap around the 3.4-mile Watkins Glen circuit to claim pole position, beating Dane Cameron’s best effort in the MSR car by 0.119 seconds, and although Cameron tried to respond, he could never put all three sectors together as the Michelin tyres went past their peak.

The normally aspirated cars were left gasping, a further half-second down, but Renger van der Zande performed well for Chip Ganassi Racing with third place in the fastest of the Cadillac DPi-V.Rs, ahead of Kamui Kobayashi in Action Express Racing’s extra car for endurance races, the #48 Ally Racing entry. This is Kobayashi’s first trip to The Glen, so he did well to edge his team-mate Pipo Derani in the Whelen Engineering car.

Oliver Jarvis was a second off top spot in the sole Mazda RT24-P, but three tenths clear of Tristan Vautier’s best effort in the JDC Miller Motorsports Cadillac.

In the LMP2 class, Steven Thomas took pole for WIN Autosport after shading Ben Keating in the PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports by a mere 0.018s, the latter spinning away his final chance of taking P1. It was a superb comeback by Thomas after he had a shunt in morning practice.

Dwight Merriman was over three seconds away in the Era Motorsport entry but a few hundredths ahead of John Farano.

In LMP3, Austin McCusker was the first driver to lay down a representative time, and finally delivered a 1m40.404s lap to snatch top spot in the United Autosports entry by 0.570s. Jarett Andretti’s attempts to trim that gap came unhinged by a wild moment at the Bus Stop chicane, which was only prevented from becoming something worse by his sprint car instincts.

Georg Kurtz was third in the CORE Autosport entry, ahead of Dan Goldburg in the Performance Tech Motorsports car.

#3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor

#3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Antonio Garcia and Tommy Milner made it a Corvette 1-2 in GT Le Mans class with the former setting a 1m40.944s in the #3 C8.R, 0.374s faster than the sister car.

Connor De Phillippi was much the faster of the two BMW M8 drivers in third ahead of John Edwards, while Cooper MacNeil was 1.4s off the ultimate pace in the WeatherTech Porsche 911 RSR.

In the session that set the grid for GTD class, Kyle Kirkwood, the morning practice pacesetter in the #14 Lexus RC F of Vasser Sullivan, was the first driver to duck under the 1m46s barrier but was almost immediately displaced by IMSA debutant, NTe Sport’s Jaden Conwright in the Audi R8.

However, Kirkwood’s next flyer saw him deliver a middle sector over half a second quicker than Conwright, more than compensating for the Audi’s superiority in Sectors 1 and 3, and the Indy Lights ace further improved on his final lap to close out with a 1m45.539s lap that produced class pole.

Trent Hindman, the 2019 GTD champion, has looked increasingly confident in a Porsche 911 GT3 R and slotted into second for Wright Motorsport. Still, Conwright could be gratified with P3, ahead of the Alegra Motorsports Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3 of Daniel Morad.

Robby Foley of Turner Motorsports was half a second off the ultimate pace in the Turner Motorsports BMW M6 in fifth, ahead of the second Lexus of Frankie Montecalvo.

Tyler McQuarrie was seventh for CarBahn with Peregrine Racing, ahead of the faster of the two Lamborghini Huracans, Corey Lewis in the Paul Miller Racing entry.

However, in the GTD points qualifying session, the PMR Lambo failed with poor Bryan Sellers at the wheel, and he trickled into pitlane after just a couple of laps.

Up front, the #14 VSR Lexus full-timer Jack Hawksworth kept up Kirkwood’s fine work, with a tremendous 1m45.081s lap, with the sister car of Zach Veach moving up to second, 0.28s slower.

Pat Long scored third in the Wright Porsche, ahead of the consistently impressive Richard Heistand in the Carbahn Peregrine Audi, while Bill Auberlen was fifth in the BMW M6 ahead of Laurens Vanthoor in the Pfaff Porsche.

#14 VasserSullivan Lexus RC F GT3 of Jack Hawksworth, Aaron Telitz, Kyle Kirkwood.

#14 VasserSullivan Lexus RC F GT3 of Jack Hawksworth, Aaron Telitz, Kyle Kirkwood.

Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

 

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