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(Photo: Phil Allaway)

Oliver Jarvis Wins Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Pole

Even though the rain has finally stopped at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the wet weather from Friday played a role Saturday (May 4) with IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.  Teams had to contend with water running across the track exiting the Keyhole.  Despite this, Mazda Team Joest’s Oliver Jarvis won the pole for Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio with a lap at 114.968 mph.

Jarvis was in position to potentially improve on his final lap, but ran out of fuel.  Despite that, he ended up two-hundredths of a second faster than Acura Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves.  For Castroneves, qualifying started off rather roughly when he ran into the back of Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani on their warm up lap.  A piece of Castroneves’ nose broke off due to the contact.  It did not seem to hurt either car.

Dane Cameron in the second Acura ARX-05 will start third, followed by Derani in the best of the Cadillacs.  Joao Barbosa will start fifth despite an off-course excursion during the session that left his Mustang Sampling-sponsored Cadillac with grass wedged in dive planes.

LMP2 saw Performance Tech Motorsports’ Kyle Masson claim the pole with a lap at 108.562 mph, good for 11th overall.  Masson’s lap was nearly seven seconds faster than Eric Lux, who had contact with Cameron during the session.

GT Le Mans saw a battle for the whole 15 minutes between the four manufacturers.  By the time the dust settled, Sebastien Bourdais, driving in place of Joey Hand, walked away with the class pole with a lap at 102.735 mph.

Bourdais’ lap was a quarter of a second faster than Porsche GT Team’s Laurens Vanthoor.  BMW Team RLL’s Jesse Krohn will start third, followed by Corvette Racing’s Tommy MilnerRyan Briscoe in the second Ford GT will start fifth.  The entire class was separated by nine-tenths of a second.

In GT Daytona, the track was still visibly damp in places, forcing drivers to tiptoe at times.  As the session continued on, AVS Vasser Sullivan’s Richard Heistand pulled away from the pack.  With a couple of minutes remaining, he had already blitzed the field and could not be caught.  However, he kept going and eventually set a lap at 96.449 mph to earn the pole.

Not only was Heistand’s lap comprised of the fastest times in all three track sectors in class, but it was more than a second and a half faster than Riley Motorsports’ Ben KeatingFrankie Montecalvo in the second AVS Vasser Sullivan will start third in class, while Moorespeed’s Will Hardeman recovered from a difficult Friday to claim fourth in class.  PFAFF Motorsports’ Zacharie Robichon qualified fifth in his Porsche.

IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP ACURA SPORTS CAR CHALLENGE AT MID-OHIO STARTING GRID

The Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio is scheduled to go green at 1:40 p.m. Sunday afternoon.  The race will air live on NBCSN starting at 1:30.

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About Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor. Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as Tony Stewart's Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

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