Wayne Taylor Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque won the pole Saturday afternoon (Sept. 11) for Sunday’s Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with a lap at 108.231 mph. The lap is a new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship track record.
“[Getting the pole] means a lot actually,” Albuquerque said after the session. “How the championship is, and how competitive, I mean, track position is important, and I think the level of everyone in terms of strategy is so accurate and so well timed that it’s really hard to overtake. So with that saying, coming over here, knowing that it’s a track that is favorable for our car, it’s super important to qualify on pole because we know the next race is not for us. So we need to grab the chances when we can.”
Albuquerque ended up just two hundredths of a second faster than Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Dane Cameron. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kevin Magnussen will start third in the fastest of the Cadillacs.
Mazda Motorsports’ Harry Tincknell qualified fourth in his Mazda RT24-P. However, in post-qualifying inspection, the No. 55 Mazda was found to have too much camber. As a result, the car was moved to the rear of the class. As a result of Tincknell’s penalty, Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani will start fourth, followed by JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Tristan Vautier.
In LMP2, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ Ben Keating was not going to be touched. He went to the top of the class almost immediately and stayed there. Keating won the LMP2 pole with a lap at 104.326 mph. Keating’s lap was more than two and a half seconds faster than Era Motorsport’s Dwight Merriman. WIN Autosport’s Steven Thomas was third, followed by John Farano.
In GT Le Mans, the Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs swapped the quick time multiple times during their 15-minute session. Ultimately, Jordan Taylor won the GTLM pole with a lap at 99.282 mph, a new track record for the class. Taylor was a little more than a tenth of a second faster than teammate Tommy Milner. WeatherTech Racing’s Cooper MacNeil will start third in his Porsche.
GT Daytona qualifying saw a number of drivers swap the top spot. However, when the session came to an end, it was Wright Motorsports’ Trent Hindman that ended up winning the pole with a lap at 95.341 mph. Hindman’s lap was six-hundredths of a second faster than Turner Motorsport’s Robby Foley. The Heart of Racing’s Roman DeAngelis will start third in his Aston Martin, followed by Paul Miller Racing’s Madison Snow. CarBahn Motorsports with Peregrine Racing’s Richard Heistand will start his Audi in fifth.
The points portion of GT Daytona qualifying is where things got a little weird. The Heart of Racing’s Ross Gunn swapped the top spot multiple times with Vasser Sullivan’s Jack Hawksworth before setting a track record lap at 96.137 mph to claim the 35 qualifying points.
Gunn was overjoyed with his form, but he made a crucial mistake here. He got out of his Aston Martin Vantage GT3 before the checkered flag flew to end the session. That is a penalty. As a result, all of his qualifying times were stripped. That hurts as Gunn and DeAngelis entered Laguna Seca only 18 points out of the GT Daytona points lead.
As a result of the penalty, the 35 points for the best time in the points session fell to PFAFF Motorsports’ Laurens Vanthoor with a lap at 96.061 mph. Bill Auberlen was second, then Bryan Sellers, Hawksworth and Patrick Long.
The Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship is scheduled to go green at 4:10 p.m. ET. The race will air live on NBCSN starting at 4 p.m. Sunday.
About the author
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 the Super DIRTcar Series.