Qualifying for the fifth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship could be described as both surprising and predictable. A Cadillac once again sits on pole… but not the one you think.
Despite a perfect season so far, the dominant points-leading No. 10 car of the Taylor brothers will start from the back of the DPi class today. Ricky Taylor was en route to another pole at Belle Isle yesterday, but collided with the wall on Turn 4. Consequently, the red flag waved, and the qualifying session never restarted.
Due to this, the No. 10 car was moved to the bottom of the ranks, and the grid was determined based on championship points. This promoted the No. 5 Cadillac of Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa to the front. Meanwhile, the No. 31 Cadillac will start second, followed by the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA LM P2 and the No. 2 Tequila Patrón Nissan DPi.
No such shuffling happened in Prototype Challenge, however. James French put the No. 38 FLM09 he shares with Pato O’Ward on pole for the third time this season. The team is undefeated in 2017, and we wouldn’t bet against that continuing at Belle Isle today.
Meanwhile in GTD, an Audi claimed a pole for the first time in nearly two years. With Lawson Ascherbach behind the wheel, the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports R8 LMS posted a time of 1:30.200. Impressively, second-in-class went to the No. 93 Acura NSX of Katherine Legge. Running three-tenths slower than Ascherbach, Legge brought the Acura its best qualifying result yet in the first year of the NSX program.
The rest of the GTD top five were separated by only a tenth of a second. Lamborghini Huracans took third and fourth in the shape of the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing and No. 16 Change Racing cars, respectively. Scott Pruett brought the No. 14 Lexus RCF — another new car this season — in at fifth.
Racing kicks off at 1240 EDT today in Detroit, with the race set for 100 minutes. You’ll be able to tune in online to watch for free on IMSA.TV. Traditional television coverage is provided by FOX via FS2. Other useful links are below:
Good luck to all racers this weekend!
See more articles on IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge 2017 Season.