Coyne drivers Mann, Vautier set to continue in Milwaukee, Iowa

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Dale Coyne Racing will continue with Pippa Mann and Tristan Vautier in the team’s No. 18 and 19 Hondas for the next two Verizon IndyCar Series short oval races at the Milwaukee Mile and Iowa Speedway.

This will mark Mann’s first Milwaukee and Iowa starts in an IndyCar, although she has raced at both of them in the Indy Lights series (2009 and 2010, respectively) and finished in the top-10 at both circuits.

This will bring Mann’s season total of starts to five, after racing the first three oval races of the year at Indianapolis, Texas and Fontana.

It will also mark her most number of starts in a season since 2010, when she ran the full Indy Lights championship and finished fifth in the points standings.

Meanwhile Vautier finished 21st and 13th at the two events in 2013; he won and finished fourth at both circuits in Indy Lights in 2012. This will mark Vautier’s seventh and eighth starts this season.

This brings a degree of stability to the lineup, as well. This will mark the pairing’s third consecutive race together as teammates, which is the longest continuous streak of races for teammates for Coyne this year.

Previously, the most in a row had been two. Carlos Huertas and Francesco Dracone ran both Rounds 1 and 2, and at the Detroit doubleheader, Rodolfo Gonzalez and Vautier were in the car for both races.

Race 18 19 63
St. Pete Huertas Dracone
NOLA Huertas Dracone
Long Beach Moran/Daly Dracone
Barber Gonzalez Dracone
Indy GP Huertas Dracone
Indy 500 Quals. Huertas Vautier Mann
Indy 500 Race Vautier Davison Mann
Detroit 1/2 Gonzalez Vautier
Texas Mann Vautier
Toronto Gonzalez Vautier
Fontana Mann Vautier
Milwaukee Mann Vautier
Iowa Mann Vautier

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.



Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III