Sainz frustrated as error costs him top ten grid slot

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Carlos Sainz Jr. was left frustrated after a mistake during the second stage of qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday cost him a place in the top ten for the start of tomorrow’s race.

Sainz hit the wall at turn 19 during Q2 on Saturday night, causing damage to his car that forced him to crawl back to the pits and abandon his final flying lap in the session.

As a result, the Spaniard was left 14th overall, but he feels that a place in Q3 would have been attainable had it not been for this error.

“A disappointing way to end what was being a good qualifying session,” Sainz said. “We knew we had a car good enough to get into Q3 – my lap was actually three or four tenths quicker than the limit to get into the top ten.

“It’s a shame that I didn’t know that when I was in the car. I thought it was going to be very tight so I was pushing to the limit and unfortunately made a mistake, touching the wall.

“It’s something to learn from and now we just need to look forward to tomorrow, that’s when the points are given.”

Toro Rosso’s qualifying charge was led by Max Verstappen in the sister STR10 car as he made it into Q3, eventually finishing eighth in the final session.

“I’m satisfied with today’s P8,” Verstappen said. “The most important is that we are in front of our main competitors, Lotus and Force India.

“I have to say that I’m really happy with my lap, especially after FP3, where we were struggling a bit with the tires, but we managed to turn it around very quickly and have a very good qualifying session. We really maximized today’s result.

“Now I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow, there will definitely be some good fights.”

Tomorrow’s race will mark the first for both Sainz and Verstappen in Singapore since both made their debuts at the beginning of the 2015 season with Toro Rosso.

The Singapore Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

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

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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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.


QUALIFYING

Results

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