IMSA: Derani lap record highlights Watkins Glen qualifying

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A morning rain shower presented a chance that qualifying for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen might be held on a wet track. However, following the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge race on Saturday morning, the track was dry enough for slick tires during qualifying.

Some damp spots persisted on the 3.40-mile road course, which made for some challenging moments, especially early in qualifying, but it also saw a couple of blistering performances for some drivers.

Quick reports are below.

 

PROTOTYPE

“The Derani Effect” was in full force in the Prototype class, as Pipo Derani set a lap record to score the Prototype and overall pole for Tequila Patron ESM, his first career pole in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Derani’s best lap of 1:34.405 was a little over a tenth of a second ahead of second-place Olivier Pla in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier LMP2, while Christian Fittipaldi took third in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi for Action Express. Ricky Taylor qualified fourth in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi.

 

PROTOTYPE CHALLENGE

A straightforward session in Prototype Challenge saw James French put the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry on pole, with a fastest lap of 1:40.049 in his Oreca FLM09. He led the Bar1 Motorsports duo of Don Yount (No. 20) and Brian Alder (No. 26), with Alder briefly spinning as time expired.

GTLM

A frantic session saw the top spot change hands about every time a car crossed the start/finish line. However, it was Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Joey Hand in the No. 66 Ford GT who secured pole with a blistering lap time of 1:42.507, nearly three tenths of a second up on second-place Alex Sims in the No. 24 BMW Team RLL M6 GTLM. Teammate Martin Tomczyk put the No. 25 BMW in third.

 

GT DAYTONA

New York native Andy Lally grabbed pole in the No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 with a best lap of 1:46.051, eclipsing Lawson Aschenbach in the No. 57 Steven Motorsports Audi R8 LMS GT3 by more than two tenths of a second. Jack Hawksworth qualified third in the No. 15 Lexus RCF GT3 for 3GT Racing.

However, the session was far from clean for the 3GT squad, as both cars spun exiting turn nine in separate incidents. Hawksworth was lucky to only brush the outside wall with the back of the car and was able to return to the pits. However, the No. 14 entry, in the hands of Sage Karam, was not as fortunate, as Karam bounced off the inside wall with the front of the car, ripping the front bodywork completely off the chassis. Karam was not hurt in the incident, but it did end the session prematurely as it occurred in the final minutes.

Also of note: NBCSN’s Townsend Bell, piloting the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3, suffered gearbox problems that limited his running. He will start 16th in class.

Qualifying results can be viewed here. The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen begins Sunday at 10:00 a.m. ET.

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Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.