Photo courtesy of IMSA

IMSA: Derani takes Prototype pole, Sellers sets GTD lap record in Detroit qualifying

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Tequila Patron ESM’s Pipo Derani made perfect use of his final flying lap in qualifying for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic, round 5 of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, to grab the pole for Saturday’s race in the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi.

Derani’s final lap came in at a blistering 1:22.273, bettering Acura Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya by more than seven tenths of a second – Montoya’s best lap was a 1:22.992 in the No. 6 ARX-05.

Helio Castroneves made it an Acura/Penske 2-3, qualifying third in the No. 7 Acura. Joao Barbosa was fourth in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, while Misha Goikhberg put in an outstanding effort to qualify the No. 99 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson in fifth.

Of note: Goikberg’s teammate Robert Alon, in the No. 85 Oreca, crashed in the middle of the session, which brought out a brief red flag. Alon had been sitting in a solid fourth at the time, but dropped to ninth at the end, his car too damaged to continue.

In GT Daytona, Bryan Sellers turned in a mighty final lap of his own to put the championship-leading Paul Miller Racing. No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 on the pole. In fact, Sellers’ time of 1:28.942 – the only GTD time below the 1:29 mark – broke the GTD track record around the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.

Bryan Sellers’ final set a GTD track record at Belle Isle on his way to scoring the GTD pole. Photo courtesy of IMSA

Katherine Legge, who sits second in the GTD championship, qualified second in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3, with her teammate Justin Marks putting the sister No. 93 right behind her in third.

Dominik Baumann had a solid run for 3GT Racing, putting the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 fourth on the grid, with teammate David Heinemeier Hansson right behind him as well – Heinemeier Hansson put in the No. 15 Lexus in fifth.

Of note: qualifying was reduced from 15 minutes for Prototype and GTD to 12 minutes per class, after a weather delay cut into the qualifying time and saw the series bump up against the overall curfew for the day.

Results can be found here. Tomorrow’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic rolls off at 12:40 p.m.

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.