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.


Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).