IMSA: Jarvis wins pole at Mid-Ohio, Bourdais fastest in GTLM

Courtesy of IMSA
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Oliver Jarvis won the pole position for the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Saturday afternoon, beating out Helio Castroneves for the top spot despite slowing on the final lap.

Jarvis set the fastest lap of the session in the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest RT24-P, with an elapsed time of 1 minute, 10.705 seconds, narrowly edging out Castroneves in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 by 0.022 seconds.

“That’s a special pole because we know the Penskes are very strong here,” Jarvis told reporters following his pole run.

“I just gave it everything we got and to get [the] pole by a few hundredths [of a second] at the end, it’s a great start to the weekend.”

The qualifying session got off to an unusual start when Castroneves made contact with Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac during his out lap. Castroneves’ car suffered minimal frontal damage.

Penske teammate Dane Cameron qualified third, with an elapsed time of 1 minute, 10.806 seconds.

Bourdais on Pole in GTLM

Sebastien Bourdais took the pole in the GT Le Mans class after an exciting qualifying session that saw the provisional pole go back and forth between Bourdais, who is subbing for Joey Hand in the No. 66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, and Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR.

The two drivers swapped positions on the leader board four times, with Bourdais finally posting an elapsed time of 1 minute, 19.124 seconds in his final flying lap of the session to edge out Vanthoor by 0.275 seconds.

Jesse Krohn qualified third in GTLM, with a fastest lap of 1 minute, 19.623 seconds in the No. 24 BMW Team RLL M8 GTE.

Heistand fastest in GTD

Richard Heistand won the pole position in GT Daytona, piloting the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 to the top of the class with an elapsed time of 1 minute, 24.281 seconds.

Ben Keating qualified second in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 with a time of 1 minute, 26.109 seconds. Frank Montecalvo qualified third in AIM Vasser Sullivan’s second Lexus, the No. 12.

Marco Seefried brought out a red flag after his No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche went off-course. Seefried lost two of his fastest laps due to the incident, and him and teammate Patrick Long will start tomorrow’s race from the 36th and final starting position.

Masson leads in LMP2

Kyle Masson piloted the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports machine to the top spot in the two-car Le Mans Prototype 2 field, with an elapsed time of 1 minute, 14.877 seconds. Masson had no trouble taking the top spot as he was nearly seven seconds faster than his lone class competitor, Eric Lux, who could only post a fastest lap of 1 minute, 21.752 seconds after making contact with Dane Cameron’s No. 6 DPi during the session.

Click here for full qualifying results

Raceday coverage of the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio begins Sunday at 1:30 P.M. E.T. on NBCSN.

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Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.