IMSA

IMSA: Felipe Nasr wins pole position for Petit Le Mans

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Felipe Nasr won the pole position for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta Friday afternoon, with a record-shattering lap of 1 minute, 8.457 seconds around the 2.54-mile, 12-Turn road course.

The former Formula One driver, who will share the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R with Eric Curran and last year’s pole sitter Pipo Derani, ousted Team Penske’s Ricky Taylor for P1 by 0.141 seconds.

The No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi, shared between Taylor, Helio Castroneves, and Graham Rahal will start Saturday’s race from the second position.

Filipe Albuquerque qualified third in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling entry, which he will share with Mike Conway and João Barbosa.

Masson wins LMP2 pole

Kyle Masson won the pole position in the LMP2 class, after defeating Matt McMurray in a fierce battle for the top spot that lasted the entire session.

In the end, Masson edged McMurray by 0.131 seconds to claim the pole.

The trio of Masson, Andrew Evans and Cameron Cassels look to bring the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson into victory lane for the first time since the Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Calado on pole in GTLM

James Calado put the No. 62 Risi Competizione entry on the pole in GTLM, with his class record-breaking lap of 1 minute, 15.639 seconds.

The pole was the first of Calado’s IMSA career, which came in the Ferrari 488 GTE he will share with Daniel Serra and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the 10-hour endurance race.

Calado defeated Antonio Garcia, who qualified second in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, by 0.063 seconds.

Philipp Eng qualified third in the No. 24 Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan BMW M8 GTE.

Lewis wins GTD pole after Feller’s times disallowed 

Corey Lewis may have not been the fastest driver in GTD qualifying, but he was awarded the class pole following a penalty issued by officials to the No. 29 Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.

Ricardo Feller’s lap of 1 minute, 19.185 seconds in the No. 29 machine initially clinched the pole, but all of the team’s times were disallowed due to the team touching the car during a red flag period.

The times from the No. 47 PPM Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Shinya Michimi were also disallowed due to the same infraction. Michimi had previously qualified third.

With Lewis now on pole, Ben Keating’s lap of 1 minute, 19.665 seconds placed the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the second position.

Jeff Westphal’s 1:19.721 lap in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 was bumped up to third fastest following Michimi’s infraction.

Live coverage of the Motul Petit Le Mans begins Saturday at 12 p.m. ET on NBC.

Click here for full qualifying results

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Lewis Hamilton aims to match Michael Schumacher’s F1 win record

Lewis Hamilton Schumacher record
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SOCHI, Russia — Lewis Hamilton has set many Formula One marks over the years, but few are as significant as the Michael Schumacher record he can match Sunday at the Russian Grand Prix.

Victory for Hamilton at the Sochi Olympic Park would see him draw level with Schumacher at 91 career victories, more than any other driver in the 70-year history of F1.

It also would increase Hamilton’s commanding 55-point lead over teammate Valtteri Bottas in the championship standings, putting him closer to a seventh world championship, matching another Schumacher record.

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History is on the side of Hamilton, who won Sept. 13 at Mugello. He’s won four of the six Russian races so far, and all six were won by Mercedes drivers. His closest challenger is likely to be Bottas, who beat Hamilton in the 2017 edition of the Russian Grand Prix.

Elsewhere in the championship hunt, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen’s season has gone up in smoke since his Aug. 9 victory at Silverstone. An overheating engine forced the Dutch driver out of the Sept. 6 race at Monza and then a similar problem struck just before the start at Mugello. Verstappen was far slower off the line than the cars around him and was struck by Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo.

That leaves Verstappen 80 points off Hamilton in the standings and a 25-point deficit to Bottas.

If Hamilton does win to tie Schumachher at Sochi, more fans will see it in person than any other race in a 2020 season mostly run before empty grandstands because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Organizers say the race weekend is sold out but haven’t given final ticket sales figures.

Race promoter Alexei Titov previously told Russian state TV that the stands would be at 50 percent of their capacity, which equates to around 30,000 spectators.

That’s far more than the previous season high of 3,000 fans for the most recent race, the Tuscan Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit.

Unlike at the last two races in Italy, there will be a full entertainment program on offer for fans with concerts featuring some of Russia’s most popular musicians.

Russian organizers say they’re taking precautions to keep fans safe and will have medical staff posted at checkpoints around the venue, and that spectators will have their temperature measured on entry.