Whelen Engineering Cadillac on pole in starting lineup for IMSA Sportscar Weekend

IMSA Sportscar Weekend pole

IMSA starting lineup: Whelen Engineering Racing will start from the pole position for the IMSA Sportscar Weekend at Road America after Felipe Nasr qualified the No. 31 Cadillac with a 2-minute, 07.919-second lap.

Nasr is teamed with Pipo Derani as they sit third in the standings, 114 points out of the lead held by the Konica Minolta Team, and 33 points behind Mazda Motorsports in second.

Nasr’s pole position was earned despite the fact that he was one of several drivers to spin during the session, which was run in wet conditions.

“It was my first time driving in the rain here because we didn’t take part in the test yesterday in FP1 due to the conditions,” Nasr said. “So for me it was like I’ll try to understand the grip level. And as you go out there as a driver, you never know what to expect. You’re just driving to the grip, and with the forecast,  everybody was saying you didn’t know what was going to happen. There was a lot of pressure to put out a lap quite early. So I kept chipping away each lap.”

He will be joined at the front of the pack by second-place Ricky Taylor (2:08.677) in the Konica Minolta Acura.

Mazda Motorsports’ Oliver Jarvis (2:08.716) and Chip Ganassi’s Kevin Magnussen (2:09.194) will make up row two.

Tristan Vautier (2:10.497) and Oliver Pla (2:10.500) will round out the DPi field on row three.


With a 2-minute, 18.511-second lap and qualifying seventh overall, Ben Keating was the top LMP2 driver.

“It was wacky; wack is a very good adjective,” said Keating. “It looked like there might be a dry line and I thought it was going to be a hard decisions to make. We decided to go out on wets and once I got out there, there was no question. When you got to Turn 5 on that opening lap, there was a lot more rain on the back half than there was on the front straight. I anticipated we were going to have a red flag and we would not be able finish qualifying. So I wanted to get a really good lap in early. I did one that was pretty safe, just so I knew I would get one in. I had the 11 car right behind me, right on my tail.”

Steven Thomas (2:19.941) in the No. 11 qualified second in the division.

Sunday’s race will begin at 2:40 p.m. ET and will be televised on the NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. There will be a replay at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Here were the top qualifiers in other classes:

–GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor No. 3 Corvette Racing C8.R

–GTD: Zacharie Robichon, Laurens Vanthoor, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R

–LMP3: Dan Goldburg, Rasmus Lindh, No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier


Click here for the DPi And LMP2 results

Click here for GTLM results/GTD points

Click here for the GTD results

Click here for the LMP3 results


Click here for Session I  l Session II

After Will Power extension, Marcus Ericsson among IndyCar drivers awaiting new deals

IndyCar free agents
Chris Owens, Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment

FORT WORTH, Texas – Defending series champion Will Power’s name is off the board of potential IndyCar free agents, but there’s still much to be settled in the field – starting with the reigning Indy 500 winner.

Marcus Ericsson is waiting on a contract offer to remain with Chip Ganassi Racing beyond the 2023 season (his fourth with the team). The Swede said he’s made it clear to car owner Chip Ganassi that he wants to stay in the No. 8 Dallara-Honda, which has four victories since June 2021.

“Yeah, it’s up to him, basically,” Ericsson said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. “He needs to give me an offer for ’24 onward. The ball is in his corner. I really enjoy it at Ganassi, and we’ve done a lot of great things together and would love to continue, but the ball is in his corner. He knows very well what I want.”

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Two days before Ericsson won the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg season opener March 5, Ganassi sang the praises of the emerging star driver to a small group of reporters.

“I want him here beyond this year,” Ganassi said of Ericsson. “He seems to have gotten more out of winning the Indy 500 than anyone else has of recent time, which is a good thing. He did a good job. He’s been everywhere. It’s been a really positive thing for Marcus, the team, the series. He’s grown with that as well.”

Ericsson didn’t sew up his current deal until late in his breakthrough 2021 season (after a memorable victory in the inaugural Music City Grand Prix). So he isn’t necessarily anxious about it but conceded he “was thinking a bit about it over the winner in the offseason and talking about it

“But now that the season has started, I told my managers and everyone I want to focus on the driving. They focus on those things. Now the season is on, and I want to try to win races, win another 500 and championship. That’s where my focus is. (A new contract) is one of those things that happens when it happens. But I’m happy where I am, and I want to do well.”

IndyCar’s two best teams, Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing, tend to be very tight-lipped about their drivers’ contract status.

Power confirmed Friday to journalist Bruce Martin that his new deal was for multiple seasons. That means all three of Penske’s drivers are in multiple-year contracts (unlike Power’s deal, Scott McLaughlin’s extension was announced by the team last year).

But there is more uncertainty at Ganassi’s four cars aside from Ericsson. While Scott Dixon has a ride for as long as he wants (and the six-time champion has given no indication of retiring), Ganassi’s other two other seats have yet to be solidified beyond 2023.

The No. 11 is being split this year by rookie Marcus Armstrong and veteran Takuma Sato this season. In  the No. 10, Alex Palou is believed to be in his final year at Ganassi before heading to Arrow McLaren.

That expected move would cast doubt on the future of Felix Rosenqvist, who returned to Arrow McLaren when the team was unable to bring in Palou (who was embroiled in a contract dispute with Ganassi).

Aside from Penske, virtually every other IndyCar team (including Andretti Autosport, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Meyer Shank Racing, which has Helio Castroneves in a contract year) has seats that potentially could open for next season, and even drivers who appear to be under contract for next year still could be on the move (via buyouts and option years).

Though Juncos Hollinger Racing announced a “long-term, multiyear contract partnership” last July with Callum Ilott, but the second-year driver was cagey Friday when asked about how long the extension ran.

“It’s for whatever I want it to be,” said Ilott, who finished a career-best fifth at St. Petersburg. “I’ll say that.”

Before returning to JHR, Ilott turned enough heads as a rookie to draw interest from several teams, and he indicated Friday that he still would be listening.

“I’d love to talk to some other big teams,” Ilott said. “Nothing stops me from talking. Look, you’ve got to be fair. I agreed to (the deal), but it’s pretty obvious that I’m quite interested as people are interested in me as a driver, but I need to focus on the job I’ve got here.

“I’m confident whether it’s in one year, two years, three years, four years, that if I’m wanted now, I’ll always be wanted. I’m a good enough driver that I don’t need to lack confidence in that side. … I’m not worried.”