IMSA starting lineup: Felipe Nasr put the Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac on the pole position for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach as his No. 31 Action Express team continued its championship push.
Nasr turned a lap of 1 minute, 11.620 seconds on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street course, earning the top starting spot for Saturday’s 100-minute race (the shortest of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season).
Kevin Magnussen qualified second (1:11.724) for the No. 01 of Chip Ganassi Racing, and Loic Duval was third in the No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports Mustang Sampling as Cadillacs swept the top three starting positions.
“It is always great to get another pole,” Nasr said. “Especially here around the streets of Long Beach. It is a very close field. We have all the Cadillac cars in the top three. It has been a very close competition in DPi all day in practice. We came here with the mindset of maximizing the points. We did that today, and that is a big part of the plan. We have a great Whelen Engineering Cadillac in our hands to fight for the win.”
IMSA AT LONG BEACH: Details for watching Saturday’s race
Dane Cameron qualified fourth in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura, followed by the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura driven by Filipe Albuquerque.
With two races remaining in the season, Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor have a 98-point lead on Nasr and Pipo Derani after winning from the pole position Sept. 12 at WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway.
“It is going to be a hard Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach,” Albuquerque said. “P5 in qualifying is not what we aim for, but it is what it is. The race tomorrow is short, but a lot can happen, so we’ll stay positive. The fastest car doesn’t always win and we need to make sure we finish the race. Strategy might surprise us and come our way. It is very hard to overtake here, so let’s stay positive for tomorrow.”
In the GTLM category, Jordan Taylor put the No. 3 Corvette C8.R on the pole position with a time of 1:16.801. It’s the fifth consecutive GTLM pole position for Taylor, who has four victories with teammate Antonio Garcia this season as the team seeks its second consecutive class championship.
In GTD, Laurens Vanthoor was the fastest qualifier (1:18.957) in the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3R.