Acuras swept the front row of the starting lineup in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series qualifying at Watkins Glen International as Tom Blomqvist put the No. 60 of Meyer Shank Racing on pole for the Sahlen’s Six Hours.
With a lap of 1 minute, 29.580 seconds around the 11-turn, 3.4-mile circuit, Blomqvist broke the track record held by teammate Oliver Jarvis to capture his first IMSA pole position.
“We put a big focus on qualifying this weekend,” Blomqvist said. “The championship is tight and every point counts.”
WATKINS GLEN STARTING GRID: Click here for the Sahlen’s Six Hours starting lineup l Lineup by car number
IMSA AT WATKINS GLEN: How to watch Sunday
Blomqvist and Jarvis increased their championship lead to 13 points over Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque, who qualified second (1:29.744) in the No. 10 Acura ARX-05 of Wayne Taylor Racing.
“It’s a six-hour race, so a lot can happen,” Blomqvist said. “But it definitely makes your life a lot easier to start at the front. That was definitely a focus of ours this weekend.”
Qualifying in other divisions:
LMP2: Two weeks after a GTE AM class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ben Keating returned to an IMSA prototype and qualified first (1 minute, 33.930 seconds) in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07.
Keating who co-drives the car with Mikkel Jensen and Scott Huffaker, won the pole position by 0.001 seconds over the No. 11 of Steven Thomas.
LMP3: Nico Varrone put the No. 40 Duqueine D08 of FastMD Racing on pole with a lap of 1 minute, 40.028 seconds.
GTD PRO: Connor De Phillippi won the second pole position of his IMSA career, turning a 1 minute, 44.755-second lap in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL M4 GT3 and topping Ross Gunn in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 by 0.048 seconds.
It’s the first pole since Sebring 2018 for De Phillippi, who co-drives with John Edwards.
GTD: Stevan McAleer captured the first pole of his IMSA career, turning a lap of 1-minute, 45.077 seconds in the No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3. McAleer, whose s lap would have qualified third in GTD Pro, was 0.340 seconds ahead of Richard Heistand in the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3.
The broadcast of the six-hour race will begin at 10:40 a.m. ET Sunday on Peacock, moving at 2 p.m. to USA Network.