Juan Pablo Montoya has given Acura Team Penske its first pole in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, storming to the top spot in qualifying for Saturday’s Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach.
The Colombian took the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 to a 1:12.922 lap in the heated 15-minute session that saw the series track qualifying record smashed by nearly one second.
Montoya edged out the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Felipe Nasr, who topped the time charts in opening practice, by 0.187 seconds, following a late charge by the Brazilian.
Montoya will share driving duties with Dane Cameron in tomorrow’s 100-minute race.
Harry Tincknell made it three different DPi manufacturers in the top-three, pedaling the No. 55 Team Joest Mazda RT24-P to a 1:13.156 lap en route to a third place starting position.
The No. 7 Acura DPi of Helio Castroneves, who led the way early in the session, was forced to settle for fourth, with Joao Barbosa completing the top-five in the No. 5 Action Express Cadillac DPi.
Wayne Taylor Racing’s Renger van der Zande, Tristan Nunez of Mazda and the pair of Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPis completed the sweep of DPi machinery.
Gustavo Yacaman was quickest of the LMP2 cars, putting the No. 52 PR1/AFS Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson 10th on the grid with a best lap that was nearly 2.5 seconds slower than Montoya’s pole-winning time.
The No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca did not set a time after it ground to a halt in final practice in the hands of Robert Alon.
Hand Steals Pole for Ford
A last-lap flyer by Joey Hand gave Ford Chip Ganassi Racing class pole in GT Le Mans, in a new track qualifying record.
Hand reeled off a 1:16.869 in the No. 66 Ford GT, bumping the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Laurens Vanthoor, who held the top spot for the majority of the 15-minute session.
It marked Hand’s fifth career WeatherTech Championship pole.
The No. 911 Porsche of Patrick Pilet will roll off from third on the grid in class, ahead of the pair of Corvette C7.Rs, with Jan Magnussen ahead of Oliver Gavin.
Gavin lost two of his fastest laps due to exceeding track limits in Turn 1.
The Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach gets underway Saturday at 1:05 p.m. PT with live coverage on FOX.