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Action Express Sweeps Front Row in Bizarre Qualifying at Detroit

AXR takes top two spots after bizarre qualifying at Detroit…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

The No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa will start from pole position for Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Chevrolet Sports Car Classic in Detroit after a bizarre Prototype qualifying session on the streets of Belle Isle.

Ricky Taylor set the fastest lap in the session moments before crashing in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac and causing the session-ending red flag with just over five minutes remaining.

Because the minimum time of ten minutes to make it an official session was not met, the field will be set by points for Saturday’s race.

And since Taylor’s accident caused the red flag that ended the session prematurely, the WTR entry will start at the back of the combined Prototype/Prototype Challenge field for Saturday’s race.

The sister AXR car of Dane Cameron and Eric Curran will start second, with the JDC-Miller Oreca 07 Gibson slated to start third. The No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi machine will take the fourth starting spot, ahead of the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P.

Initially, it appeared that Renger Van Der Zande had scored a surprise pole after posting the fastest official time of the session in the Visit Florida Racing Riley Mk. 30 Gibson.

The Dutchman’s fast lap of 1:24.693 in the No. 90 Riley was 0.362 seconds faster than second-place Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 55 Mazda, with Misha Goikhberg securing third in the JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca.

However, those times became irrelevant when it was determined that not enough green-flag running had transpired to make it an official session.

Taylor was treated and released from the medical center on site following the shunt.

James French secured a much more straightforward Prototype Challenge pole position for Performance Tech Motorsports ahead of the BAR1 Motorsports entries of Tomy Drissi and Don Yount, although the No. 26 of Drissi failed post race tech for a ride height violation and will be moved to the back of the category.

The 100-minute Chevrolet Sports Car Classic is scheduled for 12:40 p.m. ET on Saturday with live coverage on FS2 starting at 12:30 p.m. ET.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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