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Derani Takes Long Beach Pole Despite Crash

Pipo Derani takes Long Beach pole despite late-session crash in Action Express Cadillac…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Pipo Derani scored pole for Saturday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach despite crashing his Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R after setting his flying lap for the third round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

The Brazilian recorded a best time of 1:11.388 in the No. 31 Cadillac to resist a late challenge from Nick Yelloly in the No. 25 Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8, who ended up with a best time that was just 0.009 seconds slower.

Derani, however, suffered drama in the closing moments when he nosed his car into the Turn 8 barriers but quickly rejoined and pitted.

A red flag was not called for the incident, which meant Derani held his pole position in the car he’ll share with Long Beach rookie Jack Aitken.

Sebastien Bourdais, who waited until the final moments to set a flyer, will start third in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac, followed by the pair of Penske Porsche 963s, qualified by Nick Tandy and Dane Cameron, which completed the top-five.

The No. 40 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 of Jordan Taylor will start sixth, ahead of Tijmen van der Helm in the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Porsche and Filipe Albuquerque’s No. 10 WTRAndretti Acura in eighth.

Philipp Eng and Mike Rockenfeller completed the top-ten for BMW M Team RLL and Proton Competition, respectively.

Parker Thompson led a front row lockout for Vasser Sullivan and Lexus in GTD, in the team’s one-off class entry.

Thompson reeled off a best time of 1:17.357 in the No. 89 Lexus RC F GT3 to edge out the No. 12 entry of Frankie Montecalvo by 0.262 seconds.

The two Silver-rated drivers are typically co-drivers in the No. 12 car but have been split up with the team’s GTD Pro drivers, Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth, respectively.

Albert Costa qualified the No. 34 Conquest Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 third in class, ahead of Roman De Angelis in the No. 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo.

The No. 45 WTRAndretti Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 of Danny Formal completed the top-five in class, while Mikael Grenier returned to action following his accident in opening practice to qualify sixth in the No. 32 Korthoff Preston Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach gets underway Saturday at 1:35 p.m. PDT (4:35 p.m. EDT) with live coverage on USA Network, Peacock and IMSA Radio.

RESULTS: Qualifying

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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