Pipo Derani will start Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans from the pole, having held off a late charge from the pair of Mazda RT24-Ps to take the top qualifying spot for Tequila Patron ESM.
The Brazilian reeled off a quick lap of 1:10.437 early in the 15-minute session in the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi, and watched as both Oliver Jarvis and Jonathan Bomarito made late session improvements.
Derani ultimately ended up 0.124 seconds quicker than the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest entry of Jarvis, with Bomarito 0.039 seconds behind in third.
It marked Derani’s second pole of the season, coming in the final race for the team in Tequila Patron colors.
The sister No. 2 Nissan DPi of former F2 star Norman Nato qualified fourth, with Ricky Taylor completing the top-five in the No. 7 Team Penske Acura ARX-05.
Filipe Albuquerque will start sixth in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, with Simon Trummer the quickest of the LMP2 cars in seventh, thanks to a 1:10.912 lap in the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson.
Championship contender Colin Braun, who topped the time charts in Thursday’s second practice, could only muster 10th on the grid, one position behind points leader Felipe Nasr of Action Express.
The top 11 qualifiers were all quicker Helio Castroneves’ track qualifying record from last year.
The 21st annual Motul Petit Le Mans gets underway Saturday at 11:05 a.m. EDT with live coverage on FS1.