Oliver Jarvis claimed a second straight Rolex 24 at Daytona pole position for Mazda Team Joest as the Japanese manufacturer beat Acura to the top spot in qualifying.
Jarvis led the way in the 15-minute prototype session with a time of 1:33.711 in the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P that he shares with Olivier Pla and Tristan Nunez.
However, the Englishman’s session-leading effort was not quite enough to beat the qualifying lap record of 1:33.685, which he set 12 months ago.
The Mazda DPi will share the front row of the grid for this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener with the No. 6 Team Penske Acura ARX-05.
Juan Pablo Montoya qualified the car that led the event’s opening practice session in second with a time of 1:34.514, putting the Colombian 0.443 seconds off Jarvis.
Mazda’s No. 55 entry will start from third thanks to Jonathan Bomarito’s 1:34.619 effort while the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. will start fourth.
Reigning DPi champion Felipe Nasr was the fastest Cadillac driver in the field as the other cars from the American manufacturer qualified fifth, sixth and eighth.
Ryan Briscoe rounded out the top-five for Wayne Taylor Racing, ahead of JDC-Miller Motorsports driver Tristan Vautier, who was followed by Penske Acura’s Ricky Taylor and Joao Barbosa in the JDC-run Mustang Sampling Cadillac.
Prototype qualifying was brought to an early halt after Taylor crashed the No. 7 Acura at high speed going through the Bus Stop chicane.
The 2017 series champion’s car jumped over the apex curb on the first left-hander of the chicane sequence and speared head-on into the tire barriers after losing control.
Taylor walked away from the incident which triggered a red flag stoppage and essentially locked in the prototype qualifying results with three minutes of the session remaining.
Keating Scores LMP2 Pole for PR1
PR1/Mathisen Motorsports will start from pole in the five-car LMP2 class after Ben Keating led the way in class qualifying.
Keating, who is also racing a GT Daytona-class Mercedes this weekend, posted a time of 1:37.446 to edge out DragonSpeed driver Henrik Hedman by two-tenths.
Third in the all-Oreca 07 Gibson class and 1.5 seconds off Keating’s pace was John Farano in the Tower Motorsport by Starworks car, while Cameron Cassels (Performance Tech) and Dwight Merriman (Era Motorsport) completed the leaderboard.
The Rolex 24 at Daytona gets underway Saturday at 1:35 p.m. ET.