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Magnussen Puts Corvette on GTLM Pole at Long Beach

Corvette Racing takes GTLM pole at Long Beach…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Corvette Racing will start Saturday’s Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix from the GT Le Mans pole, thanks to a blinding lap by Jan Magnussen in qualifying for the third round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Magnussen laid down a 1:16.609 in his No. 3 Corvette C7.R to claim his first pole since Virginia International Raceway last year.

The Dane, who will share driving duties in tomorrow’s 100-minute race with Antonio Garcia, edged out the No. 66 Ford GT of Joey Hand by 0.092 seconds, with the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F488 GTE of Toni Vilander third.

Vilander was one of two GTLM drivers to hit trouble in the session after spinning into the barriers, but escaping any visible damage to his Prancing Horse.

The same couldn’t be said for Richard Westbrook, who clipped the wall and lost the rear wing and bodywork of the No. 67 Ford, which brought out a session-ending red flag with less than three minutes to go.

Laurens Vanthoor was fourth in the only Porsche 911 RSR to qualify, after Patrick Pilet’s Practice 2 accident ruling out the No. 911 entry in the session. The No. 911 car, however, is expected to start the race.

Bill Auberlen, who failed to earn his third consecutive GTLM pole at Long Beach, completed the top-five in qualifying in his No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM, showing improved form for the struggling RLL squad.

Bryan Sellers will start from the pole in GT Daytona, after snatching the top spot from Jack Hawksworth in the closing seconds of the session.

Sellers reeled off a 1:19.243 in his No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to edge out the No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus of Hawksworth by 0.033 seconds, in the best qualifying run for Lexus to date.

It marked Sellers’ second consecutive street race pole after taking top qualifying honors at Detroit last year, also alongside co-driver Madison Snow.

The Daytona class-winning No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Daniel Morad qualified third, followed by the Corey Lewis-driven No. 16 Change Racing Lamborghini in fourth.

Lawson Aschenbach completed the top-five in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS, with Sebring winner Ben Keating sixth aboard the No. 33 Riley Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3.

The top 12 cars in class were separated by less than one-second, with all but the No. 14 Lexus, which sustained a heavy crash in practice, setting times.

The Scott Pruett-driven Lexus is expected to be repaired for the 100-minute race, which is set for 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, live on FOX.

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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