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Mazda Sweeps Front Row for Monterey GP

Tristan Nunez, Tom Long sweep front row in Monterey…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Mazda has swept the front row for Sunday’s Continental Monterey Grand Prix, with Tristan Nunez taking the SpeedSource-run prototype to its first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole.

Nunez reeled off a series of quick laps in a battle with teammate Tom Long for the top spot in the 15-minute session, with the 20-year-old’s 1:18.143 lap edging out Long by 0.236 seconds.

It marked a historic first pole for the Japanese manufacturer in series competition after dominating the time sheets all weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, running 1-2 in every session.

The Mazdas were nearly in a class of its own in qualifying, with the No. 31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Dane Cameron qualifying third but 0.929 seconds behind Nunez’s pole-sitting car.

Nunez will share driving duties of the No. 55 Mazda with Jonathan Bomarito as the pairing seek the manufacturer’s first WeatherTech Championship victory on Sunday.

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP of Ricky Taylor will roll off from fourth on the grid, with Christian Fittipaldi’s No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP completing the top-five.

Daniel Serra stole Ford’s thunder to claim the GT Le Mans class pole for Scuderia Corsa.

The Brazilian reeled off a 1:22.867 lap with less than two minutes on the clock to bump the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe from the top spot.

It marked the first pole for Serra and the Ferrari 488 GTE in GTLM competition, as the Giacomo Mattioli-led squad seeks its first class win on Sunday.

Briscoe had to settle for second, just 0.079 seconds slower than Serra, ahead of the sister No. 66 Ford, qualified by Dirk Mueller in third.

The No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner was fourth, with Toni Vilander completing the top-five in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari.

The P/GTLM portion of the Continental Monterey Grand Prix gets underway Sunday at 11:15 a.m. PT.

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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