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Montoya Takes Penske Acura DPi to Long Beach Pole

Juan Pablo Montoya gives Acura Team Penske first pole in Long Beach…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Juan Pablo Montoya has given Acura Team Penske its first pole in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, storming to the top spot in qualifying for Saturday’s Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach.

The Colombian took the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 to a 1:12.922 lap in the heated 15-minute session that saw the series track qualifying record smashed by nearly one second.

Montoya edged out the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Felipe Nasr, who topped the time charts in opening practice, by 0.187 seconds, following a late charge by the Brazilian.

Montoya will share driving duties with Dane Cameron in tomorrow’s 100-minute race.

Harry Tincknell made it three different DPi manufacturers in the top-three, pedaling the No. 55 Team Joest Mazda RT24-P to a 1:13.156 lap en route to a third place starting position.

The No. 7 Acura DPi of Helio Castroneves, who led the way early in the session, was forced to settle for fourth, with Joao Barbosa completing the top-five in the No. 5 Action Express Cadillac DPi.

Wayne Taylor Racing’s Renger van der Zande, Tristan Nunez of Mazda and the pair of Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPis completed the sweep of DPi machinery.

Gustavo Yacaman was quickest of the LMP2 cars, putting the No. 52 PR1/AFS Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson 10th on the grid with a best lap that was nearly 2.5 seconds slower than Montoya’s pole-winning time.

The No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca did not set a time after it ground to a halt in final practice in the hands of Robert Alon.

Hand Steals Pole for Ford

A last-lap flyer by Joey Hand gave Ford Chip Ganassi Racing class pole in GT Le Mans, in a new track qualifying record.

Hand reeled off a 1:16.869 in the No. 66 Ford GT, bumping the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Laurens Vanthoor, who held the top spot for the majority of the 15-minute session.

It marked Hand’s fifth career WeatherTech Championship pole.

The No. 911 Porsche of Patrick Pilet will roll off from third on the grid in class, ahead of the pair of Corvette C7.Rs, with Jan Magnussen ahead of Oliver Gavin.

Gavin lost two of his fastest laps due to exceeding track limits in Turn 1.

The Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach gets underway Saturday at 1:05 p.m. PT with live coverage on FOX.

RESULTS: Qualifying

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. I Just Want To Watch Racing...

    April 13, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Would have been great if the imsa stream worked properly for once…

    • The Brad

      April 14, 2018 at 12:36 am

      qually stream worked fine for gtlm, but once p hit the track the stream went to crap. froze every 10 seconds, kept refreshing, blah. muted the stream and listened to rlm.

  2. pdxracefan

    April 13, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    The stream worked fine for me. Nice reporting, John. Always appreciate you being on top of it.

  3. jason

    April 13, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    Don’t rule out the Corvettes at all still mark my word. A win for the BMW M8 is probably not in the cards though.

  4. Ron Mills

    April 13, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    the IMSA stream was crap as usual here in Canada,even with the latest Chrome browser.It’s too bad they don’t stream through Youtube.It’s so depressing trying to follow the series this way.

  5. Redcap

    April 13, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Juan Pablo looks like he’s been working out. He was getting husky a while back. Good for him!

    • J.C.

      April 14, 2018 at 11:37 am

      That’s what NASCAR will do to you.

  6. Billthe3

    April 13, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    How does a car exceed track limits when there are walls surrounding the track? Did he overshoot the braking zone and end up in the runoff?

    • Trevor

      April 14, 2018 at 12:54 am

      I believe there’s quite a bit of room in the inside of turn 1. I think he cut the corner (all four inside the apex).

    • Matt

      April 14, 2018 at 3:14 am

      They can cut half the corners at Long Beach as well as run into pit entry

  7. Av

    April 14, 2018 at 7:27 am

    It is not the same without the Risi Ferrari.

  8. Joel

    April 14, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Looks like all the DPI BOP adjustments worked as intended… /s

    • Kent Wenzel

      April 14, 2018 at 11:52 am

      I agree Joel.
      I will reserve judgement until the schedule reaches the natural road courses.
      If things are truly balanced in prototype, we should see the fastest DPI car
      2 seconds slower than the slowest LMP2 at Road America.
      Any bets?

      Kent Wenzel
      Aerowerks Consulting

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