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Nasr Takes Petit Le Mans Pole; Closes Points Gap to WTR

Felipe Nasr scores pole, gains 11 points on DPi title rival WTR in qualifying for Petit Le Mans…

Photo: IMSA

Felipe Nasr will start Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans from pole, with IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship title rival and DPi points leader Filipe Albuquerque qualifying last in class.

The Brazilian reeled off a best lap of 1:08.678 in Friday evening’s session to edge out the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P of Harry Tincknell by 0.015 seconds.

It marked the fifth pole of the season for the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, and has seen Nasr and co-driver Pipo Derani gain 11 points on Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor in qualifying alone.

Nasr and Derani now provisionally sit just 8 points behind the Wayne Taylor Racing duo heading into the ten-hour season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

Sebastien Bourdais qualified the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac in third, followed by Kevin Magnussen in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing entry and Dane Cameron’s No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05.

Newly crowned two-time FIA World Endurance champion Kamui Kobayashi qualified the No. 48 Ally-sponsored Action Express Cadillac in sixth, meanwhile.

Albuquerque’s 1:09.328 lap time put him seventh and at the rear of the DPi field in a worst-possible scenario for the championship leaders, points-wise.

The Portuguese ace and Taylor entered the event with a 19-point lead and have seen their advantage more than cut in half.

LMP2 class pole went to the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson of Ben Keating, despite a spin during the session for the Texan.

Keating’s 1:12.229 lap edged out Steven Thomas in the No. 11 WIN Autosport entry by 0.354 seconds.

The No. 18 Era Motorsport Oreca of Dwight Merriman qualified third in class.

Niklas Kruetten claimed LMP3 pole honors for United Autosports in an incident-filled qualifying session.

The German driver laid down a 1:15.664 in the No. 2 Ligier JS P320 Nissan to end up mixed in amongst the GT Le Mans class qualifiers.

Kruetten was 0.086 seconds quicker than the No. 38 Performance Tech Ligier of Rasmus Lindh, who survived an off-course excursion to qualify second in class.

The session was red-flagged early for a spin by Max Hanratty in the No. 40 FastMD Racing Duqueine D08 Nissan while Josh Skelton’s No. 83 WIN Autosport Duqueine suffered suspension damage in an unrelated incident.

Krohn Claims Final GT Le Mans Pole for BMW

Jesse Krohn took BMW Team RLL to pole in the final qualifying session in the GT Le Mans class.

The Finn reeled off a best lap of 1:15.226 in the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE to outpace the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Matt Campbell by a considerable 0.512 seconds.

A late flyer by class champion-elect Antonio Garcia put the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R third on the grid, ahead of the second WeatherTech Racing Porsche of Fred Makowiecki in fourth and the No. 4 Corvette of Nick Tandy in fifth.

An issue for the No. 25 BMW of Connor De Phillippi, who went off-course and picked up a advertising sign, will start from the rear of the six-car class field after not setting a representative lap.

Snow on GTD Pole, Hawksworth Quickest in Class

Madison Snow claimed pole in GT Daytona, while Jack Hawksworth set the quickest lap in the final outing of the two-stage qualifying format.

Snow recorded a best lap of 1:19.272 in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo to edge out series debutant Benjamin Hites in the No. 42 NTE Sport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo by a mere 0.001 seconds.

Robby Foley will start third in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 ahead of Kyle Kirkwood’s No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Racing Lexus RC F GT3.

Vasser Sullivan teammate Robert Megennis completed the top-five in class.

Hawksworth’s 1:18.843 lap in the No. 14 Lexus was quickest in Q2 to score maximum qualifying points, his fifth of the season.

It was 0.089 seconds quicker than championship contender Bryan Sellers in the Paul Miller Lamborghini.

Class championship leader Laurens Vanthoor scored sixth place qualifying points, meanwhile, in his No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Motul Petit Le Mans gets underway Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET with live coverage on NBC.

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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