Ricky Taylor held off a hard-charging Richard Westbrook to claim victory in Sunday’s qualifying race for the Rolex 24 at Daytona to put the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 on pole for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener.
Taylor crossed the line 7.9 seconds ahead of the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R following last-lap contact between the two cars while battling for the lead that saw the Englishman spin in Turn 1 but quickly regain control.
The defending Rolex 24-winning Acura took over the lead following the second and final round of pit stops in the 100-minute caution-free contest at Daytona International Speedway.
Taylor and Albuquerque will be joined by Alexander Rossi and Will Stevens in the car for next weekend’s enduro.
A late fuel-only stop for the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac handed third to the No. 48 Ally-sponsored entry driven in the race by Kamui Kobayashi and Jimmie Johnson.
The No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura DPi of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis came home fourth after taking in a short fuel load during its initial stop.
Both Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillacs were mired down in fourth and fifth, respectively, after serving drive-through penalties for speeding during their first round of pit stops.
PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports picked up the class pole in LMP2, courtesy of a controlling run by Ben Keating and Mikkel Jensen in the qualifying race.
Jensen finished 20 seconds ahead of the sister No. 11 Oreca 07 Gibson of Jonathan Bomarito and Steven Thomas, in the team’s debut run as a two-car operation.
LMP3 came down to a race of survival, with Andretti Autosport’s Jarett Andretti and Josh Burdon prevailing with a one-lap victory over the closest competitor.
Five of the nine cars in LMP3 were either delayed or retired in an incident-filled race for the class.
Bortolotti, Caldarelli Win GTD Pro in Lamborghini
TR3 Racing broke through to claim the GTD Pro class win and pole for the Rolex 24, courtesy of a pass by Mirko Bortolotti on Alessio Picariello with 15 minutes to go.
The Lamborghini factory driver finished 0.475 seconds ahead of the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R after coming from third on the final round of stops.
Bortolotti shared the class-winning Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo with fellow factory driver Andrea Caldarelli.
They’ll be joined next weekend by Marco Mapelli and Silver-rated driver Rolf Ineichen.
The No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche, which led early in the hands of Mathieu Jaminet, finished third in class with GT3 debutant Felipe Nasr at the wheel, who lost ground during his stint.
KCMG’s class pole-sitting No. 2 Porsche came home tenth in class after fuel rig issues during its first stop.
GTD honors went to the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Lucas Auer and Russell Ward, which finished fourth among the GTD cars overall.
Class pole-sitter Kenny Habul lost the lead early to Ward, whose co-driver Auer held off a challenge from the No. 59 Crucial Motorsports McLaren 720S GT3 of Paul Holton, who finished second.
Despite it being a race, teams scored only qualifying points on Sunday, with their finishing positions setting the grid for the 60th running of the race, which gets underway at 1:40 p.m. ET next Saturday with live coverage on NBC.
RESULTS: Qualifying Race