Seeking his first win of the year, defending WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype title winner Jordan Taylor got off to a good start by capturing pole for Sunday’s America Tire 250.
Taylor pushed the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R to the head of a 13-deep Prototype field with a stellar lap (1m16.181s) that left the second- and third-place Acura Team Penske drivers with no answer in their ARX-05s.
“I think so,” Taylor said of whether he and teammate Renger van der Zande can convert the pole into a win. “Getting pole certainly helps. I guess it’s time for us to get a win and get ahold of this championship.”
Local product Dane Cameron will start second in his Penske Acura DPi (+0.395s) and teammate Helio Castroneves (+0.481s) close behind in third. The fastest non-DPi performance went to CORE autosport’s Colin Braun, who hauled the team’s ORECA 07-Gibson up to fifth (+0.593s) after all spec P2s received 22 pounds of ballast leading into Monterey.
Oliver Gavin took charge of GT Le Mans qualifying in his Corvette Racing C7.R (1m22.700s). The Briton spent the session working in tandem with Corvette teammate Jan Magnussen, and at the halfway point in the session, the team held 1-2. But the unrelenting effort from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dirk Muller, who caught slides and dropped tires into the dirt with his GT, was able to split the Bowtie Boys (+0.087s) and earn a starting position alongside Gavin. Magnussen (+0.106s) will start third and Muller’s sister Ford GT driven by Ryan Briscoe (+0.150s) will start fourth.
“It’s always great to get pole position here at Laguna Seca,” Gavin said after claiming his 22nd pole. “Thanks to everyone at Corvette Racing and the crew. It takes a massive effort from everyone on the team to get back to P1. I’m thrilled, but this is only a small step in trying to achieve what we want to achieve tomorrow, and that’s a victory. Once the green flag drops tomorrow, this is all kind of forgotten. The competition is at an all-time high in GTLM, and to be able to beat those guys is pretty satisfying. But the real work is ahead for tomorrow.
In an ode to that close competition, the top six cars in GTLM were separated by 0.290s.
Katherine Legge captured pole position in GT Daytona for the Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 team (1m24.456s), which was well-timed as she vies for the GTD Drivers’ championship with two races left to run.
“First pole in a GT car for me, so I’m over the moon over that,” said Legge, who is chasing the Paul Miller Racing team for GTD honors. “The team gave me a great car, so thanks to them. Now it’s all about tomorrow. We really need a good result here and Petit [Le Mans] to be in with a shot at the championship.”
Legge will have the PMR Lamborghini Huracan GT3 driven by Madison Snow to deal with when the green flag waves on Sunday. Snow was close to matching the Acura, but settled for second (+0.139s). The ever-present Jeroen Bleekemolen was third in his Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG (+0.188s).
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