Gresham Wagner (No. 5 Spark Performance) will start from pole in Saturday’s Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires round five race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. He will share the front row with Aaron Jeansonne (No. 24 JTR Motorsports Engineering).
Wagner is the defending race winner at WeatherTech Raceway. He won both races in the series’ last visit to the track in 2021. Wagner went on to win the Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship that year.
The 15-minute qualifying session was halted briefly with a red flag to retrieve a car stranded in the gravel. The stoppage came right as drivers were beginning their fast lap attempts.
“The red flag definitely doesn’t help, but you know it’s the same for everyone,” Wagner said. “I had a decent lap and I think I was in second place when the red flag came out. I knew that time wasn’t going to hold. It’s pretty frustrating when you’re just getting in the groove and getting tires warmed up to get a quick lap and then that happens. You can’t get too upset. Everyone else has the same challenges in front of them when we go back green. I just had to refocus and not over think it.
“I really wasn’t sure I was going to get pole. I just really wanted to get in the top five to get a clean start for tomorrow. Having pole is definitely nice — it adds a little bit of an extra cushion for the start. You get to look ahead and don’t really have to worry about anybody on the first couple of laps there.”
Wagner earned the pole by a mere 0.099s over Jeansonne, who provisionally holds the pole for Sunday’s race based on his second-fastest lap of the session.
Saturday’s Mazda MX-5 Cup race is slated to go green at 2:50pm ET with live coverage on RACER.com and IMSA.com/tvlive.