Ricky Taylor in the #7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05c smashed the lap record and sailed to pole position by over three-tenths of a second. Taylor’s best lap was a 1:15.035 and beat out Juan Pablo-Montoya for the top spot.
“I was the only one on the team without a pole and I feel like I had to pull my weight,” Taylor said. “To lock out the front row shows what a great team this is. We’ll have to keep the tyres under us tomorrow.”
Montoya’s time of 1:15.343 helped in securing an Acura 1-2 for tomorrow’s gird. That brings them one small step closer to securing the manufacture’s title as a win for Acura this weekend would give them the championship.
Jordan Taylor ended the session 0.453 seconds behind his brother Ricky. Jordan Taylor’s best lap was a 1:15.488 and was better than both of the Mazda RT-24Ps which ended the session in fourth and sixth with the #77 Mazda ahead of the #55 Mazda.
The #24 BMW M8 GTE with Jesse Krohn set a new lap record for GTLM cars around Laguna Seca with a time of 1:21.557.
“I like a good one-lap banger!” Jesse Krohn said. Krohn explained that the team wanted to limit the number of laps they did on this set of tyres as they are predicting that tyre degradation will play a large part in tomorrow’s race.
Dirk Mueller was 0.127 seconds behind Krohn in the #66 Ford GT and Tom Blomqvist put the #25 BMW M8 GTE in third with a time of 1:21.891.
BMW holding on to two of the top three spots in qualifying is in stark contrast to where they were last time out Virginia International Raceway where the team struggled greatly to find pace in their cars. All three of the top three cars went quicker than the previous lap record which was a 1:21.914 from Toni Vilander in 2017.
Corey Lewis netted himself his first-ever pole position and gave the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan crew the best possible starting position for a race that many drivers think will see track position play a major part. Lewis’ time of 1:24.962 came late in the session and after a red flag which broke the session in half.
“We knew we had one shot to do it, I knew we had the pace, just with the track conditions being so inconsistent we had to dig deep,” Lewis said. “I’m proud of that one, proud of the whole Paul Miller Racing Organization. It’s been a long time coming for me so I’m stoked I know we have a race car that can win this race the biggest thing will be making sure we can keep the car going in the long run.”
The championship-leading #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX held the provisional pole for much of the session into Lewis bested the time set by Trent Hindman in the #86 Acura. Hindman’s time of 1:25.063 was just a tenth of a second slower than Lewis’ time.
The surprise performance in the GTD session came from Cooper MacNeil, though. MacNeil put the #63 Scuderia Corsa in the third position with a 1:25.118. MacNeil and Hindman were trading the top lap time early in the session.
Patrick Lindsey in the #73 Park Place Porsche 911 GT3 R was involved in a heavy accident that led to a lengthy red flag. Lindsey was able to exit the car and walk to the medical vehicle without any assistance, al be it frustrated with himself.
Lindsey dropped the car off of the curb on the exit of Turn 10 which sent the car darting towards the wall on the right side of the track on the run down to Turn 11.
The car hit a concrete barrier with the front of the car, spun around, and hit with the rear causing major damage to both ends of the Porsche 911 GT3 R. Lindsey was able to exit the car and walk to the medical vehicle without any assistance, al be it frustrated with himself.
The accident and ensuing recovery would have caused the GT Daytona runners to not be able to complete their minimum running time of ten minutes. IMSA, however, built a ten-minute gap in between each qualifying session which they ate into to allow the GTD cars to meet the minimum time.
Kyle Masson and the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA 07 claimed pole position ahead of the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07. Masson’s time of 1:16.817 beat out Matt McMurry by 0.801 seconds.
Tomorrow’s race is scheduled for 12:05 local time or 20:05 BST. The race can be watched on network NBC in the United States and on IMSA.tv outside the United States.