Pipo Derani claimed pole in the #31 Cadillac

IMSA: Derani puts Cadillac on pole at Road America

Pipo Derani will start Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America from pole in the #31 Cadillac.

The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R was first and a close second to the sister Cadillac in the two practice sessions Friday on the recently resurfaced 4-mile, 14-turn road course.

The quickness carried over Saturday in the 20-minute qualifying session for the IMSA Sports Car Weekend at Road America.

Pipo Derani’s lap of 1 minute, 47.730 seconds (135.271 mph) outpaced a late challenge from the No. 7 Penske Porsche 963 of Matt Campbell by 0.068 seconds.

His time eclipsed the 2019 DPi track record by nearly a full second and the 2021 DPi champion secured his ninth career IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole and second for Cadillac Racing in the inaugural season of the Grand Touring Prototype class.

“The 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R was perfect today and all week and I’m happy to put the lap together that earned the pole for the 2-hour, 40-minute race. Everyone involved has done a fantastic job this year and I have to thank all my guys,” said Derani, who earned the pole at Sebring International Raceway and teamed with Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken to win the race.

Sebastien Bourdais drove the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R to third on the grid with a lap of 1:48.036, followed by Filipe Albuquerque in fourth in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06.

Sebastian Bourdais at the wheel of the #01 Ganassi Cadillac
Sebastian Bourdais at the wheel of the #01 Ganassi Cadillac

Connor De Phillippi completed the top-five in the No. 25 Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8, ahead of Colin Braun in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura.

A day earlier, the Cadillac Racing hybrid racecars swapped the top of the time chart in the two free practice sessions.

Derani and Sims, who enter the race as the GTP championship leaders, picked up 35 qualifying points for the pole for a 19-point advantage. Cadillac leads the GTP Manufacturer Championship standings.

Cadillac Racing posted eight podium finishes at Road America in the DPi era, including victory in 2021 (Derani, Felipe Nasr).

Bourdais and van der Zande earned a podium result at Road America in 2022 – one place behind the runner-up finish of the sister Cadillac DPi-V.R driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn. Van der Zande has also driven to third place in 2021 and second in 2020 in the Cadillac DPi-V.R at Road America.

George Kurtz earned his second LMP2 class pole of the season, in a commanding run in the No. 04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR Oreca 07 Gibson.

Kurtz recorded a best lap of 1:53.621 to outpace the the No. 8 Tower Motorsport Oreca of Rodrigo Sales by 0.508 seconds.

LMP3 class pole honors went to the No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 Nissan of Nico Pino, who is filling in for Lance Willsey this weekend.

The live USA Network telecast and Peacock streaming of the race starts at 11 a.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 6. Outside the U.S., streaming will be available at IMSA.com/TVLive. IMSA Radio at IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com plus SiriusXM live (XM 207, Web/App 992) broadcast of the race also starts at 11 a.m.

Riberas, Snow Take GT Class Poles

Alex Riberas claimed GTD Pro class pole honors as the quickest production-based car in qualifying.

The Heart of Racing driver turned a best lap of 2:02.918 in his No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to edge out the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Dani Juncadella by 0.057 seconds.

Daniel Juncadella (Spain) at the wheel of the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3
Daniel Juncadella (Spain) at the wheel of the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

Jordan Taylor qualified third in class in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD.

“I am happy with that qualifying effort,” Juncadella said. “It was a really good lap. The WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG felt strong. I thought it was going to be good enough for the pole, but just came up short. Our main rivals are behind us, so that is good.

“The track is super-quick with the repave since last year. I think pole last year was in the 2:05s and we went 2:02, so that shows the difference. There seems to be a narrow line of grip, so no mistakes tomorrow. WeatherTech will have close to 300 guests here for the race, so let’s see what we can do.”

GTD class pole honors went to the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 of Madison Snow, thanks to a 2:03.291 lap time by the Silver-rated driver.

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