Detroit IMSA: Derani puts ESM Nissan on pole in messy session

A red flag meant a truly strange ending to the IMSA Prototype qualifying session at Belle Isle in which Pipo Derani took pole, while Bryan Sellers was sensational in the GT Daytona class.

Detroit IMSA: Derani puts ESM Nissan on pole in messy session

The start of the session was delayed slightly for track repairs, so in order to meet the track’s 6pm curfew, the two classes had their sessions reduced to 12mins.

When Robert Alon smacked the wall in his JDC Miller Motorsports Oreca and sprayed debris over the track, there were barely four minutes remaining, and Helio Castroneves’ Acura and the two Mazdas drove to pit out rather than their pitboxes.

That’s against the rules, so they needed to serve a drive through penalty, effectively ending their chance of going for pole.

Instead, Derani nailed an excellent flying lap to take pole ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya in the other Acura, while Castroneves will have to be content with third place, using his time before the session stoppage.

Fourth and sixth will be Joao Barbosa and Eric Curran in their Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.Rs, sandwiched between them will be Misha Goikhberg in the other JDC-Miller machine.

Renger van der Zande was seventh fastest in the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, so will start ahead of the Mazdas whose unrepresentative times leave them languishing in eighth and ninth.

They’re just ahead of the second ESM Nissan of Scott Sharp who received a rude nudge in the backside from Castroneves during the Brazilian’s desperate attempts to find a clear track.

The GT Daytona class was missing one of its best entrants, Magnus Racing, due to Andy Lally suffering a catastrophic engine failure in the second practice session.

But the remainder put on a strong showing, thanks to an exciting battle between the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan of Sellers, and the two Acuras and Lexuses.

However, Sellers put pole beyond doubt with his seventh lap, clocking a 1min28.942sec, 0.448sec faster Katherine Legge’s Acura and 0.775 ahead of the second NSX of Justin Marks.

Perhaps disappointingly, therefore, the 3GT Racing Lexuses could manage only fourth and fifth, Dominik Bauman and David Heinemeier Hansson finishing 0.845sec and 1.172sec off top spot.

Ben Keating produced a solid effort to take sixth in the Riley Motorsports Mercedes, ahead of Michael Schein in the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911.

IMSA, Detroit qualifying

Pos.No.DriverClassChassisTimeGap
1 22 brazil  Pipo Derani 
united_states  Johannes van Overbeek 
P Nissan DPi 1'22.273  
2 6 colombia  Juan Pablo Montoya 
united_states  Dane Cameron 
P Acura DPi 1'22.992 0.719
3 7 brazil  Helio Castroneves 
united_states  Ricky Taylor 
P Acura DPi 1'23.275 1.002
4 5 portugal  Filipe Albuquerque 
portugal  Joao Barbosa 
P Cadillac DPi 1'23.278 1.005
5 99 canada  Mikhail Goikhberg 
south_africa  Stephen Simpson 
P ORECA LMP2 1'23.384 1.111
6 31 united_states  Eric Curran 
brazil  Felipe Nasr 
P Cadillac DPi 1'23.469 1.196
7 10 united_states  Jordan Taylor 
netherlands  Renger van der Zande 
P Cadillac DPi 1'23.558 1.285
8 77 united_kingdom  Oliver Jarvis 
united_states  Tristan Nunez 
P Mazda DPi 1'23.969 1.696
9 85 switzerland  Simon Trummer 
united_states  Robert Alon 
P ORECA LMP2 1'24.553 2.280
10 55 united_kingdom  Harry Tincknell 
united_states  Jonathan Bomarito 
P Mazda DPi 1'24.566 2.293
11 2 united_states  Scott Sharp 
united_kingdom  Ryan Dalziel 
P Nissan DPi 1'24.637 2.364
12 90 united_states  Matt McMurry 
france  Tristan Vautier 
P Cadillac DPi 1'24.688 2.415
13 52 colombia  Gustavo Yacaman 
colombia  Sebastian Saavedra 
P Ligier LMP2 1'25.371 3.098
14 54 united_states  Jon Bennett 
united_states  Colin Braun 
P ORECA LMP2 1'25.741 3.468
15 48 united_states  Bryan Sellers 
united_states  Madison Snow 
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'28.942 6.669
16 86 united_kingdom  Katherine Legge 
germany  Mario Farnbacher 
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'29.390 7.117
17 93 united_states  Justin Marks 
united_states  Lawson Aschenbach 
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'29.717 7.444
18 14 canada  Kyle Marcelli 
austria  Dominik Baumann 
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'29.787 7.514
19 15 denmark  David Heinemeier Hansson 
united_kingdom  Jack Hawksworth 
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'30.114 7.841
20 33 netherlands  Jeroen Bleekemolen 
united_states  Ben Keating 
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 1'30.196 7.923
21 63 united_states  Jeff Segal 
united_states  Cooper MacNeil 
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 1'30.282 8.009
22 16 germany  Wolf Henzler 
united_states  Michael Schein 
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'30.717 8.444
23 75 germany  Bernd Schneider 
australia  Kenny Habul 
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 1'30.776 8.503
24 58 united_states  Patrick Long 
denmark  Christina Nielsen 
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'30.878 8.605
25 96 united_states  Bill Auberlen 
united_states  Robby Foley 
GTD BMW M6 GT3 1'31.640 9.367
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