Pipo Derani took pole for the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship’s ‘Sportscar Weekend’ race, for the 2 hour 40 minute race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The Brazilian set a 1:47.730 in the #31 Action Express Cadillac V-Series.R, 0.068 faster than Matt Campbell in the #7 Porsche 963.

Derani was quickest throughout the session once the representative laps started coming in. His initial closest challenger was Filipe Albuquerque in the #10 Wayne Taylor Acura ARX-06, but as Derani ramped up the pace, from a low 1:48 to improve to his eventual pole lap, the Portuguese couldn’t match the Cadillac driver.

This gap to Derani allowed Campbell and Sebastien Bourdais, in the #01 Cadillac V-Series.R, to slot into second and third respectively. Both drivers stayed out later and set the laps in the dying moments of the session, although both had already gone faster than Albuquerque, who had pitted with five minutes remaining, having got the most out of his Acura, settling for fourth.

Campbell tried his absolute best to take pole but couldn’t quite beat Derani. Bourdais, too, couldn’t beat his Cadillac teammate, taking third.

With Albuquerque fourth, the best of the BMWs was fifth, with Connor de Phillippi just over six hundredths off Albuquerque in the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8. Colin Braun was sixth in the #60 Meyer Shank Acura ARX-06, with Nick Tandy seventh in the sister #6 Porsche, and Phillipp Eng eighth in the other #24 BMW.

The two customer Porsches were ninth and tenth, #5 JDC Miller Porsche 963 in ninth and Gianmaria Bruni, in the #99 Proton Porsche 963 making its IMSA debut, in tenth.

George Kurtz swept to pole position in the #04 Crowdstrike Racing by APR Oreca 07-Gibson, half a second faster than the rest of the field with a 1:53.621.

The early times were set by Kurtz and Steven Thomas, in the #11 TDS Racing Oreca 07-Gibson, with the two drivers trading top times, with Thomas top half way through the session with a 1:55.008, Kurtz just a few hundredths of a second back. 

However, Kurtz was able to much quicker in the second half, setting first a 1:54.030, which Thomas couldn’t match. The Crowdstrike CEO then went even quicker, setting his eventual fastest lap, the 1:53.621.

While Thomas was quick early on, he got beaten to second by Rodrigo Sales in the #8 Tower Motorsports Oreca 07-Gibson. However, he was still over half a second back from the dominant Kurtz, with Thomas 0.167 adrift in third.

In LMP3, #33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320-Nissan’s Nico Pino was quickest all through the session, never being beaten once the tyres got up to temperature. He was 0.930 quicker than his nearest rival, IMSA WeatherTech debutant Bijoy Garg in the #29 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P320-Nissan. Third in class was Gar Robinson in the #74 Riley Ligier JS P320-Nissan, a further three and a half tenths off.

In the two GT classes, Alex Riberas took pole in the GTD Pro-entered #23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage, setting a 2:02.918.

The Spaniard was quickest for much of the session, once the drivers had got the tyres fully up to temperature, with no tyre warmers in IMSA. However, it did take until halfway through to begin getting representative lap times from the 20 GTD Pro and GTD cars, with a long lap at Road America.

The first laps, more than three seconds off the pace, were set by Jordan Taylor, in the #3 Corvette C8.R, and Klaus Bachler, who was 1.3 seconds faster. However, Riberas had by now got his tyres into the window, and set an initial lap of 2:03.388 — much faster than the existing lap record on the resurfaced track.

Taylor then went nine thousandths of a second quicker, with Hawksworth following through to take the top spot off the American. Almost immediately, though, this was topped by Riberas, who set a 2:02.918 to take pole position.

Daniel Juncadella then slotted into second, 0.057 off his countryman, before both pitted. Madison Snow was the fastest GTD-entered car in the #1 Paul Miller BMW M4 GT3, but Taylor came through in the final minutes to take third overall in both classes, just over a tenth and a half off Juncadella and 0.225 off Riberas on pole.

Snow was fourth with a 2:03.291. Hawksworth was third in GTD Pro and fourth overall, with Brendan Iribe second in GTD and finishing sixth overall, a few tenths off Snow. Iribe beat Klaus Bachler in the #9 Pfaff Porsche 911 GT3 R, who stopped on track after running out of fuel, although managed to not cause a red flag which would cause the car to lose its two fastest laps.

Third in GTD and eighth overall in GT was Frankie Montecalvo, in the #12 Lexus RC F GT3, over half a second off Iribe.

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