Mazda Group Joest wins 2nd consecutive Rolex 24 pole

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Mazda Group Joest gained the pole for the Rolex 24 at Daytona in a session shortened when Ricky Taylor crashed his Group Penske entry in Thursday qualifying.

Oliver Jarvis piloted the Mazda DPi to the highest beginning spot within the twice-round-the-clock endurance race that begins Saturday at Daytona Worldwide Speedway and makes use of each the street course and the oval. He was being challenged by reigning IMSA collection champion Juan Pablo Montoya in an Acura for Group Penske, however Montoya’s shot at catching him ended when Taylor crashed with rather less than two minutes remaining in qualifying.

Wayne Taylor Racing, the defending race winners, certified fifth with Ryan Briscoe behind the wheel. The staff has a brand new look this 12 months as full-time driver Jordan Taylor left his father’s group to turn into a Corvette manufacturing facility driver, so solely Renger Van der Zande and Kamui Kobayashi returned to the successful endurance lineup.

Briscoe has changed Jordan Taylor because the full-time driver for the season, whereas five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon completes the endurance staff lineup.

The sphere for this 12 months’s race has simply 38 entries — the smallest discipline in 58 runnings of the distinguished season kickoff. The smallest discipline beforehand was 42 starters in 1962, the second 12 months of the race.

Whereas the sphere does embody a formidable 18 completely different producers, there is a obtrusive absence with Chip Ganassi sidelined after Ford ended its program after 4 seasons within the GT Le Mans class. Ganassi hopes to return to sports activities competitors in 2021, probably within the Daytona Prototype class, however his two sidelined entries have contributed to the low automobile depend.

The DPi class, which races for the general victory, has simply eight entries. However the class contains Indianapolis 500 winners Dixon, Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay and four-time IndyCar champion Sebastien Bourdais.

Ben Keating gained the pole within the Le Mans Prototype 2 class for PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports. The LMP2 class has simply 5 entries.

Keating is competing in two courses this weekend as he is additionally a member of Riley Motorsports within the GT Daytona class.

Porsche GT Group swept the primary two qualifying positions within the GT Le Mans class as Nick Tandy gained the pole within the 911 RSR-19, and Laurens Vanthoor was second within the sister automobile. Tandy broke his class qualifying report from final 12 months.

Tandy has now gained 4 poles on the Rolex, tying Scott Pruett for the race report.

Pfaff Motorsports gained the pole with a Porsche 911 within the GT Daytona class, which has essentially the most entrants with 18 automobiles. Among the many automobiles in GTD are two Lexus entries from AIM Vasser Sullivan, one in every of which is being piloted by reigning NASCAR champion Kyle Busch.

However that automobile required a precautionary engine change after Thursday follow and was not able to qualify. It’s going to begin in the back of the sphere on Saturday.

The Pfaff staff, in the meantime, has turned heads all month with the debut of latest firesuits that give a nod to the staff’s Canadian roots. The firesuits are styled to resemble a plaid flannel shirt and denim pants, however constructed from the usual fireproof Nomex materials.

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