It’s the Fastest Qualifying Lap Ever in the WeatherTech Championship; Robinson, No. 74 Riley Ligier Take LMP3 Pole
July 2, 2022
By John Oreovicz
IMSA Wire Service
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Tom Blomqvist and Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian teammate Oliver Jarvis are tired of losing out to “the other Acura.”
Blomqvist and Jarvis have engaged their No. 60 Acura ARX-05 DPi in a compelling Daytona Prototype international (DPi) battle with the No. 10 Konica Minolta Racing Acura and drivers Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque for honors in the top class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The No. 60 won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and is riding a streak of four consecutive second-place finishes. Meanwhile, the No. 10 swept to victory in three of the last four races to seize a 17-point advantage over the No. 60 following its most recent triumph in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen a week ago.
Blomqvist reduced that deficit to 14 points Saturday by earning the Motul Pole Award for the Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with the fastest lap in WeatherTech Championship history. Blomqvist hustled the No. 60 Acura around the iconic 2.459-mile, 10-corner road course in 1 minute, 4.394 seconds for an average speed of 137.472 mph. The fastest previous lap, ironically, was set by Blomqvist’s current teammate Jarvis in 2019 at Daytona International Speedway (136.792 mph).
That’s hauling the mail.
“When you’re in the car, it feels fast. This track is insane,” said Blomqvist, a 29-year-old Brit. “The high speed and bumpy nature of this track has made it really, really difficult for us out there, especially the super-fast corners out there like Turns 1 and 2.
“I wasn’t confident we could get the job done over the No. 10, to be honest,” he continued. “It was more a case of just putting common sense out the window and just going for it, because that was a proper wild ride. I had a few moments I thought I wasn’t going to make it back to the pits. Thankfully, I did, and thankful for the pole position. But we have some work to do overnight to give ourselves a car we can feel comfortable with tomorrow.”
Taylor set the early pace in the No. 10 Acura, turning two laps that beat the existing CTMP lap record of 1:05.452 established by Colin Braun in 2019. Taylor ultimately logged a 1:04.462 lap (137.327 mph) to secure the outside front-row starting spot and second-fastest qualifying lap in series history.
Tristan Vautier qualified a season-best third in the No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac DPi-V.R (1:04.895/136.411 mph), with Alex Lynn fourth in the No. 02 Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R (1:05.082/136.019 mph). All six DPi entries qualified under the existing track record.
Blomqvist admitted that he and Jarvis were frustrated after pacing practice and qualifying at Watkins Glen, only to lose the race to Albuquerque in traffic in the final 20 minutes. They hope to use that frustration as fuel to propel them into the final three DPi races of the 2022 campaign.
“Last weekend still hurts, and we’ve used a bit of that anger to kind of spur us on this weekend,” Blomqvist said. “We need to do the best job we can do and hopefully that brings us the win tomorrow.
“Obviously, we’ve done the job here, putting the car on pole, which should make my life a bit easier, hopefully,” he added. “Track position is going to be key around here again. Traffic is not that easy.”
Robinson Awarded LMP3 Pole Following Infraction
Gar Robinson logged the second-best lap during Le Mans Prototype 3 qualifying but earned the Motul Pole Award in the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 after Jarett Andretti’s time was disallowed for the No. 36 Andretti Autosport Ligier using a non-compliant suspension component.
Robinson’s best lap was 1:13.174 (120.977 mph) to bring the reigning LMP3 champion his second pole position of the season. Robinson won the LMP3 class at the Sahlen’s Six Hours last weekend with Felipe Fraga and Kay van Berlo to move into third place in the class standings. Robinson will drive with Scott Andrews on Sunday.
“This isn’t really how you want to win pole, but it’s always exciting to start these races from the front,” Robinson said. “It’s going to be a long race and traffic management will be crucial tomorrow. Keeping it clean and giving Scott the best car I can will be my main objective throughout the race.”
With the No. 36 Andretti Ligier moved to the rear of the six-car LMP3 field for the infraction, the No. 30 Jr III Racing Ligier advanced to the second spot. Ari Balogh posted a qualifying lap of 1:13.185 (119.926 mph) in the No. 30 he shares with Garett Grist.
Live coverage of the Chevrolet Grand Prix begins at 3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC, Peacock and IMSA Radio.
Categories: IMSA WeatherTech Championship, Starting Line-Up
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