Cadillac Wins IMSA Race That Wasn\u2019t Really a Race

Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr won the race that wasn’t a race — it was a 100-minute qualifying session nicely disguised as a race. The IMSA Motul Pole Award 100 certainly looked like a race, with some solid competition in all five classes and only a few minor incidents, remarkable as the race started in a light rain that quickly stopped, leaving the track to dry out for the first 25 minutes, at which point most of the teams switched from wet-weather Michelin tires to the dry-pavement slicks.

Derani closed out the race for the number 31 Whelen Cadillac, which he and Derani will share with Mike Conway and NASCAR Cup champion Chase Elliott, finishing 3.664 seconds ahead of the No. 55 Mazda DPi of Harry Ticknell and Oliver Jarvis. Third was the No. 5 JDC-Miller Cadillac of Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval. Fourth and fifth were the new Acura teams, followed by the other two Cadillacs. The closeness of the competition in DPi bodes well for the Rolex 24 at Daytona next weekend, though Derani and Nasr both complained that several teams appeared to be sandbagging.

In the newly revitalized LMP2 class, Mikkel Jensen, in the No. 52 PRI Mathiasen he shared with Ben Keating, passed the No. 20 High Class Motorsports car of Antonio Fucco in the final few minutes for the victory for the Wynns-backed team.

In LMP3, which is a new class for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the No. 6 Muehlner Motorsports car of Moritz Kranz and Laurents Hoerr took the class win, a repeat for the team, as they also won Saturday’s LMP3-only race.

The GT classes it was a one-two finish for the Corvette C8.Rs, with Nicky Tandy and Alexander Sims in the No. 4 taking the win over teammates Nicky Catsburg and Jordan Taylor in the No. 3, with the No. 79 WeatherTech Porsche of Cooper MacNeil and Kevin Estre in third.

Finally, the winningest driver in IMSA won another race as Bill Auberlen and teammate Robby Foley in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW won solidly over second place, the No. 9 Porsche 911 of Zach Robichon and Laurens Vanthoor.

Each winning team gets 35 points, which is 10 percent of what a regular race win brings, but it could be a factor in the usually close points battle at the end of the season.

IMSA Motul Pole Award 100 Results

What do you think? Whose your favorite for next weeks Rolex 24, comment below.

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