Pipo Derani claims Petit Le Mans pole position for ESM
Pipo Derani, driver of the #22 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi, secured a stunning second pole position of 2018 ahead of this weekend's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, claiming the top starting spot for team-mates Johannes van Overbeek and Timo Bernhard.
Locked in a session-long battle with Mazda Team Joest's Oliver Jarvis, the period saw the pair duelling for the fastest lap of qualifying, swapping names at the top of the timesheets in a desperate attempt to lead the field away in Saturday's 10-hour endurance racing affair.
Lapping the 4.088 km-long Road Atlanta Circuit in 1m 10.437s, Derani was able to emerge with a slight advantage over his rival, with the 0.037s margin that separated the pair and ultimately deciding pole position.
Jonathan Bomarito in the #55 Mazda RT24-P secured third on the grid and will be joined on the second row by the #2 Nissan Onroak DPi that was piloted to fourth place by Norman Nato.
Ricky Taylor put the #5 Acura Team Penske machine in fifth place and was followed by the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadilac DPi-V.R in sixth place, with Filipe Albuquerque completing the third row of the grid.
The #85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca 07 car and the #6 Acura Team Penske car completed the fourth row of the grid, driven by Simon Trummer and Juan Pablo Montoya while Felipe Nasr and Colin Braun completed the top 10 in the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing and #54 CORE Autosport entries.
In the GTLM category, it was John Edwards who powered his #24 BMW M8 GTE to pole position, fronting the field of GT racers ahead of the final round of the 2018 season, with Antonio Garcia emerging as his nearest challenger behind the wheel of the #3 Corvette Racing entry, with 0.024s separating the pair.
Earl Bamber completed the top three in the #912 Porsche, 0.203s adrift of Edwards' pole-position securing pace.
Behind the wheel of the #63 Ferrari 488 GTB of Scuderia Corsa, Daniel Serra secured pole position in the GTD category.