Race Weekend Central

Sebastien Bourdais Wins Laguna Seca Pole

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais won the pole Saturday (May 11) for Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Motul Course de Monterey with a lap at 111.213 mph. The lap is a new GTP track record for WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca by 2.329 seconds.

“I think we’ve been so close all year long,” Bourdais said afterwards. “I made a mistake up top, I locked up the right-front [tire] and almost didn’t make the corkscrew on that fast lap. I was watching the time compared coming out of the
corkscrew and could see all the gain kind of fading away. That wasn’t a nice feeling, but I kind of managed to pull myself in the last three corners and make it work.”

Bourdais’ pole is the fourth straight for Cadillac. It also breaks an Action Express Racing stranglehold in qualifying as the Daytona Beach-based operation had claimed the first three poles of the year.

Bourdais won the pole by .112 seconds over Derani, who recovered from a crash in Practice No. 2 Saturday morning. BMW M Team RLL’s Philipp Eng will start third, then Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Mathieu Jaminet. Connor de Phillippi in the second BMW will start fifth.

Early on in the session, Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Dane Cameron was fastest in his Porsche 963. Then, Derani put himself on top in search of his fourth straight pole.

Bourdais was able to take the pole with just under three minutes to go from Derani. However, he kept going from there. The next lap ended up being good enough for pole. Bourdais had to keep pushing since at the same time he set his pole lap, Derani beat his previous time.

GTD Pro saw Paul Miller Racing’s Madison Snow put himself at the top of the chart early on. That lap was then usurped by Sebastian Priaulx and Mario Farnbacher.

Corvette Racing with Pratt Miller Motorsports’ Nicky Catsburg was next to put himself on top of the chart in his Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R. He then kept going and set a lap with six minutes remaining at 101.055 mph. That lap held up to take the class pole. It was also 3.415 seconds faster than the previous GTD Pro track record.

Catsburg’s lap was .311 seconds faster than his teammate Antonio Garcia. Pfaff Motorsports’ Marvin Kirchhoefer in his McLaren was third, then VasserSullivan’s Jack Hawksworth. Priaulx was fifth.

GTD saw Russell Ward put his Mercedes on top of the chart early on, but Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Global’s Danny Formal put his Lamborghini on top with nine minutes to go.

Turner Motorsport’s Patrick Gallagher was able to take the top spot away from Formal, but a quick lap at 99.631 mph on his final lap at speed gave Formal the pole. It is not only Formal’s first career pole, but the first GTD pole for WTRAndretti.

Formal’s lap was .129 seconds faster than Gallagher. Ward qualified third, then The Heart of Racing’s Spencer Pumpelly, who had some off-course issues during the session. VasserSullivan’s Frankie Montecalvo was fifth.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Motul Course de Monterey Qualifying Results

The Motul Course de Monterey is scheduled to go green at 3:10 p.m. ET Sunday afternoon. The race will air live on NBC starting at 3 p.m. ET. The race will also be simulcast on Peacock.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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