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Pair of IMSA Stars Capture 24 Hours of Le Mans Class Poles – Speedway Digest

Pair of IMSA Stars Capture 24 Hours of Le Mans Class Poles – Speedway Digest

By Tony DiZinno

IMSA Wire Service

The 30-minute Hyperpole certifying session Thursday for Saturday’s 24 Hours of Le Mans provided drama in spades, with 3 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship stars and automobiles producing starring functions.

IMSA regulars Louis Deletraz (No. 14 AO by TF ORECA 07) and Brendan Iribe (No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo) protected lead in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) and LMGT3 classes, respectively, and both by large margins.

Deletraz, who races for Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti in IMSA’s Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class belongs to the AO by TF lineup including “Spike” the LMP2 Dragon embellishing the automobile, and shares the effort with AO Racing group owner and motorist PJ Hyett and Alex Quinn. He’s among numerous IMSA chauffeurs in a little various seats at Le Mans.

The Swiss motorist, looking for an evasive very first Le Mans class win after some terrible losses the last couple of years, published a finest lap of 3 minutes, 33.217 seconds around the 8.467-mile Circuit de la Sarthe. He briefly lost pole however took it back on the last lap by more than 6 tenths of a 2nd.

“First of all, a big thank you to AO and TF. It’s amazing to do Hyperpole. No traffic. Le Mans at its best. To put it on pole was great and the car too. I am super happy.”

Iribe made his ticket to Le Mans thanks to catching IMSA’s Bob Akin Bronze Cup in 2023, making sure an automated invite to the occasion for his very first time driving a McLaren. With a number of flying laps, Iribe’s finest lap was 3 minutes, 58.120 seconds to provide the brand name its very first Le Mans pole, by more than 8 tenths of a 2nd, upon its go back to the circuit. He’ll share the McLaren with Frederik Schandorff and Ollie Millroy. (MORE INFORMATION: IMSA at 24 Hours of Le Mans: Bronze Battles to Watch)

“It’s an honor just to be here and be in this race,” Iribe stated. “To actually get pole is really a dream come true. I could never imagine we’d be on pole. I have to thank the entire team that got us here, especially my coach and longtime teammate Ollie Millroy. We started in GT4 five years ago, from not being in a race car to pole at Le Mans is an incredible journey. Ollie and, we call (Frederik) Fast Freddie – we got here because of him. Inception, everyone at McLaren. First year back in 26 years I think, and McLaren is on pole.”

While those 2 class lead were secured heading into the subsiding minutes of the session, the Hypercar and general class lead altered on the last lap.

Sebastien Bourdais had a finest time of 3 minutes, 24.816 seconds, however decided not to return out in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R that he’ll race with Renger van der Zande and Scott Dixon. He left the automobile following a warning for a BMW M Hybrid V8 going off course at the Indianapolis corner.

Alex Lynn, in the second of the 2 Chip Ganassi Racing-prepared, Cadillac Racing-gotten in and FIA World Endurance Championship-flagged automobile, really took the lead initially by simply 0.034 of a 2nd, dropping to 3 minutes, 24.782 seconds. (MORE INFORMATION: Cadillac Keen to Build after Strong Return to Le Mans)

That didn’t hang on for long however, as Porsche Penske Motorsport powered to the leading thanks to a last-lap leaflet by Kevin Estre in the No. 6 Porsche 963, with a pole time of 3 minutes, 24.634 seconds. Come race day, the No. 6 Porsche will be signed up with on the front row by the No. 3 Cadillac – as the No. 2 Cadillac gets a five-position grid charge from last month’s FIA WEC race at Spa.

Roger Penske’s group seeks its very first general triumph at Le Mans and has 3 automobiles went into to do so, with its IMSA-flagged No. 4 automobile along with its 2 WEC-flagged automobiles, Nos. 5 and 6. (MORE INFORMATION: Potential Daytona, Le Mans 24-Hour Sweep Beckons for Porsche Penske Motorsport)

Saturday’s race begins at 10 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. CET in Le Mans, France. Here is a link of how to see.

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