In a dramatic turn of events at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park, Tom Blomqvist qualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 on the front row and just missed out on the pole position by less than one tenth of a second.
Blomqvist’s second-place qualifying time of 1:18.928-seconds also beat out the previous record-setting lap time of 1:19.373-seconds set in 2019.
Racing on the 14-turn, 2.3-mile temporary circuit for the first time in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura DPi, Blomqvist and teammate Oliver Jarvis were determined to continue their street course stride.
Finishing Friday’s two practice sessions third and fourth, Blomqvist and Jarvis knew they had a challenge ahead with competitor cars showing strong pace early in the weekend. The evening qualifying session saw a fight to the finish with the pole position coming down to the final lap of the 15-minute session.
Blomqvist posted a lightning quick 1:18.928-second lap which put him on the provisional pole with less than 2 minutes remaining. Blomqvist was on another run which was looking to improve to even further secure the pole, but a competitor car hindered his progress and Blomqvist took second at the finish.
“It was a pretty good qualifying and we were so close to getting the pole,” said Blomqvist who made his debut in Detroit this weekend. “I got the No. 2 Ganassi on my fast lap at the end there and I think I lost a little bit of lap time, but hey I think it was a really great effort. We made really good steps with the car all day and it’s a new track for me, so I was getting better and better with every session. We have to be happy for the job we’ve done because I think we’ve made such huge improvements with this car, not only just here, but the last few events and that’s really starting to show. I’m happy for the team, obviously it would have been nice to get the pole, but there’s a few more races to go in the season and now the focus is on tomorrow.”
MSR is riding a streak of back-to-back second-place finishes and is currently a close second in the championship standings entering the sixth of 10 DPi races.
While MSR has two GTD victories at Belle Isle including scoring the first-ever North American victory for the Acura NSX GT3 in 2017, the team is still seeking its first overall triumph in the final visit for the DPi category on Belle Isle. Next year’s race will feature the new LMDh prototypes back in downtown Detroit.
Source. Sunday Group