Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) made one leap forward in its IMSA WeatherTech DPi Championship fight with Tom Blomqvist capturing his third career DPi pole position at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Friday.
MSR has been deep in the title fight after starting the season off with a big Rolex 24 victory. A consistent season saw MSR collect five consecutive runner up finishes, regaining the championship lead on four separate occasions. Now, the team sits just 14 points behind the championship lead, with 10 hours of day-to-night racing in store for Saturday.
Blomqvist will be joined by full-season teammate Oliver Jarvis and MSR IndyCar and IMSA endurance driver Helio Castroneves competing onboard the No. 60 Acura ARX-05 DPi. The 10-hour classic will be the final race for the DPi era as the 2023 season will start with the all-new GTP class featuring the Acura ARX-06 LMDh.
The team paced through three practice sessions ahead of Friday afternoon qualifying, with MSR putting a big focus on qualifying simulations through the second afternoon practice session.
The No. 60 MSR Acura translated its strong practice pace into qualifying on Friday. The team held Blomqvist in pit lane for the initial moments of qualifying to get an open track. Blomqvist immediately got up to speed as he paced the 2.54-mile circuit. Blomqvist quickly rose to the top of the time sheets on Lap 4 and then bested that lap further on Lap 6 by posting a 1:08.555-second lap time.
The lap time held through the remainder of the session as Blomqvist officially claimed his third pole position for MSR this season [previous poles at Watkins Glen and CTMP].
“We went into qualifying to put the car in this kind of position,” said Blomqvist. “The guys gave me such a great car and I felt pretty confident going into the session. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and in qualy it really came to life. It makes life a little less stressful tomorrow, but it’s still going to be a proper dog fight.”
Source. Sunday Group
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