Action Express maintains speed in Motul 100 qualifying as Felipe Nasr captures pole

Sport

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Felipe Nasr captured the pole position Saturday in qualifying results for the inaugural Motul 100 qualifying race that will set the starting grid for the 59th annual Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Nasr’s No. 31 Cadillac, which will be co-driven by Pipo Derani, will lead the field to green in the 100-minute race at 2 p.m. Sunday. It’s the first qualifying race for the Rolex 24-hour season opener to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, which will take place Jan. 30-31.

Nasr turned a 1-minute, 34.311-second lap around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway, nipping Oliver Jarvis in the No. 55 Mazda. Tristan Vautier qualified third in the No. 5 Cadillac.

“Getting the pole is just a small part of the weekend,” said Nasr, who also will be teamed with NASCAR Cup champion Chase Elliott and Mike Conway. “But the speed, we have it. That’s what I’m most pleased about. It pays off the work we did in the offseason and getting the engineering side better.”

Action Express Cadillacs paced both practice sessions Friday (with Kamui Kobayashi in Session I and Mike Conway in Session II) to open the Roar Before the Roar at Daytona. Vautier turned the fastest lap in a third practice session Saturday morning, followed by Jarvis, Nasr and Renger van der Zande as Cadillacs took three of the top four speeds in the session.

The No. 48 Cadillac was qualified seventh by seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who will be paired with two-time defending Rolex 24 winner Kobayashi in the qualifying race Sunday.

The pole winners in other classes were Ben Keating in LMP2, Moritz Kranz in LMP3, Marco Wittmann in GTLM and Ryan Hardwick in GTD.