- Deletraz snatches pole in changing conditions in the #10 Acura ARX-06
- Result moves full-season WTR Andretti drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor into the championship lead
- #60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06 lines up P4
- Pair of Acura NSXs to start in the top 10 for Saturday's race
An Acura will lead the field to green in the final race of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, with Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport's Louis Deletraz qualifying his #10 Acura ARX-06 on pole for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
The Swiss driver, who has been announced as a full-season WTRAndretti driver for 2024, triumphed in changing conditions that saw the teams switch from dry to wet tires over the course of the 20-minute qualifying session.
Deletraz' pole position could prove vital in the team's hunt for the full-season crown, as the 35 points awarded for pole moves the #10 full-season drivers of Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor from three points back in the championship hunt to nine points ahead.
The #60 Acura ARX-06, campaigned by Meyer Shank Racing, will make their final GTP start as part of the Acura fold from the fourth position. Driver Tom Blomqvist set a time of 1:15.847 to line up P4 alongside co-drivers Colin Braun and Helio Castroneves.
Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
In the production based GTD class, the pair of Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 machines fielded by Gradient Racing and Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR will both start Saturday's 10-hour Petit Le Mans race from inside of the top 10.
Gradient Racing's Katherine Legge will roll off P6 as she and co-drivers Sheena Monk and Marc Miller seek their first podium of 2023. Gradient Racing comes into the weekend as the reigning GTD Petit Le Mans race winners.
The Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR #93 NSX will start tenth with Kyle Marcelli, Ashton Harrison and Danny Formal looking to close out their Michelin Endurance Cup season with a strong result.
Motul Petit Le Mans Acura Qualifying Results
- 1st overall - #10 Louis Deletraz, Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor, Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06
- 4th overall - #60 Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun and Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06
- 6th GTD - #66 Katherine Legge, Sheena Monk and Marc Miller, Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
- 10th GTD - #93 Kyle Marcelli, Ashton Harrison and Danny Formal, Racers Edge Motorsports with WTRAndretti Acura NSX GT3 Evo22
- Acura Motorsports and Honda Performance Development have won 10 times at the challenging Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta circuit, including last year's race won by Meyer Shank Racing to clinch the championship; and a double win in both DPi and GTD in the 2020 six-hour Michelin Endurance Challenge race.
- Acura is the defending race winner both overall and in the GTD division. In 2022, the Meyer Shank Racing trio of Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Helio Castroneves drove to victory to secure the drivers', teams' and manufacturers' titles for Acura and MSR.
- Gradient Racing is the defending GTD winner at the Motul Petit Le Mans, coming from the back of the grid [due to an electrical issue in qualifying] to win with drivers Till Bechtolsheimer, Mario Farnbacher and Kyffin Simpson. The victory completed a DPi/GTD sweep for Acura last year.
Louis Deletraz (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06) Pole qualifier: "The track conditions were difficult [with light rain falling]. We started out on slicks, but it was super slippery, so the team made the right call to change to the [grooved] wet weather tires. I had one clear lap and pushed as much as I could. I mean, I can't believe we're on pole – it's an amazing way to start the weekend. The team was incredible. I've been the third driver [for endurance rounds] all year, but they gave me the opportunity to qualifying here, even though there is a lot on the line with the championship. I'm super happy. That's good for the championship, but the real important part is tomorrow."
Katherine Legge (#66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22) Qualified 6th in GTD: "Qualifying went relatively well for us. I think we could've ended up inside the top five if I had found a gap [in traffic] at the beginning of the session when the tires were at their best. So just a bit disappointed in not being a bit higher up the grid, but our JG Wentworth Acura was excellent, everyone at Gradient and HPD did a fabulous job getting us ready for this final race of the year. We're all really looking forward to tomorrow."
Where to Watch the Motul Petit Le Mans
Live coverage from the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta will be available on USA Network starting at 6:30 p.m. EDT Sunday. Live, flag-to-flag coverage will be found streaming on NBC Peacock starting at 11:40 a.m. EDT.
Fans can listen to audio commentary via IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and Sirius XM Radio; and follow the race live via in-car cameras, IMSA Radio and timing & scoring available worldwide on IMSA.com and the IMSA mobile device App.
Acura Motorsports social media content and video links can be found on:
- Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD)
- Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd)
- Threads (www.threads.com/hondaracing_hpd)
- TikTok (www.tiktok.com/hondaracing_hpd)
- Twitter (www.twitter.com/hondaracing_hpd)
- YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV)
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