Montoya, Acura Claim Pole at Long Beach

4/14/2018 3:21:00 AM

  • Juan Pablo Montoya tops qualifying with lap-record run at Long Beach
  • First WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole for new Acura ARX-05 prototype
  • Helio Castroneves qualifies fourth in his Acura Team Penske entry

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Juan Pablo Montoya took his Acura ARX-05 prototypes to a lap record run Friday around the 1.968-mile Long Beach temporary street circuit, with the Acura Team Penske driver claiming the pole for Saturday's Bubba burger Sports Car Grand Prix. 

Acura Team Penske
Driving the #6 Acura ARX-05 prototype he will share with co-driver Dane Cameron, Montoya was the quickest of four drivers who bettered the existing Long Beach lap record during today's brief, 15-minute qualifying session.  His best lap of 1:12.922 shattered the old mark, set just last year, of 1:13.549. 

Montoya's run is the first pole, in just the third event, for the new Acura ARX-05 prototype, and the first for Acura Team Penske in the organization's return to sports car racing in 2018.  Driving the #7 ARX-05, Helio Castroneves also bettered the existing track record, and will start his Acura from fourth, sharing the driving duties with Ricky Taylor.

Juan Pablo Montoya (driver, #6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05) pole qualifier, first pole for new Acura ARX-05 prototype: "It's nice to finally get a pole for Acura. Going into qualifying, we felt we had two really strong cars, and we were able to deliver the results.  I just really love this Acura, it really reminds me of a Formula One car.  It's so well balanced, and so nice to drive.  It's one of those cars where you can push it more and more, and the car just takes it.  You could see it today in qualifying.  I put in one really good lap, and three laps later I was going even quicker!"

Where to watch
Live television coverage from Long Beach begins at 4 p.m. EDT Saturday, April 14, on the Fox Network.  The entire race also will be streamed live on Fox Sports GO, with FS1 authentication, starting at 3:55 p.m. EDT.

Fans can listen in to audio commentary via and Sirius XM Radio; and follow the race live via in-car cameras, IMSA Radio and timing & scoring available worldwide on and the IMSA mobile device App.

Video recaps from this weekend's Acura Motorsports activities at Long Beach, as well as Honda IndyCar highlights from this weekend's Grand Prix of Long Beach, are being posted on the "Honda Racing/HPD" YouTube channel.  Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the 2018 HPD Trackside Video Playlist at:

Acura NSX GT3 Teams
IMSA's GTD category is not a part of the IMSA weekend at Long Beach, but the Acura NSX GT3s will return to the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the May 4-6 Acura Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.  Acura's title sponsorship for this race was announced earlier this week.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Bubba burger Sports Car Grand Prix
Circuit:       Long Beach Convention Center (1.968-mile temporary street circuit) Long Beach, Calif.
Weather:     Sunny, mild, 75 degrees F

Top-10 Prototype Qualifying Results:
  Ps.       Class                  Drivers                                                         Team                                Chassis                              Time/Notes              
   1.        Prototype          Juan Pablo Montoya / Dane                    Acura Team Penske      Acura ARX-05                  1:12.922
   2.        Prototype            Felipe Nasr / Eric Curran                           Action Express                 Cadillac DPi VR                +0.187 seconds
   3.        Prototype            Harry Tincknell / Jonathan Bomarito         Mazda Team Joest          Mazda   RT24-P                 +0.234 seconds
   4.        Prototype          Helio Castroneves / Ricky Taylor           Acura Team Penske      Acura ARX-05                  +0.424 seconds
   5.        Prototype            Filipe Albuquerque / Joao Barbosa             Action Express                 Cadillac DPi VR                +0.811 seconds
   6.        Prototype            Renger Van Der Zande / Jordan   Wayne Taylor Racing     Cadillac DPi VR            +0.958 seconds
   7.        Prototype            Tristan Nunez / Oliver Jarvis                     Mazda Team Joest          Mazda   RT24-P                 +1.007 seconds
   8.        Prototype            Scott Sharp / Ryan Dalziel                          Tequila Patron ESM        Nissan JSP 217                 +1.255 seconds
   9.        Prototype            Gustavo Yacaman / Sebastian                    AFS-PRI Mathiasen        Ligier Gibson JSP 217       +1.700 seconds
 10.        Prototype            Johannes van Overbeek / Pipo Derani       Tequila Patron ESM        Nissan JSP 217                 +1.899 seconds

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