MONTEREY, Calif. (AP) — Tristan Nunez gave Mazda its first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole position and led a front-row sweep for the manufacturer team in qualifying Saturday for the Monterey Grand Prix on Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Nunez turned a best lap of 1 minute, 18.143 seconds (103.103 mph) in the No. 55 Mazda Prototype to lead the 15-minute qualifying session. He qualified two-tenths of a second faster than Mazda Motorsports teammate Tom Long, who had a 1:18.379 (102.793 mph) in the No. 70 Prototype entry.
"I'm at a loss for words right now," Nunez said. "We knew what we had coming in here; the car loves this track. We pushed our hearts out in these cars. Starting 1-2, there's no better place than Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for our first pole. I'm extremely honored to be able to do that."
In the GT Le Mans class, Daniel Serra drove the No. 68 Ferrari to the class pole position on his final lap, knocking Ryan Briscoe and the No. 67 Ford GT to second on the class grid.
In Prototype Challenge qualifying, Robert Alon was the fastest in the No. 52 entry, while Alex Riberas took the GT Daytona class pole in the No. 23 Porsche.
The event will two two-hour races. The first race will feature the Prototype and GT Le Mans classes, followed by the Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona classes.