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van der Zande Snatches Daytona Pole From Penske’s Grasp

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Renger van der Zande and Wayne Taylor Racing  denied Team Penske a dream debut as they snatched pole in a thrilling Rolex 24 at Daytona qualifying.

In dying stages of qualifying and on his final flying lap, new WTR Cadillac recruit van der Zande justified his worth to his new team as he deposed pace setter Helio Castroneves to take pole by 0.07 seconds.

Until this point Castroneves had dominated the session after setting a stunning time of 1 minute 36.090 seconds which no-one had been able to match.

Filipe Albuquerque ensured a Cadillac 1-3 as he set the third fastest time, just 0.111 seconds down on van der Zande.

Fourth went to the best of the LMP2 runners, the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca of Patricio O’Ward, a very impressive showing from a team making their debut in the top prototype division.

The #90 Spirit of Daytona Cadillac rounded out the top five with Tristan Vautier setting a time of 1 minute 36.472 seconds.

In the battle of the current F1 stars, Lance Stroll will start ahead of Fernando Alonso on the grid as team-mate Robin Frijns qualified the #37 Jackie Chan DCR JOTA in 6th place, just 0.020 behind Vautier.

Alonso qualified the uncompetitive #23 United Autosports Ligier 13th, 0.9 seconds off the lead, but he was 1.1 seconds faster than team-mate Bruno Senna in the #32 car.

GTLM honours went to Jan Magnussen in the #3 Corvette who set a time of 1 minute 42.779 seconds.

The Corvette was 0.020 seconds quicker than its rival American manufacturer, the #66 Ford GT of Joey Hand.

A delighted Jan Magnussen celebrates claiming GTLM pole. Credit: Richard Dole/LAT Images

Behind the two American cars were the two Porsches with Laurens Vanthoor in the #912 just pipping team-mate Patrick Pilet by 0.135 seconds.

GTD pole position went to the #51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 of Daniel Serra, who produced a blistering lap to take the top spot.

His time of 1 minute 46.049 seconds was a huge (by GTD standards) half a second quicker than his nearest competitor Miguel Molina in the #82 Risi Competizione Ferrari. 

Third in class went to the #11 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan of Mirko Bortollotti who was 0.15 seconds slower than Molina.

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